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History of Egyptology news


Cooking, eating and drinking in antiquity




In Cairo, a hieroglyphic machine returns to service

In the typographic workshop of the French Institute of Oriental Archeology in Cairo, the well-oiled mechanics of the old Foucher machine spit out one by one lead characters stamped with hieroglyphic signs.

Unused for 30 years due to technological innovations, the device, which dates from 1902 and which melts hieroglyphics, has resumed service in the name of heritage conservation.
"We managed to restart it in September after several repairs and the acquisition of parts that were faulty", explains with pride Mathieu Gousse, head of the publishing division of the Institute.
The first character, redesigned and then reprinted in September during testing, was an Egyptian cross of life. "We were very moved," he told AFP.
For the purposes of the project, the former machine operator, Hossam Saad, 63, had to come out of retirement. He is now responsible for training young workers and is delighted to teach them "to operate machines that do not exist anywhere else".
"We are at a pivotal moment. (...) This is the moment when we will be able to transmit knowledge, know-how to a younger generation", assures Mr. Gousse.

"A particular grain"

Beside the Foucher, a Monotype machine melts Latin characters in lead, while a worker inks leaves of hieroglyphics on an antediluvian platinum press.
At a time when offset printing and digital technology reign supreme in the publishing world, the restarting, once a week, of a typographic workshop is a curiosity in the Egyptian capital.
In addition to the heritage dimension, the project will eventually make it possible to initiate "work with calligraphers or book professionals, possibly artists for small prints, using the typographic system", affirms Mr. Gousse.
"The rendering is totally different", he says, specifying that the process makes it possible to obtain "a particular grain for drawings, for example, which may interest artists or calligraphers".
In addition, many researchers are attached to the entirely black hieroglyphics printed in lead, which differ from those, hollowed out, of modern publications.
Founded in 1880, the French Institute of Oriental Archeology allows researchers to study Egyptian civilizations through archeology, history and even philology.
Its director, the Egyptologist Laurent Coulon, sees in the project of restarting the hieroglyphic machine and the typographic workshop a way of "preserving all this history of Egyptology which was created with the Institute and with the printing press.
The library and its some 92.000 volumes is a reference in the world of Egyptology. Today, the center runs 35 excavation sites in Egypt and continues to publish the work of its researchers.


Frank Monnier, engineer, illustrator, specialist in architecture in ancient Egypt, scientific advisor, and associate member at CNRS (UMR 7041-ArScAn) and at the University of Montpellier (UMR 5140 ASM) has just launched a kisskissbankbank (crossfunding) for him make it possible to reconstruct in 3D the palace of Malqatta, built by Amenhotep III (the goal of this project is to produce free 3D virtual tours available on the internet.)

To make this project feasible, any help and support will be welcome!


We must save the god Osiris


 Support 140 years of French Egyptology and 3000 years of history under the sands!

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Phone: + (33) 7 77 85 54 28


Animals and Pharaohs, the animal kingdom in ancient Egypt


sfe lionFalcon-headed crocodile figurine lying on a naos with mummy, Ancient Egypt, Paris, Musée du Louvre. <br>• Credits: © Louvre-Hervé Lewandowski Museum

With us to talk about animals in ancient Egypt, Helene Guichard, doctor is Egyptology and chief curator in the department of Egyptian Antiquities at the Louvre Museum. She curated the exhibition Animals and Pharaohs, the animal kingdom in ancient Egypt presented at the Louvre Lens museum in 2014. 

Audio conference on France-Culture


Letters from Egypt by Gaston Maspero, from the Académie des inscriptions et belles-lettres


The great Egyptologist corresponds with his wife
Louise Maspero has carefully preserved the many letters that her husband, the great Egyptologist Gaston Maspero, sent her from Egypt when family obligations kept her in France. These letters were offered to the Library of the Institut de France.


The temple of Edfu, in Upper Egypt, is one of the best preserved among the temples of the Greco-Roman period and the richness of its reliefs makes it one of the fundamental sources for the knowledge of the Egyptian religion. The complete edition was carried out by M. de Rochemonteix then É. Chassinat between 1897 and 1934, before being completed and corrected by S. Cauville and D. Devauchelle.

Committed to an Open Access policy, Ifao likes itplease inform you that all 15 volumes are online, with free access via the following link:




 Article extracted from the News Web Review of 17/07/2020 (

The Department of Isère has announced the upcoming opening of its 11th departmental museum in Vif, south of Grenoble. Housed in the former Champollion family property, this new museum will be entirely dedicated to Egyptology - a first in France - and will pay tribute to the two illustrious brothers, who helped found this field of study.


Currently under construction, the museum, created within the Les Champollion à Vif estate, should open its doors in the first quarter of 2021. It will be added to the network of museums in the Department of Isère - for the moment at number of 10 - and will therefore be free for all.

The project testifies more broadly to the commitment made by the department to continue the work of memory of the two Champollion brothers - Jean-François Champollion, the famous Egyptologist, and Jacques-Joseph Champollion-Figeac - during the acquisition of the property. family in 2001.

The establishment will revolve around three axes: the complementarity and complicity of the two brothers, their research work and finally their contribution to a new science: Egyptology.

Thus, in the mansion, a permanent exhibition on the life and work of the Champollion brothers will be presented. In the old outbuildings, temporary projects will extend the visit and offer the public a renewed offer.

Outside, the country park and the food garden will be restored in the spirit of the 19th century. Reforested, dressed in flowerbeds and an orchard with local essences, they will contribute to the atmosphere of the country house which the two brothers loved.

At the origins of Egyptology

From Isère to the banks of the Nile, the tour will follow step by step the career of the Champollion brothers. Between restored spaces and contemporary museography, the scenography will offer a full immersion in the XNUMXth century. Deposits from national museums will enrich the collections of the Isère Department.

Through the journey of the Champollion brothers, the museum will present the founding milestones of a new science, Egyptology. Egypt, which had become the mother of civilizations, then supplanted Greco-Roman antiquity, causing a movement in the arts and a reversal of perceptions.

EGYPT : source of inspiration
greatest writers

It will be possible to discover the interior decorations preserved by the descendants, but also the works, furniture, works of art and effects of the Champollion brothers. Among the personal objects of Jean-François Champollion include his Hebrew Bible, the mahogany tiered desk on which he deciphered the hieroglyphs, the Egyptian outfit worn during the expedition carried out on site or even annotated stampings of the Rosetta stone. with his hand.

2WEB champollion


A new tool of Egyptology:

An early version of the base of data which lists the objects of Coptos kept in various museums, as well as their bibliography, a project led by Vanessa Desclaux, is now available on the website of the MOM


payraudeau cover

Release of Egypt and the Nile Valley, volume 3, late eras (1069-332 BC) PUF editions, a volume dedicated to late eras, since the XXIe dynasty until the end of the XXXe dynasty. This is an opportunity for its author, Frédéric Payraudeau, lecturer at Sorbonne University (Paris), to present this innovative synthesis to us over an often overlooked period.

SFE: This book was long overdue!

Bro. Payraudeau: Indeed, this 3e volume of the Clio collection appears more than 25 years after the previous ones. Paradoxically, this is fortunate, because knowledge of these periods has evolved more profoundly in the last 30 years than in the previous century. Today, they seem to us less marked by decadence than by successive adaptations which allowed Egyptian civilization to last a millennium after the fall of the Ramses. The proliferation of studies on late eras over the past 20 years, particularly in Europe, has significantly enriched the work but has slowed down its writing, which spanned more than 8 years. The bibliography, however selective, spans 75 pages!

 SFE: What were these major advances in these periods?

Bro. Payraudeau: These questions do not arise in the same way for the Third Intermediate Period and the Late Period. For the first, the simple succession of the pharaohs is still sometimes problematic but has progressed a lot since the work of Jean Yoyotte and Kenneth Kitchen. Regarding the Late Period, historical knowledge was already solid, but the period has been re-evaluated in the cultural field in particular. The art of these eras is now fully appreciated by specialists in ancient Egypt as well as by the informed public, as recent exhibitions at the Musée Jacquemart-André and the Musée de Grenoble have shown. I am also happy to have been able to include illustrations in this volume, which was not the case for the previous works. Archaeological excavations concerning vestiges of these periods have also developed a lot since the beginning of this century (Osirian chapels of Karnak, Tanis, Bubastis, Heraklion, Heliopolis…). This made it possible to clarify many points of history.

SFE: Does this work extend the issues dealt with in the first volumes?

Bro. Payraudeau: Yes, we no longer write ancient history as we did thirty or forty years ago. Egyptology, although often accused of conservatism, has long opened up to social, economic and cultural history, even if the documentation has its limits in these fields. I therefore wanted to give, in addition to a detailed chronological overview of the XXIe at XXXe dynasties, an overview of knowledge and discussions on transversal subjects, absent from the first two volumes of the collection. We will thus find chapters on the monarchical state, administration, economy, culture and religion of late eras.

See summary of the book


News from “friendly” associations »

On January 11, 2020, from 16:00 p.m., Mr. Bernard Mathieu will give a conference at the Association dauphinoise d'Égyptologie Champollion (ADEC), "Me, Inhermosé, high priest of Onouris"
The high priest of Onouris Inhermosé, who officiated under the reign of Mérenptah, son and successor of Ramses II, is not among the greatest figures of Pharaonic Egypt. His autobiography, however, the longest known for the Ramesside era, engraved in a rock tomb of Al-Mashayikh, not far from the ancient This, really deserves a stop.
The text, certainly by Inhermosé himself, draws on a classical tradition to add original developments. Its content and its formal elaboration make it possible to get to know this character, both a great state clerk and a fine scholar, "a scribe worthy of acclaim, a notable worthy of being praised".


 Last year, the SFE invited Patrice Le Guilloux to present us an unknown actor of the archaeological site of Pierre Montet in Tanis, the architect Jean-Louis Fougerousse.
On the occasion of the 140e anniversary of the birth of Jean-Louis Fougerousse (1879-1953), painter and architect of the Mission Montet between 1931 and 1939, Patrice Le Guilloux, member of the MFFT, has just dedicated a book, in which he traces his life, insisting on the work done in Tanis in the light of many archival documents and unpublished watercolors, which he has recently found among some of his descendants or in private collections.
Cover Le Guilloux

The book can be ordered in bookstore by indicating the ISBN number 9782322122158. In the meantime, large extracts can be viewed at this address:
A new history textbook from Egypt at Armand-Colin


In the Nile Valley, a complex cultural process emerges, one of the oldest territorial states in the world, led by a sacred kingship and an administration that develops and evolves during the almost 3000 years that separate the 1st Dynasty from the Roman conquest.
Beyond the image of an immobile Pyramids Egypt led by an all-powerful despot, the most recent research, stemming from the analysis of written and iconographic documentation as well as from the latest archaeological discoveries, led on the contrary to painting. a much more nuanced picture. From the central role of the local scale to the power games between the Court's great families, from the food economy to international trade, from the exploitation of the deserts surrounding Egypt to the long-distance expeditions to Sinai, Punt, Sudan or the Near East, it is a constantly evolving kingdom that is depicted here.
Beyond the summary of the chronological framework essential to the understanding of Egyptian history, the book addresses the historical issues of each of its major periods, touching not only history but also society and culture. by also presenting current historiographical debates.
Extracts from the manual
manual extract 2WEB2
Call for papers
seminar Mariette, Two centuries later
Boulogne-sur-Mer, May 20-21, 2021
Jean-Louis Podvin (Univ. Littoral Côte d'Opale) & Didier Devauchelle (Univ. De Lille)
Auguste Mariette was born in Boulogne-sur-Mer the 11 February 1821, a little over a year before Jean-François Champollion rediscovered the operation of the hieroglyphic system. He is passionate about Egypt at the mercy of family accidents and the purchase of a coffin by the city museum, then abandons his position as a professor at the college for a junior job at the Louvre Museum in Paris. Thirty years old, he left for Egypt, charged with a mission of purchase of papyrus that he can not carry out and transforms into excavations: he exhumes the Serapeum of Memphis, placing nasology Egyptology in a dynamic excavations and discoveries that have not stopped.
His temporary return to France does not make him forget Egypt. He returns to it, obtains from the Viceroy the possibility of creating an Antiquities Service: placed at his head as an Egyptian official, he multiplies the sites of excavations and accumulates the discoveries, which he endeavors to publish. To highlight them on the spot, he becomes the director of an ambitious museum in Egypt itself, which must be moved because of the floods of the Nile. At the same time, he is in charge of representation missions, organizes Egyptian pavilions for world exhibitions, visits during the inauguration of the Suez Canal, and participates in editing the Aïda opera. He died prematurely at age 60, worn out by illness and family tragedies as well as by the travels, the innumerable tasks and the worries caused by the administrative and political annoyances. Two centuries after his birth, we wanted to devote a conference to Mariette in his hometown, where he spent the first half of his life and where he then regularly returned to relax during periodic trips to France. This conference is organized jointly by the Coastal Opal Coast University (UR HLLI, EA 4030) and the University of Lille (HALMA, UMR 8164). The main themes are: - Mariette precursor: methods of excavation, public funding method ... - Mariette discoverer: sites (Serapeum) ... - Mariette museographer and popularizer: creation of the Boulak museum, universal exhibitions of 1867, 1878, but also 1862, participation in Aida ... - Mariette protector of antiquities: creation and direction of the Service of Antiquities, establishment of legislation on antiquities ... - Mariette, curious mind: journalist, politician and "Diplomat" ... - Mariette and Boulogne: its origins, its regular returns, the visit of Saïd Pasha, the exhibitions, the relations with the museum, its memory in its city ... - The place of Mariette in egyptology ... - Mariette editor of monuments (Karnak, Dendérah, Abydos ...) - Other themes according to the proposals made to the scientific committee. The focus will be on communications centered on the role of Mariette, on original documents ... In anticipation of funding requests and to allow the review by the scientific committee, thank you for sharing your proposal for the 30 september 2019 with a title, even provisional, a summary of ten lines, your coordinates and a short CV. Contact : This e-mail address is protected against spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., This e-mail address is protected against spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Scientific Committee: Luc Delvaux (Royal Museums of Art and History, Brussels), Didier Devauchelle (University of Lille, UMR 8164 HALMA), Luc Gabolde (UMR 5140 Archeology of Mediterranean Societies, Montpellier), Hélène Guichard (Louvre Museum Department of Egyptian Antiquities), Jean-Louis Podvin (Coastal Opal Coast University, UR HLLI, EA 4030), Ghislaine Widmer (University of Lille, UMR 8164 HALMA). Place of the event: University Center of the Museum, ULCO, 34 Grande Rue, 62200 Boulogne-sur-Mer. Date of the event: 20 and 21 may 2021.