Saturday, August 8, 2015

Back Home, Belgium: Egypt Repatriates 35,000-Year-Old Skeleton from Belgium

Pre-historic Human Skeleton / Ahram Online
CAIRO: Egypt has repatriated a 35,000-year-old human skeleton that had been held in Belgium since 1980, MENA reported Tuesday.

Dubbed as “Nazlet Khater man,” the skeleton was originally discovered in 1980s by an archaeology mission of Leuven University in a grave on the boulder hill at Nazlet Khater, a series of eight archaeological sites with Middle and Upper Paleolithic occupations located at the edge of the desert north of Upper Egypt’s Sohag governorate.

Found in a narrow ditch at Nazlet Khater, “the 1.6 meter-long skeleton is for a young man of 17-20 years old,” Antiquities Minister Mamdouh al-Damaty said in a statement in February. It came in possession of the university as Egyptian law before 1983 allowed foreign missions to have a share in the artifacts they discovered at Egypt’s archaeological sites, he added.

“The recovery of the skeleton is a culmination of comprehensive diplomatic efforts between the ministry and the Leuven University, which held the skeleton since 1980s for academic and scientific research purposes,” said Damaty.

The skeleton will be transported to the National Museum of Egyptian Civilization (NMEC) in Cairo’s southern district of al-Fustat, Head of the Antiquities Ministry’s Restored Artifacts Department Ali Ahmed said. “A committee of specialists is currently studying the best way to display the skeleton at the NMEC,” Ahmed added.

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