“From Pharaonic tombs to Mamluk mosques, and from Coptic monasteries to Roman villas,” you can now take online tours of Egypt's most important archaeological sites. The Google Arts & Culture organization has teamed up to create the digital platform Preserving Egypt’s Layered History with archaeologists at the American Research Centre in Cairo, revealing “stories of the restoration of diverse locations around Egypt”.
More than 35 online sections focused on topics such as the conservation of the monastery of St. Anthony, an ancient Coptic church located 334km southeast of Cairo. A slide show explains how “the church’s magnificent wall paintings had been damaged over time and thick layers of soot-covered most of the surfaces from the many years when candles and oil lamps were used”. Father Maximus el-Anthony, a resident monk, led the preservation efforts.
Another section hones in on the mosque of Aslam al-Silahdar, a landmark monument located in Cairo’s historical centre which was built in 1344. “The conservation and documentation of the Aslam al-Silahdar mosque was implemented by the Aga Khan Trust for Culture in collaboration with the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities,” says a statement listing contributors.
The death of a high-ranking official who lived 3,000 years ago called Menna is explored in How did the ancient Egyptians get to the afterlife? A text on the process of mummification explains that “in a rather complicated ceremony called the Opening of the Mouth, a priest symbolically opened [deceased] Menna’s mouth and nose so that he could eat, drink, and breathe, just like any human being”.
Source: Gareth Harris