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Tuesday, December 23, 2014
News, Cairo: Egypt antiquity ministry slams US mission after 'million mummy' controversy
ministry claims that recent announcements about a 'million mummies' in a Fayoum
necropolis are false. Write by Nevine El-Aref
Egyptian antiquities ministry has decided to halt its cooperation with an
American mission working near Fayoum after accusing the mission of making false
statements about the discovery of a necropolis.
to a ministry statement, the decision comes after the Brigham Young University
mission gave false information to a British newspaper about its excavations in
Fag Al-Gamous village in Upper Egypt.
BYU mission announced that its excavators were working in an ancient necropolis
dating back some 2,000 years which contains an estimated one million burials.
Press reports described the burials as mummies. The mission has been working on
the site for 28 years.
of the ministry's ancient Egyptian antiquities department, Youssef Khalifa,
told Ahram Online that the statement made by the American mission is
said that only one mummy has been unearthed at the site, in 1980, and it is now
on display at the Egyptian Museum in Cairo. What the mission has discovered, he
continued, are thousands of human skeletons and remains of human bones which
are very poorly conserved.
also stated that the mission had failed to respect the ministry’s regulations
and had broken the law, which stipulates that no foreign mission is allowed to
announce a discovery without the approval of the ministry’s permanent committee.