Google has a nice doodle today celebrating the 138th birthday of Howard Carter, who discovered the tomb of King Tut and other goodies.
A labyrinth of sacred tunnels packed with the mummified remains of millions of dogs has been excavated under the Egyptian desert.
The catacombs are estimated to contain the remains up to eight million dogs, many of which would have been offered to the gods when they were just hours old.
Others would have been treated as living representatives of the dog or jackal-headed god Anubis and would have lived out their lives in the nearby temple before being preserved and laid to rest in the network of tunnels.
Émile Prisse d'Avesnes (d'Avennes) (1807-1879) was an important mid-19th century French Egyptologist and something of a polymath. He was a soldier, engineer, writer, illustrator and talented linguist. From 1827 to 1844 d'Avesnes resided in Egypt, teaching cartography and working as an engineer for a time, but eventually he devoted himself to documenting and studying the archaeological treasures from ancient Egypt. He became proficient in hieroglyphs, on the back of Champollion's translations of the Rosetta Stone, and learned to speak at least half a dozen languages fluently during his expeditions around Egypt and further afield in the Arab world. Ransacking of the artefacts was rife in those days of course and d'Avesnes helped excavate and transfer a large shipment of portrait reliefs from the Valley of the Kings to France, ostensibly to prevent their theft and use as local building material. The brazen act would earn d'Avesnes the Legion of Honour award when he returned to his homeland.I have vaguely related recent snapshots of the temples of Abydos and Denderra in Qena governorate, near Luxor, up on Flickr.
Zahi Hawass, the Egyptian archeologist, is a lordly, well-dressed man of sixty-two, with white hair and small dark eyes. He likes to take the passenger seat in his chauffeured S.U.V., but he doesn't turn his head when he's talking to someone in the seats behind; he looks directly ahead, and shouts at the windshield. He often asks rhetorical questions along the lines of "God gave me this talent for public speaking—what can I do?" Visitors to his office, in Cairo, may hear him on the telephone to an airline representative, saying "No, madam! A first-class ticket, for a first-class passenger!"Hawass is currently trying to get the Rosetta Stone to Egypt.