Thursday, February 13, 2014

NEW DISCOVERY: Ancient mastaba tomb found in Egypt

A collection of 180 ancient Egyptian ushabti figurines and a limestone sarcophagus found in a mastaba tomb in Egypt's Dakahliya.

During routine excavation work at Tel Tabla archaeological site in the Delta city of Dakahliya, an Egyptian archaeological mission discovered a mud brick mastaba tomb from the Late Ancient Egyptian period. The tomb consists of a number of burial shafts. 

Minister of State for Antiquities Mohamed Ibrahim said that inside one of the burial shafts, excavators uncovered a limestone anthropoid sarcophagus of a lady called Werty, the daughter of Rtrs. Beside the sarcophagus, added Ibrahim, a large collection of 180 ushabti figurines carved in wood and limestone  was unearthed. 

Aly El-Asfar, head of the Ancient Egypt section at the Ministry of State for Antiquities told Ahram Online that the newly discovered sarcophagus is 1.77 metres tall and 70 centimetres wide. Inside it lays Werty's mummy in a very preserved condition. 
The sarcophagus lid, explained El-Asfar, features Werty's figure in the Osirian position. Ancient Egyptian prayers are also carved on the lid.  El-Asfar pointed out that the ushabti figurines were transferred to the archaeological site's lab for restoration while excavators are busy digging for more funerary objects. 
Source: Ahram Online on February 05, 2014

Mohamed Ibrahim, added in a press release that the three skeletons can be dated to the Late Ancient Egyptian period. A collection of 14 amulets were found buried beside one of them. The most important amulet is one depicting the Triod gods of Amun, Horus and Neftis.

Beside the second skeleton, Ibrahim said, a collection of 29 amulets was found, among them a heart shaped scarab and garnet amulets. Beside the third skeleton excavators uncovered 12 amulets featuring the Udjat eye of Horus. Ali El-Asfar, told Ahram Online that the Egyptian excavation mission uncovered two anthropoid limestone coffins with a mummy inside.

Inside the first coffin the mummy is covered with gilded carttonage and decorated with hieroglyphic text and the cartouche of King Psamtiak I from the 26th Dynasty. The mummy is in a bad state of preservation due to high levels of humidity. A wooden box filled with ushabti figurines and amulets was also found along with 300 faience ushabti figurines partly damaged. Among the amulets found inside the box, El-Asfar said, is an Alba bird bronze amulet. 

Mohamed Abdel Samiaa head of the Central Administrative Section for Lower Egypt pointed out that the second coffin has a similar wooden box inside with 286 ushabti figurines and the remains of the deceased. Tel El-Tabila is a necropolis of a Late Ancient Egyptian period and houses a collection of tombs dated between the 22nd and 26th dynasties.

Source: Ahram online on February 09, 2014

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