preserving ancient art

Mummy is a lot of “croc”

Mummies of animals have long been part of the deeply complex Egyptian religion. The still unearthed Labyrinth of Egypt was said to hold hundreds of crocodile mummies and hundreds more mummies of human beings.

But crocodile mummies aren’t that hard to find in the many tombs of the once-great culture. The crocodile was said the be the material incarnation of the god Sobek, much as Thoth was known as an stork-like bird and Horus was portrayed as a falcon. Egyptians didn’t worship crocodiles, but they considered large and ornate mummies of crocodiles as an offering to the great god, Sobek.egyptian-giant-crocodile-mummy-is-full-of-surprises1

Scientists had a look recently at a croc mummy that more unusual than most; it was extremely large, possibly containing a monster reptile. But when they did a 3-D CT scan of the mummy at the Academic Medical Center in Amsterdam, they found not only two full-grown crocodiles, but dozens of individually wrapped baby crocodiles. There are only a few of this kind of multi-croc mummies to be found in the world.

The Egyptians used all sorts of stuffing (linen, wood, rope and plant stems) to make the mummy take on the shape of a huge crocodile.

Since November, visitors to the Dutch National Museum of Antiquities can do a virtual autopsy on the 3,000-year-old mummy, using an interactive visualization tool. They also can do a post-mortem exam of an Egyptian priest. They can examine the ancient remains layer by layer, learning about the age at death, physical features, and the mummification process.

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Pyramids in Peril


If things weren’t bad enough with the Islamic State or ISIL capturing and torturing captives, and destroying ancient artworks, but now they are blowing up whole buildings.

A new video on social media shows ISIL destroying a 2,500-year-old temple of Nabu, a tribute to the Babylonian god of wisdom.
And get this, the video ends with a threat to blow up the famous Pyramids of Egypt!

The fools in ISIL think that these structures were “built by infidels.” But the so-called infidels didn’t know about Mohammed then, so how can they be blamed? And the craftsmanship that went into building the pyramids is so exacting that even engineers today are not sure how the ancient Egyptians achieved such a craft. I was in Cairo (when it was safe to go) and I have to say the Sphinx and Pyramids simply took my breath away. I was willing to believe that, as some alternative Egyptologists think, that the Sphinx itself was built about 10,000 years ago, when there was plenty of rainwater in that area of the world. The Sphinx has may tell-tale marks of water damage.

But the pyramids are more than just rock-solid buildings; they hold a secret fascination for many people all over the world. What did they mean? What did each room mean? Were they tombs and tombs only? Since a body was never found in the Great Pyramid, there are many questions to be asked.

But if these buildings were suddenly blown up and taken away from the world, would there be a cry of pain heard throughout the globe? Surely the Egyptian government has a sacred duty to keep the pyramids safe from harm. And ISIL must be stopped.Screen-Shot-2016-06-09-at-10.27.44-AM-640x480.png

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Playing keep-away from the Islamic State

Fantastic World

The terrorist group ISIS or ISIL is doing more than slaughtering and enslaving large populations in the Middle East, it also is destroying much of Iraq’s and Syria’s precious ancient artwork.

Not only have priceless statues and shrines been demolished, but the sacred writings that chronicle Iraq’s history are at risk of being lost forever. So, technicians at the Baghdad National Library are taking steps to preserve the writings digitally.

Most of the writings, telling of sultans and kings of old, are written on crinkled, yellowing paper are in fragile condition. Some manuscripts are torn from years of use and from aging. Others were partially burned dying the last Gulf War. Some are virtually fossilized over time. Restoring precious Iraqi document

Employees of the museum are using specialized techniques to preserve the most precious documents.

“Once restoration for some of the older documents from the Ottoman era, 200 to 250 years ago, is completed, we will begin to photograph those onto microfilm,” Mazin Ibrahim Ismail, head of the microfilm department, told U.S. News and World Report. This process will preserve the writings and help them survive any future threat. ”

The books that have fossilized into stone are the hardest to restore, said Fatma Khudair, a senior worker in the restoration department. “We apply steam using a specialized tool to try to loosen and separate the pages. Sometimes we are able to save these books and then apply other restoration techniques, but with others, the damage is irreversible.”

In 2003, when the United States and other countries invaded Iraq, arsonists set fire to the library, destroying 25 percent of its books and 60 percent of the archives.

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