Monday, February 27, 2017

THE QUEER CASE OF THE QUEEN'S KNEES:
DID THEY BELONG TO NEFERTARI?



THEY have been on display in an Italian museum for decades, but after extensive new analysis, researchers say that a pair of 3,200-year-old limbs could well belong to Queen Nefertari, one of ancient Egypt's most famed beauties (not to be confused with Pharaoh Akhenaten's wife Queen Nefertiti).

To help solve the Mystery of the Queen's Knees, experts from around the world ran a series of tests covering radiocarbon dating, paleopathology (the study of ancient diseases), genetics, chemistry, and Egyptology.



The researchers' findings "strongly speak in favour" of the remains belonging to Queen Nefertari, they report. 

That's not a complete surprise, as they were discovered in her tomb in 1904, but this is the first time we've had actual scientific evidence.

"Nefertari is one of the truly great and important queens of Egypt and plays in the league of Hatshepsut, Nefertiti and Cleopatra," Egyptologist Michael Habicht, from the University of Zurich in Switzerland, told Rossella Lorenzi at Seeker.

The Queen was the first wife of Pharaoh Ramesses II, who reigned from 1279 BCE to 1213 BCE, and her body was laid to rest in the Valley of the Queens in a tomb known as QV66, where these mummified remains were found.

"The most likely scenario is that the mummified knees truly belong to Queen Nefertari," Habicht told Seeker. "We have the fact that the remains were found in her tomb, together with objects naming her alone and no one else."

The results of the research have now been published in PLOS ONE.


The only remaining question is: Where is the Lost Tomb of Antinous?

Sunday, February 26, 2017

ANCIENT EGYPTIAN SOLDIER OF ROME
WROTE OF HOMESICKNESS FOR THE NILE


A recently deciphered letter home dating back to the time of Hadrian and Antinous reveals the homesickness of a young Egyptian soldier named Aurelius Polion who was serving, probably as a volunteer, in a Roman legion in Europe.

In the letter, written mainly in Greek, Polion tells his family that he is desperate to hear from them.

This image of a plaintive young Egyptian in Roman toga dates from the era and was found at Antinoopolis, not far from where this letter was discovered.

In the letter, Polion says that he is going to request leave to make the long journey home to see his family and the Nile which he misses so much.

Addressed to his mother (a bread seller), sister and brother, part of it reads: "I pray that you are in good health night and day, and I always make obeisance before all the gods on your behalf. I do not cease writing to you, but you do not have me in mind," it reads.

"I am worried about you because although you received letters from me often, you never wrote back to me so that I may know how you ..." (Part of the letter hasn't survived.)

Polion says he has written six letters to his family without response.

"While away in Pannonia I sent (letters) to you, but you treat me so as a stranger," he writes. "I shall obtain leave from the consular (commander), and I shall come to you so that you may know that I am your brother …"

The letter was found outside a temple in the Egyptian town of Tebtunis over 100 years ago by an archaeological expedition led by Bernard Grenfell and Arthur Hunt.

They found numerous papyri in the town and did not have time to translate all of them.

Recently Grant Adamson, a doctoral candidate at Rice University, took up the task of translating the papyrus, using infrared images of it, a technology that makes part of the text more legible.

His translation was published recently in the Bulletin of the American Society of Papyrologists.

Adamson isn't sure if the soldier's family responded to his pleas, or if Polion got leave to see them (it's unlikely), but it appears this letter did arrive home.

"I tend to think so. The letter was addressed to and mentions Egyptians, and it was found outside the temple of the Roman-period town of Tebtunis in the Fayyum not far from the Nile River," Adamson wrote in an email to Live Science.

Polion, who lived at a time when the Roman Empire controlled Egypt, was part of the legio II Adiutrix legion stationed in Pannonia Inferior (around modern-day Hungary).

Saturday, February 25, 2017

ANTINOUS SAW EPHESUS ARTEMIS TEMPLE
WHICH IS NOW A SOGGY SWAMP



ANTINOUS and Hadrian may not have seen all Seven Wonders of the Ancient World (they didn't make it to Babylon), but they definitely visited most of them — including the Temple of Artemis at Ephesus in June of 129 AD.

Sadly, the site is now a swamp due to neglect by authorities in Turkey. 

Shame-faced officials say they are working on a plan to drain the water and create a replica temple nearby for the thousands of tourists who come every year to see it ... just as Antinous and Hadrian saw it as they entered the fabled city of Ephesus during the cycle of the Summer Solstice as part of their three-year tour of the Eastern Empire.

Ephesus had 300,000 inhabitants at its peak in the time of Hadrian, and it drew thousands of devotees to the shrine of the goddess annually. 

Ephesus is still one of the most complete and most splendid ancient sites in the world. 

The Great Library of Ephesus, which Hadrian patronized and greatly expanded, has been lovingly restored.

The Temple of Ephesus was consecrated to Artemis in her Asian element as a Phrygian-Hittite goddess of the hunt, a youthful manifestation of the Great Goddess of Mount Ida and Dydimus.


The Ephesus form of Artemis looks strange to our eyes — and looked strange to Roman eyes as well.

The Roman Artemis — called Diana — is a virgin huntress. She carries a bow and wears a short, simple tunic suitable for the chase.


But Artemis of Ephesus — presumably more ancient — stands stiffly upright with her bent elbows against her body, her forearms extended and her hands open. She wears a crown, and outlining her head is a nimbus decorated with winged bulls. More bulls and other animals adorn the stiff garment that covers her lower body, almost like a mummy casing.

From her neck hangs a necklace of acorns  and a ring of zodiacal figures, and below this you see the most striking feature of Artemis of Ephesus — a mass of pendulous, gourd-shaped protrusions that hang in a cluster from her upper body. 

At first glance, they appear to be multiple breasts. But in fact these protrusions are bulls' testicles.

You can read the full description (which we have only paraphrased here) in Saylor's marvelous novel, along with vivid details of the festive procession of the goddess through the streets of Ephesus and the sacrifice of scores of bulls to the virgin goddess at the temple — a ritual which Antinous must have seen with his own eyes.

The Temple had burned down on the night that Alexander the Great was born, but after his conquest, Alexander ordered the reconstruction of the Temple, which was still standing when Hadrian and Antinous visited.

ANTONIUS SUBIA explains the parallels between Artemis and Antinous and why we celebrate this Sacred Event:

"Artemis is considered the female Antinous, as his divine twin, the only goddess to exhibit lesbian qualities. She was worshipped as Diana alongside Antinous by the funeral society of Lanuvium. Ephesus was one of the first cities to proclaim Hadrian a living God, and one of the first to adhere to his veneration as a Divus.

"The presence of Antinous and Hadrian with their very pronounced Artemisian qualities must have made a deep impression on the Ephesians, in that they were aware that the city was being visited by living gods. It is to Artemis of Ephesus that this day is Sacred, as the female twin of Antinous, the Bithynian hunter god."

Friday, February 24, 2017

STONE INSCRIPTION MAY HOLD CLUES
TO GREAT TEMPLE OF ANTINOOPOLIS



IN a continuing series of headline-making discoveries in recent days, a team of archaeologists working at the site of the city of ANTINOOPOLIS in Egypt unearthed a cornice stone with an inscription.

This stone ... which has lain undisturbed for centuries ... may hold vital clues to the location of the Great Temple of Antinoopolis in the center of the city founded by Hadrian on the spot where Antinous died in the Nile.

It crowned the top of a large building which had a grand staircase. Archaeologists say it was one of the first stones to be prised off the facade when barbarians destroyed the edifice ... in order to build churches ... or to burn the marble to extract lime.

"As we are cutting back the layer just above the foundation of the building with the staircase," says James B. Heidel, president of the Antinoupolis Foundation, "we are finding some additional blocks outside the foundation that were likely dumped into their current position as the building was being dismantled block by block for the lime kilns or to be cut into smaller blocks for other buildings such as churches."

He adds: "The block in the photo was tipped off the very top of the building at the beginning of the dismantling and lay forgotten in the rubble below until now.  And it's inscribed!"

Countless thousands of ancient temples and palaces were used as "stone quarries" to construct churches, mosques and other structures over the centuries.

Many marble edifices and statues were burned in kilns to extract lime.

So it is a miracle that this inscribed cornice stone has survived. The incription may suggest the purpose of the building.

"This block's form also solves many questions regarding the facade of our building, and (together with several other fragments from the excavation) forms a group of diagnostic blocks just large enough to propose a likely reconstruction for our building's facade," Heidel writes in his latest newsletter.

"Reconstruction drawings for the rest of it will have to wait until the rest of it is excavated.  And the excavation will definitely continue next season if we are allowed permission to work," he adds.

"Looking at the photo, can you tell what part of the building it comes from?" he asks.

This is only the latest discovery in recent weeks ... including
an INTENTIONALLY BURIED STONE STRUCTURE in the heart of the city founded by Hadrian at the spot where Antinous died in the Nile.

While the archaeologists suggest it could be an OSIREION ... symbolic Tomb of Osiris ... raising hopes that this could be the Lost Tomb of Antinous.

The structure was detected with ground-penetrating radar.

It is located near the waterfront peristyle discovered last season.

As a final exciting detail, the stone structure and the arrangement of the surrounding walls indicate an axis which would not only correspond to the grid of the Ramses II temple, but an axis which would enter that temple in the middle of the side of the "hypostyle hall," which is the hall of columns between the back shrines of the temple and the court at the temple's entry.

The building with the grand staircase forms the center of this hypostyle hall.

"This axis is a normal place for the main side entrance into an Egyptian temple precinct," the report goes on. 

"And it appears that this structure, if built by Hadrian, was intended by his designers to be an extension of the Ramses II temple complex."

We know that Emperor Hadrian commanded that a sacred city be founded at the location where Antinous drowned in the Nile.

We also know from an ancient papyrus that an impressive quayside port facility was constructed at or near that site.

Using ground-penetrating radar (GPR), archaeologists found a large square compound of paving stones bordered by columns ... which could mark the site where Antinous drowned.

Heidel, president of the Antinoupolis Foundation, says the discoveries in the past two years at the site have exceeded all expectations.

Finds include ornate capitals which once adorned colossal columns.

Heidel also says LOOTING has abated somewhat following a return to a semblance of stability in Egypt.

Since the revolution in Egypt, which resulted in runaway lawlessness, the site has been subject t"SYSTEMATIC LOOTING" for three years. 


The scope of looting diminished in recent months, although local villagers still search for "trinkets" to sell on the black market, he writes.

Heidel says his archaeologists working at Antinoopolis (also known as Antinoe) say local villagers continue to encroach on the dig site ... ostensibly to create new space for housing and graves.

However, it is an ages-old practice in Egypt for villagers to build houses over places where they can "accidentally" unearth ancient treasures by digging tunnels under their homes. And excavation of new graves can "accidentally" reveal more ancient treasures.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

SET YOUR PERSONAL BOUNDARIIES
DURING THE TERMINALIA FESTIVAL



THE 23rd of February is the Terminalia, the feast of the Roman God Terminus, god of boundaries who stops intruders while protecting everyone inside his boundaries. Terminus is associated with Zeus/Jupiter because he deified Jupiter by establishing his position atop Capitoline Hill. Thus, statues of Terminus/Jupiter (like this modern replica) symbolize devotion and steadfastness. Today is an appropriate day to create or renew a magical boundary around your home, to keep out psychic nasties and any negative energies. A simple way to do this is to walk the boundary of your home three times, as you do so imagine magical blue light springing up as you walk. You can also carry with you a bowl containing an offering for Terminus: grain, honey and wine are traditional, you can also include an egg as a "sacrifice." When you have walked three times around, dig a hole at the boundary and put your offering into it, then fill in the hole and put a marker stone on top. Another year you can carry a lit incense stick around the boundary and leave an offering of incense and flowers at your stone.

23 de fevereiro é o Terminalia, a festa do deus romano Terminus, deus dos limites que pára intrusos ao mesmo tempo proteger todos dentro de suas fronteiras. Terminus está associado a Zeus / Jupiter porque ele deificado Jupiter, estabelecendo sua posição no topo de Monte Capitolino. Assim, estátuas de Terminus / Jupiter (como esta réplica moderna) simbolizam devoção e firmeza. Hoje é um dia apropriado para criar ou renovar um limite mágico em torno de sua casa, para impedir a entrada de sujeiras psíquicos e quaisquer energias negativas. Uma maneira simples de fazer isso é andar a fronteira de sua casa três vezes, como você então imagine a luz azul mágico surgindo como você anda. Você também pode carregar com você uma tigela contendo uma oferta para Terminus: grãos, mel e vinho são tradicionais, você também pode incluir um ovo como um "sacrifício". Depois de ter caminhado três vezes ao redor, cavar um buraco na fronteira e colocar a sua oferta para ele, em seguida, preencher o buraco e colocar uma pedra marcador no topo. Mais um ano você pode levar uma vara de incenso aceso em torno do limite e deixar uma oferenda de incenso e flores em sua pedra.

23 de febrero es la Terminalia, la fiesta del dios Terminus romana, dios de los límites que se detiene a los intrusos al tiempo que protege todo el mundo dentro de su límites. Terminus está asociado con Zeus / Júpiter porque deificado Júpiter mediante el establecimiento de su posición al frente Colina Capitolina. Por lo tanto, las estatuas de Terminus / Júpiter (como esta réplica moderna) simbolizan la devoción y constancia. Hoy es un día apropiado para crear o renovar una frontera mágica alrededor de su casa, para mantener fuera desagradables psíquicos y todas las energías negativas. Una forma sencilla de hacerlo es caminar el límite de su casa tres veces, mientras lo hace imaginar la luz azul mágica que salte al caminar. También puede llevar consigo un recipiente que contiene una oferta para Terminus: cereales, miel y vino son tradicionales, también puede incluir un huevo como un "sacrificio". Cuando haya caminado tres veces alrededor, cavar un agujero en el límite y poner su oferta en él, a continuación, rellene el agujero y poner una piedra marcador en la parte superior. Otro año se puede llevar a una varilla de incienso encendida en torno al límite y dejar una ofrenda de incienso y flores a su piedra.


Wednesday, February 22, 2017

BRAZILIAN GAY ICON ELKE MARAVILHA
IS A SAINT OF ANTINOUS


WE honour the Russian-born Brazilian drag artiste extraordinaire  ELKE MARAVILHA as a saint of Antinous.

She was born 22 February 1945 and died 16 August 2016 at age 71.

Our 2014 Antinoeiad chamption PIETRO ADJANO of Brazil nominated Elke to become a SAINT OF ANTINOUS.

Pietro says: "She was an actress, musical artist, TV star, model, and precursor of an innovative, bold and unique style, who opened the possibilities of aesthetic and behavioral path wherever she went and appeared. 

Elke was an artistic personality whose charisma provoked strong popular impact, both the image and the message of joy, intelligence and irreverence. Because of this, she already attained legendary status Carmen Miranda and Arthur Bispo do Rosário.

Merging exoticism, mysticism, joy, madness and deep knowledge of human, her infectious joy inspired hope. Half a century ago she emerged as a firebrand of rebellion and liberation.

Elke Maravilha was a work of art in constant metamorphosis and as an artist she pursued the best of artistic paths: She gambled and bet on the possible dream.

Teacher, translator and interpreter of foreign languages, including Latin, she was the youngest French teacher of the French Alliance and the English Cultural Union Brazil - United States.

She said:

'They ask me how I created this style, this look that characterizes me. I say always sought compose this way, of course it was not as now, because today it is all inclusive, with come time finding me more inside and putting what I find out. I often say that I was always like that, only with time I'm getting worse! In fact, always been a bit different train, you know? As a teenager I decided to tear the clothes, disheveled hair, exaggerated makeup on and go out on the street... took me to spit in the face. But it was good because I understood the situation as if they were putting me to the test. Perhaps if my style was not really my inner reality, I would have gone back. But I knew he would never back down. I never wanted to harm anyone! What I want is to play, show me, communicate. "

"I want to live together! Great art is not living, is live together!'

I Pietro Adjano hereby nominate Elke Maravilha to become a saint of Antinous!"

Elke Maravilha - Элке Георгевна Груннупп (1945 - 2016).
...atriz, intérprete musical, apresentadora, modelo. Precursora de um estilo inovador, ousado e único, vem abrindo as possibilidades de caminho estético e comportamental por onde passa e aparece. Elke é uma personalidade artística cujo carisma provoca forte impacto popular, tanto na imagem como na mensagem de alegria, inteligência e irreverência. Devido a isto, já faz parte do imaginário popular brasileiro e pode perfilar com mitos contemporâneos como Carmem Miranda e Artur Bispo do Rosário.
Mesclando exotismo, misticismo, alegria, loucura e profundo conhecimento do humano, sua vibração contagiante a faz mensageira de utopias e portadora de esperanças.
Dra. Nise da Silveira, criadora do Museu de Imagens do Inconsciente, afirmava que Elke é uma Sacerdotisa Dionisíaca, e que, com tal, ilumina caminhos e aquece corações.
Já na década de 60 despontou como símbolo de transgressão e liberação. Visionária como só os que assumem seu delírio, intuiu o movimento holístico e vem exercendo-o tanto em suas relações pessoais como em sua comunicação com o mundo.
Elke Maravilha é uma obra de arte em constante metamorfose e como artista vem trilhando o melhor dos caminhos da arte: Ela apostou e aposta no sonho possível.
Professora, tradutora e intérprete de línguas estrangeiras, incluindo Latim. Foi a mais jovem professora de francês da Aliança Francesa e de inglês na União Cultural Brasil – Estados Unidos;
“Perguntam-me como criei este estilo, este visual que me caracteriza. Digo que sempre busquei compor este jeito, claro que não era assim como agora, pois hoje a coisa é mais abrangente, com o tempo venho me descobrindo muito mais por dentro e colocando o que descubro para fora. Costumo dizer que sempre fui assim, só que com o tempo estou piorando! Na realidade, sempre fui um trem meio diferente, sabe? Ainda adolescente resolvi rasgar a roupa, desgrenhei o cabelo, exagerei na maquiagem e sai na rua... Levei até cuspida na cara. Mas foi bom porque entendi aquela situação como se estivessem colocando-me em teste. Talvez, se meu estilo não fosse verdadeiramente minha realidade interior, eu teria voltado atrás. Mas sabia que nunca iria recuar. Eu nunca quis agredir ninguém! O que eu quero é brincar, me mostrar, me comunicar”.
“Eu quero é conviver! A grande arte não é viver, é conviver"!

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

EPIC MOVIE TO BE FILMED IN EGYPT
WITH AN ALL EGYPTIAN CAST IN APRIL



IN attempt to avoid the typical white-washing backlash, an American film company has announced a collaboration with Egyptian actor Yousef Mansour who will be filming and co-directing 'The Chosen Guard' in Egypt this April with an all-Arab cast.

The film is set to star Yousef Mansour, who aided in writing the script, and will also be co-directing with American award-winning director and choreography, Courtney Miller, who has developed an impressive resume working with superstars Michael Jackson, Beyoncé, and Britney Spears.

According to the production company's press release, the film will be filled with insane car chases, large dance numbers, a big fat Ancient Egypt wedding and plenty of action.

As for the film's synopsis, producers explain that "The Chosen Guard" will be a modern-day story about Sabaa.

He is a man who is chosen by the ancient Pharaohs to defend the Golden Temple, the last unopened relic in Egyptian antiquity.  

The project is incredibly pivotal to Egypt and its success could not only attract future tourists captivated by Ancient Egypt but also create new jobs and prove that filming in Egypt is an attractive authentic alternative to shooting in Morocco or in Hollywood against a green-screen backdrop.

In the golden age of Hollywood peplum epics, directors such as Cecil B. DeMille and Howard Hawks filmed on location in Egypt.

Movies like "The Ten Commandments" and "Land of the Pharaohs" (photos here) employed thousands of Egyptians as extras for crowd scenes.

But the advent of CGI imaging enabled directors to create the Nile valley and its inhabitants on computers and insert them into films.

If you live in Egypt and are looking for more information or updates on audition call contact Producer Tracy Sabeti by emailing her attracysabeti@gmail.com