Category: archaeology

Archaeological Excavations at Abusir el-Male…

Archaeological Excavations at

Abusir el-Malek, 1903

The necropolis of Abusir el-Malek, Beni Suef, Middle Egypt, was excavated by Otto Rubensohn (1867-1964) in four archaeological campaigns between 1902 and 1905.

Despite the rich finds of grave goods, including even fully upscale grave items, these have remained largely unpublished.

They include objects from the Predynastic Period to the

Graeco-Roman Period. In total, more than 345 graves with well over 700 burials were uncovered. Many of the

Abusir el-Malek

burials were priests or chanters of the god

Heryshaf, who had his major cult center in

Heracleopolis Magna, about 20 km away.

An outstanding example of a complete grave inventory is the burial of the young deceased girl Tadja, in whose grave just under 60 individual objects were found. In addition to inner and outer coffin, these include finger rings, amulets, musical instruments, headrests, faience vessels or even small female and male sculptures.

Egypt unveils ‘one of a kind’ 4,400-year-old t…

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Egypt unveiled a well-preserved 4,400-year-old tomb colorfully decorated with hieroglyphs and statues in Saqqara, south of Cairo, on Saturday

Dec. 15, 2018

The tomb belongs to “Wahtye” a high priest who served during the reign of King Neferirkare Kakai of the 5th Dynasty (between 2500-2300 BC).

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Officials expect more discoveries when archaeologists excavate the site further in coming months. Four of the tomb’s five shafts have yet to be unsealed, meaning there could be more treasures to be discovered. 

The tomb was found in a buried ridge at the ancient necropolis of Saqqara. It was untouched and unlooted, Mustafa Waziri, Secretary-General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, told reporters at the site.

He described the find as “one of a kind in the last decades”. The walls are decorated with hieroglyphs and statues of pharaohs.

One of the shafts was unsealed with nothing inside, but the other four were sealed.

They are expecting to make discoveries when they excavate those shafts starting on Sunday, he said. He was hopeful about one shaft in particular.

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Photos: (AP: Amr Nabil) 

Intact mass grave discovered in Gebel el-Silsi…

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A Swedish archaeological mission has discovered an ancient tomb dating to the 18th Dynasty in Upper Egypt’s Aswan governorate, a Ministry of Antiquities statement said on Thursday.

The mission, operating in

Gebel el-Silsila

area in Kom Ombo, Aswan, announced that the tomb was located five meters underground and consists of a burial chamber and two sided rooms without any decoration.

Secretary-General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities Mostafa Waziri said that ground water had damaged the interior of the rooms and some of the artifacts.

Despite the poor state of conservation of the tomb, the mission found three limestone sarcophagi, scarabs, amulets and remains of 50 skeletons – half belonging to children. Read more.

Middle Kingdom burial shaft uncovered in Faiyu…

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An Egyptian archaeological mission working at Kom El Khelua necropolis led by

Aiman Ashmawy
Director of the Department of Egyptian Antiquities
has uncovered a burial shaft to the east of rock tomb of Wadj, in Faiyum.

Wadj was a Middle Kingdom Nomarch (provincial governor in ancient Egypt) probably during the reign of Senusret I (1971-1926 BC).

“Kom El Khelua Necropolis is located at the south of Fayoum about 40 km from the town. It is a Middle Kingdom necropolis from the time of King Amenemhat III (1860-1814 BC) and it was reused as a Christian settlements during Byzantine time.” said Dr. Mustafa Waziri, Secretary-General of the Egyptian Supreme Council of Antiquities.

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The shaft leads to 3 burial chambers. The team found in them one torso of a sandstone statue with the right arm across his chest, including a middle part of basalt statue,

three smashed canopic jars

but inside one of them remains of the deceased

and a collection of potteries.

” Said Dr. Aiman Ashmawy. He add also that it was probably robbed and reused as a burial in later times. 

Photos courtesy of the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities.

2500 year old mummies uncovered in Dahshur

2500 year old mummies uncovered in Dahshur

An Egyptian archaeological mission working in the south-east of the pyramid of Amenemhat II in Dahshur uncovered ancient Egyptian burial. 

The burial has eight limestone sarcophagi with colorful mummy cases that were made of cartonnage and dates to the Late Period (664-332 BC). Three of them preserved in good condition.

Dr. Mustafa Waziri, secretary-general of the Egyptian Supreme Council of Antiquities and head of the mission, said that the mission began its work last August. He added that the sarcophagi are now stored in storerooms for restoration and they will be included in the museum display plans for the several museums being established by the Ministry of Antiquities in Egypt.

Egypt unveils a Ramesside tomb found in Luxo…

Egypt unveils a Ramesside tomb found in Luxor

An Egyptian archaeological mission

uncovered

in El-Assasif

Necropolis in Luxor, a Ramesside tomb of ‘Thaw-Rakht-If’, the overseer of the mummification shrine at

Precinct of Mut

and the original entrance of tomb (TT28), the burial place of the ancient Egyptian official Hori from the 13th century BC.

Egyptian Antiquities Minister Khaled el-Anani said the tomb contains two decorative sarcophagi,

two wooden statues of the deceased, five painted wooden funerary masks, a thousand Ushabti statuettes, as well as other treasures. 

The tomb’s wall is decorated with scenes depicting the deceased family, such as his wife Kharousekhmet-Nefret, who was the singer of god Amun-Re.

Ancient Egyptians mummified humans to preserve…

Ancient Egyptians mummified humans to preserve their bodies for the afterlife, while animal mummies were used as religious offerings. 

This

recent

discovery of two

mummified

large scarabs wrapped in linen and in very good condition were found inside a limestone sarcophagus with a vaulted, decorated lid.

Mummy of Djed-Djehuty-Iuef-Ankh

Mummy of Djed-Djehuty-Iuef-Ankh

Ded-Djehuty-Iuef-Ankh Mummy, or ‘Djed’ for short. His lengthy name translates to ‘The god Thoth says “May he live”’ (Thoth was credited as the inventor of hieroglyphs by the Egyptians). This spectacular nest of three coffins containing his mummy was found in 1895 buried within the grounds of the temple at Deir el-Bahari, Thebes.

When ancient Egyptians like Djed died it was believed that they would undertake a journey to the afterlife, and complex preparations and rites were thought to be needed to ensure this happened safely. Unusually, a CAT scan revealed that all of Djed’s internal organs, including his heart, were removed and replaced with a natural material like sawdust. Typically the heart would returned after being dried out so that it could be weighed against the feather of truth; if the heart was light the person could travel on to the afterlife, but if it was heavy Ammit (part lion, hippopotamus and crocodile) would eat it.

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The outermost rectangular coffin has a vaulted lid, symbolic of the sky. Painted wooden figures of falcons representing the sky-god Horus sit on the posts of the outer coffin, which represent the supports that were believed to hold up the sky above the earth. A painted statuette of a jackal representing the god Wepwawet, who guarded the dead and led them to the Afterlife, sits at the foot of the outer coffin lid. Inside the rectangular coffin are two anthropoid (mummy-shaped) coffins, each with a human head wearing a striped wig, a beaded collar and a beard. The innermost coffin holds Dejed-djehuty-iuef-ankh’s mummy, which is covered with a network of faience beads.

Human remains, linen, faience, sycamore wood, plaster and paint. 

Third Intermediate Period, 25th Dynasty, ca. 770-712 BC. Now in the Ashmolean Museum, University of Oxford.

Kitten Mummies Found in Pyramid Were Likely …

Kitten Mummies Found in Pyramid Were Likely Strangled by Priests

Archaeologists in Egypt have discovered dozens of mummified cats along with 100 wooden gilded statues of felines and a bronze statue of a cat goddess named Bastet.

Many gods like Bastet had a feline form or features, and this led worshipers to buy, essentially, a lot of dead cats. Salima Ikram a professor of Egyptology at the American University in Cairo, has demonstrated that many cat mummies died by strangulation.

These artifacts were found inside the King Userkaf pyramid complex in the Saqqara necropolis, a famous burial ground for the capital of Memphis, the country’s Ministry of Antiquities announced.

In addition to the cat mummies and statues, archaeologists found statues and painted wooden sarcophagi depicting other animals: a lion, a cow, a falcon, cobras and crocodiles. Two large mummified scarabs were wrapped in linen and placed inside a tiny sarcophagus decorated with painted black scarabs (unlike those in the 1999 movie The Mummy, real scarabs don’t eat human flesh). Archaeologists also found amulets, covered urns and chapters from the Book of the Dead.

Photos:

Khaled Desouki/AFP/Getty Images

Burial of a woman during her last months of pr…

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A joint Italian-American archaeological mission taking place at the Kom Ombo archaeological project in Aswan, has uncovered a burial of a woman during her last months of pregnancy.

Dr. Mustafa Waziri, Secretary-General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities,

explained

that the burial was found almost entirely inside a cemetery that was used by travelers who moved to Egypt through desert areas from the southern side during the Second Intermediate Period (ca. 1750-1550 BC). 

He said that the preliminary studies indicated that the woman was aged approximately 25 years old and as the fetus is located in the pelvic area, stabilized in the position of childbirth, it is believed she was in the last months of her pregnancy and due to give birth.

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The initial analysis of the woman’s womb revealed problems or imbalances in the pelvic area, which indicated that she was probably suffering from a fracture that was treated incorrectly and likely caused death. Dr. Waziri pointed out that the skeleton of the lady was found wrapped in

a leather shroud

and next to it were numerous remnants of pottery; one was an Egyptian jar that was worn out due to frequent use;

the other was a polished red and black container, which is believed to have belonged to travelers who settled within the area. The red and black color scheme dating back to the Predynastic age of Egypt, represented the two lands of the Egyptian landscape; red; the baron desert lands and black; the fertile silt lands of the Nile.

In addition, there were numerous offerings buried along side the deceased within the pit grave. Among them were beads of ostrich egg shell.

It is possible that the deceased herself was a bead-maker in life.

Her family has left a large amount of unused material beside her as offerings to honor her memory and possibly to keep her occupied in the afterlife.

Photos courtesy of the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities. 

Text translated by spiritsdancinginthenight