Egyptians styled their hair like Marilyn Monroe and Rihanna, archaeologists find


Source: The Telegraph

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/howaboutthat/8724542/Egyptians-styled-their-hair-like-Marilyn-Monroe-and-Rihanna-archaeologists-find.html

 

 

Ancient Egyptians used gels to style their hair, according to research on mummies indicating that some had looks similar to Marilyn Monroe and Rihanna.

Ancient Egyptians used gels to style their hair, according to research on mummies indicating that some had looks similar to Marilyn Monroe and Rihanna.

Many egyptians tried to curl their hair with tongs and even plaited it in hair extensions to lengthen their tresses Photo: REX/BNPS

7:00AM BST 27 Aug 2011

A study of male and female mummies has revealed the fashion-conscious Egyptians made use of a fat-based product to keep their hair in place.

They used the styling gel on both long and short hair, tried to curl their hair with tongs and even plaited it in hair extensions to lengthen their tresses.

It is thought they used the product in both life and death, with corpses being styled to ensure they looked good in the afterlife.

The incredible discovery was made by archaeological scientists who studied hair samples of 18 male and female mummies, aged from four to 58 years old.

The team, from the KNH Centre of Biomedical Egyptology at the University of Manchester, was led by Dr Natalie McCreesh who studied the mummies as part of her PhD.

Using light and electron microscopes, they found that nine of the mummies had coated their hair in the fatty substance, which is thought to be a beauty product.

Some of the mummies, which were artificially preserved, show the gel was used to prepare the body for the afterlife.

But others, which were preserved naturally in dry sand, prove the product must also have been used in everyday life by the vain Egyptians.

Bizarrely, even in the artificially-preserved bodies the hair did not contain resins or embalming materials, suggesting the hair was styled separately to the mummification process.

The preserved bodies are between 3,500 and 2,300 years old, with most being excavated from a Greco-Roman cemetery in Dakhleh Oasis in the Western Desert.

Further study of the material, using gas chromatography mass spectrometry found the substance contained palmitic acid and stearic acid.

Dr McCreesh, 29, who is now a visiting scientist at the university, said: “The Ancient Egyptians used this fatty product just like we use gel today.

“The similarities are amazing.

“We knew that paintings in tombs have shown people with ungent cones on top of their heads, which were thought to be made of fats and scented resin.

“So we looked at hair on a selection of mummies to see if there was any trace of it.

“We found there was a fatty substance being used to hold hair in place.

“There was a variety of hair styles and cuts – some of the mummies had really beautiful curled hair.

“Under the microscope we could see the fat was used specifically on the curls, to hold them in place – just like people would now.

“One of the mummies had quite short hair and we joked she looked like Marilyn Monroe. Some others had longer curly hair, a little bit like Rihanna.

“Some of the younger men had their hair parted and slicked down with the product.

“We found the fat on the hair of nine mummies – the rest were very degraded and it wasn’t possible to say for sure whether or not it was there.

“It’s reasonable to think that some people would have styled their hair and others wouldn’t – just like today.

“Because some of them were preserved naturally, we can see that they used it in everyday life as well as when they were being preserved in death.

“It probably wouldn’t have been the very poorest, but it certainly wasn’t restricted to just pharaohs or high nobility – ordinary people used it too.

“It’s absolutely fascinating. You can almost imagine them tending their hair and setting their curls, just like we might today.”

The hair coating was found to contain fatty acids including palmitic acid and stearic acid, but it is hoped further research can help identify the exact recipe.

The research has now been published in the Journal of Archaeological Science.

Reconstructed Ancient Egyptian Melody…


 

I learnt the incredible melody heard in this video, from an amazing CD, “Music of the Ancient Sumerians, Egyptians & Greeks” by “The Ensemble De Organographia”. This video features my arrangement for solo lyre, of the academic reconstruction of this ancient Egyptian melody, from c.1400BC!! The scale used, was taken from a three-holed Egyptian vertical flute, still in a playable condition. The images in the video feature incredible, vibrant illutrations of ancient Egyptian Theban Banquets and ancient Egyptian dancers…

The academic reconstruction of the melody heard here, was deciphered from illustrations on a tomb painting of a Banquet Scene found at Thebes – the specific hand gestures of the individuals depicted in this scene were found to be an example of an ancient system of musical notation often used in antiquity, called called “Chironomy” – this is a system of hand gestures which were used, to denote both the pitch and ornamentation of a melody.This ancient lost art is discussed at length in this fascinating article:

http://www.rakkav.com/biblemusic/pages/chironomy.htm

The Theban Banquet Scene depicting these chironomy genstures, shows a scene of four rows of seated guests preparing to attend a banquet, with the guests on the left of each row displaying these chironomy signs, depicting the melody being played by the musicians on the sitting on the right.

My Albums of Ancient Lyre Music are available, anywhere in the world, from iTunes:

http://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/michael-levy/id4324920

They are also available from Amazon MP3 Store:

http://amzn.to/eyI34H

Also, my 3 CD albums, “King David’s Lyre; Echoes of Ancient Israel”, “An Ancient Lyre” & “Lyre of the Levites” are available anywhere in the world from CD Baby:

http://www.cdbaby.com/Artist/MichaelLevy

For full details, and all the historical research behind my myriad of “Musical Adventures in Time Travel”, please visit my official website:

http://www.ancientlyre.com

Many thanks for watching!

Recreating the sound of Tutankhamun’s trumpets


Recreating the sound of Tutankhamun’s trumpets

By Christine FinnArchaeologist and presenter, Ghost Music

Bandsman James Tappern plays Tutankhamun's trumpet at a BBC recording in 1939

Tutankhamun’s trumpet was one of the rare artefacts stolen from the Cairo Museum during the recent uprising. The 3,000-year-old instrument is rarely played, but a 1939 BBC radio recording captured its haunting sound.

Among the “wonderful things” Howard Carter described as he peered by candlelight into the newly discovered tomb of Tutankhamun in 1922 were two trumpets, one silver and one bronze.

For more than 3,000 years they had lain, muted, in the Valley of the Kings, close to the mummy of the boy king. Found in different parts of Tutankhamun’s tomb, both were decorated with depictions of Egyptian gods identified with military campaigns.

Both became exhibits at the Cairo museum, but when it was broken into during the recent uprising, the bronze instrument vanished. Luckily, the silver one was away on exhibition tour.

Continue reading the main story

“Start Quote

The loss – and return – of such a celebrated artefact is convincing some of Tutankhamun’s celebrated curse ”

Egyptologists were already reeling from the loss of many of the country’s antiquities, and many found the theft of one of the oldest surviving musical instruments in the world particularly poignant.

Many such objects would have been looted and melted down in ancient times, says Oxford Egyptologist Margaret Maitland. “There was a real lack of precious metal so there was systemic retrieval,” said Ms Maitland.

The trumpet was recently found – reportedly with other Tutankhamun artefacts in a bag on the Cairo Metro.

Due to the fragile nature of the trumpets, their sound has only been recreated on a few occasions.

Early radio broadcasters saw the potential for an extraordinary recording, and in 1939 the Egyptian Antiquities Service was persuaded to take part in a BBC broadcast to the world from the Cairo Museum.

Rex Keating, a radio pioneer who helped convince the museum, was chosen to present it to an estimated 150 million listeners worldwide one Sunday afternoon.

To set the scene, he first interviewed Alfred Lucas, one of the last survivors of Carter’s team, and the man responsible for restoring Tutankhamun’s treasures.

With five minutes to go before the trumpet sounded, the watchmen’s lanterns failed, and the museum was plunged into darkness. A candlelit Cairo was put through to London.

Mr Keating then counted down to the broadcast: “One minute to go. From the corner of my eye I can see Lucas, striving to look unconcerned – but the quivering of the script in his hand betrays his agitation…”.

Tutankhamun's gilded bronze trumpet and other objects from the Cairo MuseumThe gilded bronze trumpet was recovered recently along with several other missing objects

Mr Lucas’s concern was understandable given the story Mr Keating once told about an earlier attempt to play the silver trumpet in front of King Farouk of Egypt.

His story goes that the precious instrument shattered, possibly because of a modern mouthpiece being inserted to play it. According to Mr Keating’s colourful account, Mr Lucas was left as shattered as the trumpet and needed hospital treatment. The instrument, at least, was repaired.

And then the moment came. Listeners were enthralled.

The musician chosen for this legendary broadcast was bandsman James Tappern. His son, Peter, also a trumpeter, recalled how this was the story of his childhood, and one his father loved telling:

Continue reading the main story

“Start Quote

It is very tempting to want to hear what these instruments would have sounded like, but it’s just too dangerous”

Margaret MaitlandEgyptologist

“He was actually quite proud of it,” he says.

But the only recording his parents had of the original broadcast, a fragile 78 record, was broken in a house move. It was to be decades before he finally heard the original BBC recording.

“I was astonished with the quality of it,” he said. “How the original trumpeters played them is totally beyond me… [my father] used modern mouthpieces but the actual expertise he used is quite astonishing.”

The good news of the trumpet’s return is unlikely to herald a rush of archaeologists trying out ancient instruments in museums, says Ms Maitland:

“It is very tempting to want to hear what these instruments would have sounded like, but it’s just too dangerous, especially when these are some of the only examples.”

King Tut’s curse

A whole science has sprung up around the study of ancient music, where the original instruments are too fragile to play or no longer exist.

Archaeologists and archaeomusicologists are still able to get a sense of how they might have sounded.

Richard Dumbrill, considered the world’s leading authority on the Music of the Ancient Near East, is one. He reconstructed the Silver Lyre of Ur, discovered by Leonard Woolley in modern-day Iraq around the same time that Tutankhamun’s tomb was excavated.

The BBC recording of the trumpets took place in 1939 in the Cairo MuseumThe trumpets were first played just before World War II broke out, but could they really summon war?

Mr Woolley, a brilliant archaeologist, recognised a pile of twisted metal in a tomb as the remains of a 5,000-year-old lyre. He poured wax into the space where the instrument had lain to recover the shape.

Mr Dumbrill used the cast and Mr Woolley’s notes to recreate the lyre, including the animal gut strings. The sounds it makes conjures up a world even more ancient than Tutankhamun’s.

The Lost Sound Orchestra, as its name suggests, aims to bring other ancient worlds to life. Using laptops, experts try to make digital sound from virtual instruments – such as those shown on ancient Greek vases. They started with the epigonion (an ancient stringed instrument) from the 2nd Century BC.

But this is not just an academic exercise – the project creates the possibility of an orchestra of lost sounds gathered from all over the world via digital technology.

As Tutankhamun’s trumpet echoes once more, the loss – and return – of such a celebrated artefact is convincing some of Tutankhamun’s celebrated curse. Not least the trumpet’s apparent ability to summon up war.

Bandsman Tappern had, after all, played the trumpet shortly before World War II broke out. Cairo Museum’s Tutankhamun curator claims the trumpet retains “magical powers” and was blown before the first Gulf War, and by a member of staff the week before the Egyptian uprising.

TO ACTUALLY HEAR THE TRUMPETS; GO TO THE BBC PAGE:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-13092827

Long live the God King Tut Ankh Amun, king of the south and the north.

Isis


  Isis or in original more likely Aset (Ancient Greek: Ἶσις) was a goddess in Ancient Egyptian religious beliefs, whose worship spread throughout the Greco-Roman world. She was worshiped as the ideal mother and wife as well as the matron of nature and magic. She was the friend of slaves, sinners, artisans, and the downtrodden, and she listened to the prayers of the wealthy, maidens, aristocrats, and rulers.Isis is the goddess of motherhood, magic and fertility.   The goddess Isis (the mother of Horus) was the first daughter of Geb, god of the Earth, and Nut, the goddess of the Overarching Sky, and was born on the fourth intercalary day. At some time Isis and Hathor had the same headdress. In later myths about Isis, she had a brother,Osiris, who became her husband, and she then was said to have conceived Horus. Isis was instrumental in the resurrection of Osiris when he was murdered by Set. Her magical skills restored his body to life after she gathered the body parts that had been strewn about the earth by Set. This myth became very important in later Egyptian religious beliefs. Isis is also known as protector of the dead and goddess of children from whom all beginnings arose. In later times, the Ancient Egyptiansbelieved that the Nile River flooded every year because of her tears of sorrow for her dead husband, Osiris. This occurrence of his death and rebirth was relived each year through rituals. The worship of Isis eventually spread throughout the Greco-Roman world, continuing until the suppression of paganism in the Christian era  Temples Temple of Isis (Pompeii) Most Egyptian deities first appeared as very local cults and throughout their history retained those local centres of worship, with most major cities and towns widely known as the home of these deities. Isis originally was an independent and popular deity established inpredynastic times, prior to 3100 BC, at Sebennytos in the northern delta.[2] Eventually temples to Isis began to spread outside of Egypt. In many locations, devotees of Isis considered a number of the local goddesses to be Isis, but under different names. The worship of Isis was joined to that of other Mediterranean goddesses, such as Demeter, Astarte, Aphrodite, and more. During the Hellenic era, due to her attributes as a protector and mother, as well as a lusty aspect gained when she absorbed some aspects of Hathor, she became the patron goddess of sailors, who spread her worship with the trading ships circulating the Mediterranean Sea. Likewise, the Arabian goddess Al-Ozza or Al-Uzza العُزّى (al ȝozza), whose name is close to that of Isis, is believed to be a manifestation of her. This, however, is thought to be based on the similarity in the name. Throughout the Graeco-Roman world, Isis became one of the most significant of the mystery religions, and many classical writers refer to her temples, cults, and rites. Temples to Isis were built in Iraq, Greece and Rome, with a well preserved example discovered in Pompeii. On the Greek island of Delos a Doric Temple of Isis was built on a high over-looking hill at the beginning of the Roman period to venerate the familiar trinity of Isis, the Alexandrian Serapis and Harpocrates. The creation of this temple is significant as Delos is particularly known as the birthplace of the Greek gods Artemis and Apollo who had temples of their own on the island long before the temple to Isis was built. At Philae her worship persisted until the 6th century, long after the rise of Christianity and the subsequent suppression of paganism. The cult of Isis and Osiris continued up until the 6th century AD on the island of Philae in Upper Nile. The Theodosian decree (in about 380 AD) to destroy all pagan temples was not enforced there until the time of Justinian. This toleration was due to an old treaty made between the Blemyes-Nobadae and Diocletian. Every year they visited Elaphantine and at certain intervals took the image of Isis up river to the land of the Blemyes fororacular purposes before returning it. Justinian sent Narses to destroy the sanctuaries, with the priests being arrested and the divine images taken to Constantinople.[5] Philae was the last of the ancient Egyptian temples to be closed.] Priesthood Little information on Egyptian rituals for Isis survives, however, it is clear there were both priests and priestesses officiating at her cult rituals throughout its entire history. By the Greco-Roman era, many of them were healers, and were said to have many other special powers, including dream interpretation and the ability to control the weather, which they did by braiding or not combing their hair. The latter was believed because the Egyptians considered knots to have magical powers.

 

 

Isis or in original more likely Aset (Ancient Greek: Ἶσις) was a goddess in Ancient Egyptian religious beliefs, whose worship spread throughout the Greco-Roman world. She was worshiped as the ideal mother and wife as well as the matron of nature and magic. She was the friend of slaves, sinners, artisans, and the downtrodden, and she listened to the prayers of the wealthy, maidens, aristocrats, and rulers.Isis is the goddess of motherhoodmagic and fertility.

Aset

The goddess Isis (the mother of Horus) was the first daughter of Geb, god of the Earth, and Nut, the goddess of the Overarching Sky, and was born on the fourth intercalary day. At some time Isis and Hathor had the same headdress. In later myths about Isis, she had a brother,Osiris, who became her husband, and she then was said to have conceived Horus. Isis was instrumental in the resurrection of Osiris when he was murdered by Set. Her magical skills restored his body to life after she gathered the body parts that had been strewn about the earth by Set. This myth became very important in later Egyptian religious beliefs.

Isis is also known as protector of the dead and goddess of children from whom all beginnings arose. In later times, the Ancient Egyptiansbelieved that the Nile River flooded every year because of her tears of sorrow for her dead husband, Osiris. This occurrence of his death and rebirth was relived each year through rituals. The worship of Isis eventually spread throughout the Greco-Roman world, continuing until the suppression of paganism in the Christian era

TEMPLES

Temple of Isis (Pompeii)

Most Egyptian deities first appeared as very local cults and throughout their history retained those local centres of worship, with most major cities and towns widely known as the home of these deities. Isis originally was an independent and popular deity established inpredynastic times, prior to 3100 BC, at Sebennytos in the northern delta.[2]

Eventually temples to Isis began to spread outside of Egypt. In many locations, devotees of Isis considered a number of the local goddesses to be Isis, but under different names. The worship of Isis was joined to that of other Mediterranean goddesses, such as Demeter, Astarte, Aphrodite, and more. During the Hellenic era, due to her attributes as a protector and mother, as well as a lusty aspect gained when she absorbed some aspects of Hathor, she became the patron goddess of sailors, who spread her worship with the trading ships circulating the Mediterranean Sea.

Likewise, the Arabian goddess Al-Ozza or Al-Uzza العُزّى (al ȝozza), whose name is close to that of Isis, is believed to be a manifestation of her. This, however, is thought to be based on the similarity in the name.

Throughout the Graeco-Roman world, Isis became one of the most significant of the mystery religions, and many classical writers refer to her temples, cults, and rites.

Temples to Isis were built in IraqGreece and Rome, with a well preserved example discovered in Pompeii. On the Greek island of DelosDoric Temple of Isis was built on a high over-looking hill at the beginning of the Roman period to venerate the familiar trinity of Isis, the Alexandrian Serapis and Harpocrates. The creation of this temple is significant as Delos is particularly known as the birthplace of the Greek gods Artemis and Apollo who had temples of their own on the island long before the temple to Isis was built. At Philae her worship persisted until the 6th century, long after the rise of Christianity and the subsequent suppression of paganism. The cult of Isis and Osiris continued up until the 6th century AD on the island of Philae in Upper Nile. The Theodosian decree (in about 380 AD) to destroy all pagan temples was not enforced there until the time of Justinian. This toleration was due to an old treaty made between the Blemyes-Nobadae and Diocletian. Every year they visited Elaphantine and at certain intervals took the image of Isis up river to the land of the Blemyes fororacular purposes before returning it. Justinian sent Narses to destroy the sanctuaries, with the priests being arrested and the divine images taken to Constantinople.[5] Philae was the last of the ancient Egyptian temples to be closed.]

PRIESTHOOD

Little information on Egyptian rituals for Isis survives, however, it is clear there were both priests and priestesses officiating at her cult rituals throughout its entire history. By the Greco-Roman era, many of them were healers, and were said to have many other special powers, including dream interpretation and the ability to control the weather, which they did by braiding or not combing their hair. The latter was believed because the Egyptians considered knots to have magical powers.