Egyptian Queen Nefertiti buried in Pharaoh Tutankhamun’s tomb?

This video says about itself:

25 March 2014

Queen Nefertiti – Greatest Mystery of Ancient Egypt (History Documentary)

LOVED BY A KING. HATED BY AN EMPIRE. ERASED FROM HISTORY. SHE COULD BE THE BIGGEST FIND SINCE KING TUT. Has the famed Egyptian beauty, Queen Nefertiti, been found in a secret chamber deep in the Valley of the Kings? A Discovery Channel Quest expedition, led by Dr. Joann Fletcher and a team of internationally renown scientists from the University of York Mummy research Team, hopes to find out.

If they’re right, the finding will be one of the greatest archaeological discoveries since Nefertiti’s stepson – King Tutankhamen – was discovered in 1922. “Great Royal Wife” of the “renegade” pharaoh Akhenaten, Nefertiti was a mother of six who helped lead a religious revolution that changed Egypt and the world forever. Yet after her death, her enemies destroyed all evidence of Nefertiti’s life.

Now, drawing on 13 years of research, Fletcher and her team bring Nefertiti’s turbulent reign to life as never before using cutting-edge computer animations to recreate ancient Egypt’s great temples; x-rays to reveal the telltale signs of foul play on her mummy; and forensic graphics to recreate the mummy’s face. Have they found the ancient world’s greatest beauty?

From the Egyptian Streets site:

’90 Percent Chance’ King Tutankhamun’s Tomb Holds a Hidden Chamber: Egypt’s Antiquities Minister

November 28, 2015

There is a 90 percent chance a hidden chamber lies behind King Tutankhamun’s tomb in the Valley of the Kings, Egypt’s Minister of Antiquities Mamdouh Damaty announced at a Saturday press conference in Luxor.

According to Damaty, the scans, conducted by Japanese radar specialist Hirokatsu Watanabu, covered the southern, western and northern sides of the pharaoh’s burial chamber.

“The primary results of the scan gave us very positive results, very good results,” Damaty said. “We have here something behind the west and the north walls…We believe that there could be another chamber.”

The findings, which lend credence to British archaeologist Nicholas Reeves’ theory that Queen Nefertiti’s tomb is hidden behind that of King Tutankhamun, may lead to “one of the most important finds of the century,” Damaty said.

However, these findings are only preliminary and need more work to yield accurate results, the minister stressed. Damaty said the scans will be sent to Japan for further analysis, which will take around one month to complete.

Reeves had publicized his hypothesis in July, after which the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities invited him to Egypt to present his theory to antiquities officials.

In October, the panel of experts approved using radars to search inside King Tutankhamun’s tomb for a hidden chamber.

Based on the detailed scans and photographs of Tut’s tomb in the Valley of the Kings in Luxor which were published last year by Factum Arte, a Spanish specialist in art and replication, Reeves noted that beneath the layers of paint, the texture of walls revealed cracks which may suggest the presence of two doors leading to passageways.

While the first door likely leads to a storage room which has already been discovered, the other passageway situated at the north wall of the burial chamber is speculated to lead to a bigger room which may be Nefertiti’s tomb.

The archaeologist also believes Tutankhamun’s tomb and death mask were originally made for Nefertiti, who is strongly believed to be his stepmother. According to Reeves, Tutankhamun’s sudden death likely resulted in his “hurried” burial in a mausoleum that had not been intended for him.

Not only was Nefertiti famous for her beauty, which remains evident through her world-renowned 3,300-year-old painted limestone bust housed at the Egyptian Museum in Berlin, but she was also the Great Royal Wife of the Pharaoh Akhenaten and his chief consort.

Nefertiti’s burial site has long been a mystery as archaeologists have so far failed to find the queen’s tomb.

King Tutankhamun’s tomb was found in 1922 under the supervision of another British archaeologist and Egyptologist, Howard Carter.

What the discovery of Nefertiti’s tomb would mean for the Egyptian economy.

Bridge for bats in the Netherlands

The new bat bridge, photo by Raymond Rutting

Translated from the Dutch Mammal Society:

Architecture award for Westland bat bridge

Nov 26, 2015 – In October 2015 in the municipality Westland a “bat bridge” was opened. The bridge across the Vlotwatering is part of the landscape redevelopment of the Poelzone, an elongated area located in Westland, between the towns of ‘s-Gravenzande, Naaldwijk and Monster.

LOLA Landscape made for this area a design aiming at strengthening the existing green and ecological connectivity, where natural and recreation values complement each other. This green leisure link contains many ecological aspects: a cycle route along the Vlotwatering and the Monster canal and a bridge as well. This bridge you make then of course an ‘ecological’ bridge. A good initiative by Westland and Lola Landscape! And if you’re at it, then why not a “bat bridge”, so thought NEXT Architects. The courage to do that has won NEXT Architects a nice price.

This bridge was built especially so that various local bat species could stay there, both in summer and in winter. Local bat species are common pipistrelle and Nathusius’ pipistrelle, Daubenton’s bat and pond bat, serotine and noctule bat.

Vermeer’s Little Street painting, address found?

Vermeer's Little Street

Translated from NOS TV in the Netherlands today:

The original location of The Little Street by Johannes Vermeer appears to be at the Vlamingstraat 40-42 in Delft. Until now it was not clear where the famous painting was created. Frans Grijzenhout, Professor of Art History at the University of Amsterdam, says the address has been found.

Grijzenhout consulted for his research records which had been kept exactly how much tax canal house owners had to pay for the deepening of the canals and the maintenance of the wharfs at their doors.

This registry gives the researchers an up to fifteen centimeter accurate picture of the breadth of all the houses and the gates at the time of Vermeer. Thus Grijzenhout discovered two houses at the narrow canal along the Vlamingstraat.

Vlamingstraat now

Much has changed with the buildings of Vlamingstraat 40-42 since the age of Vermeer, as this 2015 photo shows. Basically, only the gate is left. When Vermeer painted, mostly poor refugees from Flanders lived there. The name Vlamingstraat still reminds today about them.

Bats in churches in Dutch Friesland

This 2007 video shows Daubenton’s bats at the famous Kapellbrücke in Lucerne, Switzerland.

Translated from the Dutch Mammal Society:

Monday, November 9th, 2015

During large-scale church attic research in Friesland last summer many new Daubenton’s bats homes were discovered. It was also examined what could be the possible reason why this species stays in church attics.

More than 200 churches were examined for the presence of bats. The study was conducted by two students from Van Hall Larenstein College in Leeuwarden, commissioned by the Office of the Mammal Society. The churches prove to be very important places for bats. In total, 36% of these churches house bats and bats’ traces were found found in 84%.

The most commonly found species were common long-eared bat (Plecotus auritus), serotine bat (Eptesicus serotinus) and Daubenton’s bat (Myotis daubentonii). Also found was the rare Natterer’s bat (Myotis nattereri), this was only the third time that this species in the Netherlands was found in a church attic. The research has provided valuable data on the distribution of bats.

The high number of churches in which colonies of Daubenton’s bats were found was most remarkable. This is a species that is best known as a tree dweller and of which in the Netherlands hardly colonies in buildings were known. Of this species was also discovered the largest known colony of the Netherlands: as many as 242 animals were counted in a church.

United States Republican Carson believes Joseph built the pyramids to store grain

This 2011 video is called Pharaohs-The Great Pyramid of Egypt (How was it built?) – BBC 1 of 6.

While all serious Egyptologists say that the six pyramids of Giza were built about 2500 BC as graves for pharaohs, there are some crackpot theories denying that.

Some claim ancient Egyptians did not build the pyramids, but aliens who had arrived in UFOs did.

And now, a United States Republican politician has another off base pet theory. After his fellow Republican Sarah Palin claimed that dinosaurs and humans used to live at the same time, Ben Carson thinks he should not just become president of the USA, but an amateur pseudo-Egyptologist as well.

From daily The Independent in Britain, 5 November 2015:

Ben Carson says pyramids were ‘built by biblical figure Joseph to store grain’

It is not the first time the 64-year-old former surgeon has expressed the novel theory

Andrew Buncombe, New York

There are three of them on the outskirts of Cairo, with the tallest of them soaring to more to more than 140 metres.

Over the years, experts and archaeologists have debated over what may have been the use of these giant pyramids, one of which was for centuries the highest man-made structure on earth. Were they simply burial chambers for the mightiest of the pharaohs?

Ben Carson, one of the leaders of the US Republican presidential race, believes the solution lies in the Bible.

He has repeated his longstanding belief that Egyptian pyramids were built by the biblical figure, Joseph, to store grain.

Dear Dr Carson, there are some problems here. Most historians think that the biblical Joseph was a myth. A few believe the Joseph tradition was based on the Hyksos Asian invaders of Egypt. But that was around 1800-1500 BCE, so almost a thousand years after the Giza pyramids were built.

Another theory claims that the Bible was right on Joseph. In that view, Joseph was the same person as Amenhotep-Huy, vizier of Pharaoh Amenhotep III. But that was about 1360 BC, still more centuries later than the building of the pyramids.

“It’s still my belief, yes,” the retired neurosurgeon told reporters this week.

“Well, the pyramids were made in a way that they had hermetically sealed compartments. You would need that if you were trying to preserve grain for a long period of time.”

The Associated Press said that Mr Carson, 64, a member of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, first articulated his theory at a 1998 commencement speech at Andrews University.

In the commencement video, Mr Carson laid out his theory that the pyramids were constructed for grain storage.

“My own personal theory is that Joseph built the pyramids to store grain,” Mr Carson

“Now all the archaeologists think that they were made for the pharaohs’ graves. But, you know, it would have to be something awfully big if you stop and think about it. And I don’t think it’d just disappear over the course of time to store that much grain.”

Exclusive: Carson claimed West Point ‘scholarship’ but never applied. Republican hits POLITICO story, later admits to The New York Times he wasn’t offered aid: here.

Ben Carson ‘fabricated’ his admission to West Point military academy: here.

Ben Carson is not having the best week, between redrawing borders on a U.S. map and that NYT piece on his lack of foreign policy understanding.

ISIS vandalism criminal, Saudi government vandalism not criminal?

David Cameron meets with Saudi Arabia's Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal inside 10 Downing Street in London, on March 22, 2011. Photo: Akira Suemori - WPA Pool/Getty Images

From daily The Independent in Britain:

The West rightly condemns Isis vandalism of ancient sites – but not when the Saudis do it

Saudi Arabia’s grotesque destruction of Muslim history is directly linked to Isis’s own purgation of the past

Robert Fisk

Sunday 11 October 2015 17:47 BST

Explosives pulverise historic sites in the Middle East, bulldozers erase ancient tombs and shrines, historic forts are torn down and Ottoman facades destroyed. The home of the favourite wife of the most revered man in an entire religion is even turned into a block of toilets. How can the world prevent this wicked desecration and extinction of a heritage that belongs to all mankind? I am, of course, referring to those iconoclastic Wahhabi-Salafist Muslim head-choppers … the Saudis!

And the world will do absolutely nothing. It will screech and rage and curse as the iconoclastic Wahhabi-Salafist Muslim head-choppers of Isis blow to bits the Roman ruins of Palmyra, but will never dare – and has never dreamed – of uttering a pussy-cat’s protest against Saudi Arabia’s wilful destruction of the ancient graves, homes, shrines and buildings of Islam’s Prophet Mohamed and his closest relatives and companions. Naturally, we could conclude that Roman remains are more valuable than the antiquities of Islam. But this would be about as racist a reaction as suggesting that the Roman empire was more important than the Islamic empire.

No, the real reason we ignore the vandalising of so many Muslim sites is that we cannot – will not, must not – criticise the Saudis whose grotesque wealth silences all of us to such obscene lengths that our Prime Minister flies our flags at half mast when its autocratic ruler dies. No suggestion must be made – not even the softest whisper must be uttered – that might connect our Saudi friends with the apocalyptic cult called Isis, which follows with absolutist determination the Wahhabi Sunni faith adopted 270 years ago by the ancestors of the present Saudi monarchy.

In the past few days, we have rightly bewailed the pulverisation of the magnificent Arch of Triumph at Palmyra, 1,800 years old – probably erected to commemorate the Emperor Aurelius’s victory over Queen Zenobia who was later dragged, Isis-style, through the streets of Rome – and the loss of the entrance to the magnificent and roofless Roman colonnade which, we must all fear, will also be levelled by the time the Syrian army, with its Russian air cover, recaptures the city. The reduction of Palmyra to rubble is a war crime, according to the UN. But when the country with hundreds, perhaps thousands, of Isis supporters – and donors – wipes out the Islamic history of Arabia, including 90 per cent of Mecca’s millennium-old sites, we pay as much attention to this mass vandalism as we do to the damage of a nativity window in a Co Kerry church.

Take a glance at what has come to pass in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. A library has been built over the dwelling where the Prophet Mohamed was born in Mecca in AD570 – even this may now be replaced by skyscrapers – and the fine Bilal mosque, dating from this same period, has been bulldozed. Mohamed’s first wife, Khadijah, lived in a Mecca house which has been turned into toilets. The Mecca Hilton Hotel was erected over the house of Abu Bakr, Mohamed’s father-in-law, his closest companion and future Caliph. Hundreds of old Ottoman houses have been destroyed in Saudi Arabia and Ottoman architecture around the Great Mosque is being torn down for pilgrimage “expansion” projects. Five of the famous “Seven Mosques”, built by Mohamed’s daughter and four companions, were demolished 90 years ago. And, after the Lebanese (Christian) Professor Kamal Salibi published a book in 1985 suggesting that many Saudi villages bore biblical Jewish place names, the bulldozers arrived to erase them.

This grotesque destruction of Muslim history is directly linked to Isis’s own purgation of the past by the Wahhabi faith, which the Saudis adopted from the teachings of the 18th-century Mohamed ibn Abdul Wahhab – who preached that Islam should return to the purity of its earliest principles. From these ideas came the notion that almost any historical monument represents an excuse for idolatry, a precept adopted with ferocious enthusiasm by the Saudi tribes. When Abdul Aziz ibn Saud moved into Mecca in the 1920s, his first actions included the destruction of the graveyard in which Khadijah was buried, along with the tomb of one of the Prophet’s uncles. The same fate awaited the tombs of Mohamed’s daughter Fatima and his grandson Hasan ibn Ali.

Thus began the vandalism of graveyards, tombs, shrines and historic buildings across south-west Asia: from Shia shrines in Pakistan to the magnificent Buddhas of Bamiyan to the ancient libraries of Timbuktu; from the antiquities of Mecca to the churches of Mosul and the Roman ruins of Palmyra. Even beautiful – though war-damaged – Bosnian mosques hundreds of years old have been torn down in favour of the Saudi-funded concrete monstrosities that are now appearing in the Balkans. This hatred of history is part and parcel of the retrograde Wahhabi belief in which the past has only a spiritual presence, its physical remains a reminder only of imperfection.

It’s not that Saudi Arabia’s self-destruction of history is unknown – The Independent was one of the first Western newspapers to give it publicity in pre-Isis days. Nor, may the saints preserve us from such folly and the kingdom’s lawyers, must we ever suggest that the Saudi regime supports Isis. But if we are to understand just what Isis is – and what it represents and who admires it – then we must study much more carefully the frightening religious habits that connect Isis, the Taliban and al-Qaeda to the people of a country whose king calls himself the “Caretaker of the Two Noble Sanctuaries” of Mecca and Medina.

Black Daesh, white Daesh. The former slits throats, kills, stones, cuts off hands, destroys humanity’s common heritage and despises archaeology, women and non-Muslims. The latter is better dressed and neater but does the same things. The Islamic State; Saudi Arabia. In its struggle against terrorism, the West wages war on one, but shakes hands with the other: here.

Children of Briton sentenced to 350 lashes over homemade wine appeal to PM. Karl Andree, 74, who reportedly broke Saudi Arabia’s alcohol laws, will not survive flogging, say his family: here.

A new book reveals the horrifying, and fascinating, details of daily life under Isis. It details all of Isis’s cruelty, but places it in the context of a very bloody history: here.