Update: Butehamun’s letter is now online!

Examining Ostracon Louvre N 698 in the Louvre archives

Today permission arrived from the Louvre to use my photos of Butehamun’s letter to the coffin of his wife, Ostracon Louvre N 698, not just in academic publications, but also online in the website I’ve created about Butehamun. You can see it here.

I’m very grateful to the Louvre for granting this permission. I’ll be linking to Dr. Pierre Grandet’s book with high resolution photos of the Deir el-Medina ostrica as soon as it is published.

The only online image of the ostracon previously available was published by Liverpool University graduate student Dan Potter on his blog, taken several years ago before it was restored, which he kindly allowed me to use in the submitted edition of my thesis.

Meeting Butehamun in Turin

With Dr. Federico Poole at the Egyptian Museum in Turin, in front of the coffin of Butehamun, C 2236/1

On May 19, also thanks to the Wångstedt’s Foundation, I was able to visit the Egyptian Museum in Turin, to see Butehamun’s coffin and his other grave goods. The museum is the largest devoted solely to Egypt outside the Cairo Museum, and has an extensive collection of items from Deir el-Medina, thanks to the treasure hunting of Bernardino Drovetti in the early 19th century and the careful excavations of Ernesto Schiaparelli in the early years of the 20th century.

I was shown around the collections by Federico Poole, a curator at the museum, who was clearly an expert on Deir el-Medina.

Visiting the Louvre Archives

The Louvre’s Catherine Bridonneau taking out Ostracon Louvre 698

As part of my research into Butehamun, and to help create a website about the famous scribe of Deir el-Medina, the Wångstedts Foundation awarded me a travel grant. Trip 1 was to the Louvre Museum in Paris, whas has a wonderful Egyptian collection, including the Butehamun’s unique letter to the coffin of his dead wife.

Welcome to Egyptology!

Middle Kingdom funerary boat at the Museum Gustavianum in Uppsala

In the two years since my last post I’ve retired from Radio Sweden (after 40 years), and gone back to school to earn a B.A. in Egyptology.

Uppsala University is the only school in Sweden to offer Egyptology, so over a two year period I commuted 2-4 days a week, around two hours door to door. It turns out that it isn’t unusual for persioners to enroll at Swedish universities, probably because studies are tutition-free. In my first semester, which consisted of introductory courses in Egyptian history, religion, art, and literature, there were 15-20 students, of which around a quarter were pensioners like me.

Waterloo More Important Than Midsummer?

Midsummer in Sigtuns

Midsummer in Sigtuna

Midsummer is the most important holiday in Sweden and Denmark, after Christmas. Anyone who has experienced the darkness of the Scandinavian Winter can appreciate the desire to celebrate the light of Summer.

Yet every year, it seems, the European Union holds a summit at Midsummer. Yet there’s never such a meeting on July 14. It seems France’s Bastille Day is held in higher esteem than Scandinavia’s big day.