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ONLY EGYPTIANS TO HAVE ACCESS TO MUMMIES
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kat
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 13, 2007 3:05 am    Post subject: ONLY EGYPTIANS TO HAVE ACCESS TO MUMMIES Reply with quote

http://www.***/en/egypt/news/ME03.YAM12531.html

ARCHAEOLOGY: ONLY EGYPTIANS TO HAVE ACCESS TO MUMMIES
(ANSAmed) - CAIRO, APRIL 11 - Only Egyptian archaeologists will have access to ancient Egyptian mummies while the foreigners will be allowed to examine them only in the presence and under the supervision of their Egyptian colleagues, Egyptian Culture Minister Faruq Hosni told a news conference. Hosni was accompanied at the news conference by Secretary-General of the Egyptian Supreme Council of Antiquities, Zahi Hawass, and Ahmed Saleh, director of the antiquities of 'Mit Rahina' at the Egyptian Museum. The conference focused on the minister's announcement of the return to Egypt of samples of the hair of great pharaoh Ramses II "withheld" by France in 1976 when the mummy was transferred there for laboratory examination. That was the only movement of the precious remains. The purpose of the transfer was to determine the type of micro organism, which caused a great danger of destruction of the pharaoh's remains. The French experts determined that it was a rare fungus, daedalea biennis fries. The experts saved the mummy, which was later returned to Egypt. However, one of the researchers kept the locks of hair, which soon reappeared for sale, packed in plastic bags, at an Internet auction with prices ranging from USD2,000 to USD2,500. The hair was put up for sale by the son of the late French researcher. Egypt immediately called for the block of the auction and requested the precious remains to be returned. On the one hand Faruq Hosni thanked France for its correctness, but on the other hand he announced the limitations of the access of foreign archaeologists to Egyptian mummies. (ANSAmed).
2007-04-11 12:54
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The Aten
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 13, 2007 9:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is a joke, they shouldn't be able to do this! So if my dream comes tre and I do become an Egyptologist, I will not actually be able to look at the mummy's without supervision, that means that there is probably time limits and all that rubbish, what a pathetic idea!
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kat
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 13, 2007 12:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This policy was very much a response to the French researcher keeping some of Ramses II's hair, which his son then tried to sell at auction. So againm everybody wil be punished for the misbehaviour of one person. To be fair, thoufgh, royal mummies are a very limited supply item, so some protection is reasonable.
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 15, 2007 5:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It really was a low thing for that man to do. His father probably shouldn't have kept the samples to begin with (without the permission of the SCA), but for the son to try to sell it for profit was a greedy and seedy action.

I can't blame the Egyptians, either. If their mummies are sent out for analysis or examination in some foreign lab, it us incumbent upon them to make certain the human remains are treated with respect. It's really not much different, when you think about it, from the common rule of having an Egyptian representative present at the site of archaeological digs in Egypt.
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 15, 2007 11:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

kmt_sesh wrote:
I can't blame the Egyptians, either.

I too think that what that guy did; trying to sell Ramses II's hair on eBay was wrong, not to mention hugely disrespectful, but is it right to make all Egyptologists pay for his mistake? Idea
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 15, 2007 4:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
... but is it right to make all Egyptologists pay for his mistake?


Of course it isn't, but the decision reflects Hawass's penchant for overly exaggerating any given problem. (Minister Hosni may have made the announcement, but we all know who was behind the decision.) Still, it's not as dire as it may seem. Respected and credentialed Egyptologists from other countries will continue to be allowed to examine mummies, as is essential for their research, so long as there is a useful reason for doing so; there will merely be an Egyptian representative present.

Sooner or later even Zahi Hawass will have to retire, so we'll see how many such policies remain in place after that point.
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isisinacrisis
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 30, 2007 7:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh dear, and I thought Dubya was the one man in power who usually made silly statements...

From http://www.sis.gov.eg/En/EgyptOnline/Culture/000001/0203000000000000000745.htm

Quote:
Hawwas said he was one of the staunch opponents of conducting DNA tests on mummies in the past because of poor equipment, which yield incorrect results.

"The second reason is that such tests were exclusive for unspecialized foreigners, who were just seeking fame," he said.

"I remember that one of them claimed that a DNA test on the mummy of a child pharaoh in Saint Louis museum had shown his European origin."


Erm, wtf? Confused That's a comment that definitely confirms, to his critics, that he is xenophobic. (Not saying I think he is, I'm not sure, but the statement does smack of xenophobia to me) He's saying that the DNA test carried on the St Louis mummy was a lie because the test showed European origins? Come on. These result aren't from one of those 'white supremacist' nutjobs saying that the Egyptians were European, just because the scientists doing this test were American doesn't make them so. This mummy was from the Greco-Roman period so maybe his mummy was Greek or Roman. That man needs to get his facts straight before saying controversial things like that.
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PostPosted: Tue May 01, 2007 12:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm certain Zahi's refering to the same baby mummy that anneke brought to our attention in this thread of hers. To my knowledge no one studying this little mummy claimed it to be a "child pharaoh" (in fact it dates to the start of the Roman Period, which would render that claim ridiculous in the first place).

The new DNA lab Egypt will be getting was announced at the recent annual ARCE conference. Our docents who attended reported back to us, and we all enjoyed a merry chuckle at Zahi's expense. It seems evident that the real reason Zahi distrusts genetic analysis is that he has little to no control over the results it produces, and we know how Hawass enjoys his control. Well, with the new National Geographic lab, the results produced will be directly under Hawas's control, so he should be happy.

The more he complains about genetic analysis, the more he demonstrates how little he actually understands it. DNA examination can indeed reveal ethnic roots--I'm involved in that National Geographic Genographic program myself to see what my own genetic testing will reveal.

The baby's genetic results showed his mother was indeed of European origin, either Roman or Greek. What on earth is the big deal about that? No one should even be surprised--Egypt was crowded with Greeks and Romans two thousand years ago.

Hawass has done great things for his country but when it comes to this sort of thing, he really needs to exercise more caution before he speaks. Confused
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 08, 2007 7:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's funny how Hawass is so xenophobic, when he himself is not decended from the ancient Egyptians. He's behaving as though he's protecting something, as though the ethnicity of the baby mummy is a threat to him, when it really dosen't matter.
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 09, 2007 12:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hawass has made it perfectly clear that he has an institutional distrust of foreign scholars. He may not be descended from the ancient Egyptians but he's the current protector of their antiquities, and he's zealous about it. That can be both good and bad, but as long as he's in charge there's not much at all anyone can do about it.
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 09, 2007 12:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Guess you're right.
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 18, 2007 9:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've always found Hawass perhaps a bit too stuck up about Egypt's antiques. Of course security is needed, but still, he could be a bit more open.
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 27, 2008 1:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's been like this for a while. I went on a dig in 2005 and the only people who were allowed to do any official research on the bones we found were native Egyptians.
I actually don't have too much of a problem with this, considering that our anthropologist was a complete ass with little to no respect for these peoples' remains. I'd rather have the bones in the hands of someone like Dr. Salima Ikram than the typical Egyptologist in a pith helmet. At least in the west, attitudes in the profession seem to have not changed much since the 19th century.
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 27, 2008 2:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I'd rather have the bones in the hands of someone like Dr. Salima Ikram than the typical Egyptologist in a pith helmet.


Of the Egyptologists I know from the Field Museum and Oriental Institute, they've expressed nothing but the highest respect and affection for the people of Egypt and for their heritage. The kind of disrespect and carelessness evidenced by the anthropologist with whom you worked, is truly shocking. I don't know of any professionals who would conduct themselves in such a manner, I'm happy to say.

But that being said, Salima Ikram is an amazing and intelligent woman and I personally have a lot of respect for her. She's Pakistan, isn't she? It would be quite a treat to work under her leadership. Wink
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 27, 2008 3:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh wow. I thought she was Egyptian. Turns out she's from Lahore, Pakistan. Wondering if you just have to be an Egyptian citizen...
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