Monday, July 30, 2018

New Discovery, Aswan: Oldest-Ever Ancient Egyptian Workshop Discovered in Aswan


An over 4,400-year-old pottery workshop has been discovered near Kom Ombo Temple in Aswan, Upper Egypt as maintenance work was being carried out to reduce the level of underground water beneath the temple. Written By/ Nevine El-Arwef.

The workshop, the oldest ancient Egyptian workshop ever discovered, dating back to the Fourth Dynasty (2,613 - 2,494 BC), was found in the area located between the Crocodile Museum and the Nile's shore.

The structure has semi-circular holes of different sizes and contains a collection of cylindrical stone blocks used to melt and mix clay.

A pottery manufacturing wheel and its limestone turntable were also discovered.

"The discovery is an important and rare one," Mostafa Waziri, secretary-general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, told Ahram Online, adding that this is the oldest workshop ever found in the country.

Waziri explains that the discovery gives insight into the daily lives of ancient Egyptians as well as the development of pottery and industry throughout Egypt's different dynastic periods.

Waziri asserted that this is the first pottery manufacturing wheel to be found from the ancient Egyptian era, adding that several reliefs and paintings showing the development of pottery in ancient Egypt had been previously discovered.

Egyptologist Morslav Verner had discovered just the head of a pottery manufacturing wheel made of burned clay in a pottery workshop found at Queen Khentkawes II's temple in Abusir necropolis.

Sunday, July 22, 2018

News, Alexandria: Recently Discovered Alexandria Sarcophagus Opened; Does Not Belong to Alexander the Great


A black granite sarcophagus that was discovered earlier this month in Alexandria has been opened in a ceremony attended by Secretary-General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities Mostafa Waziri. Written By/ Nevine El-Aref.

Waziri confirmed to Ahram Online that the sarcophagus does not belong to Alexander the Great (356 – 323 BC) as had been speculated by some on social media.

A committee from the Ministry of Antiquities has said that the sarcophagus houses the remains of three warriors who appear to have died during battle. The opening had been delayed for three days to water leaks.

Waziri said that the date of the sarcophagus has not yet been determined, although early inspection suggests that it dates to the Ptolemaic (332–30 BC) or Roman (30 BC – 642 CE) eras.

Shaaban Abdel-Moneim, an expert on mummies, said that the skull of one of the skeletons bears the mark of an arrow wound. Waziri said that the skeletons and the sarcophagus will be transferred to the antiquities ministry storehouse in Alexandria, where they will undergo restoration and further inspection.

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

New Discovery, Alexandria: Clues Point to Occupant of Ancient 'Mystery' Sarcophagus


A sealed black stone coffin discovered in Egypt has sparked the imagination of the Internet. But who's the likely—or unlikely—owner?

The discovery of this 30-ton sealed granite sarcophagus,
believed to be some 2,000 years old
Two weeks since its discovery, the sealed black granite sarcophagus uncovered at an Egyptian construction site—a find that has captured the attention of the Internet and sparked countless mummy jokes about the curse it may unleash—has yet to be opened.

Officials at Egypt's Ministry of Antiquities are reportedly exasperated from fielding countless global press inquiries regarding when and how the stone coffin will be unsealed, and so far they’ve refused, understandably, to speculate who its long-dead occupant may be.

But to narrow down the possibilities, local archaeologists, who are not being named since they are not authorized to speak to National Geographic on behalf of the ministry, share their ideas about whom the sarcophagus likely does not belong to.

The July 1 account of the discovery in Egypt's state-run newspaper, Al Ahram, was straightforward enough: A large stone sarcophagus—still sealed—was uncovered during a construction survey in the city of Alexandria on Egypt's Mediterranean coast. A worn alabaster head of a man, possibly the coffin's occupant, was found nearby, and the burial site was believed to date from the Ptolemaic period (ca. 323-30 B.C.).

The nearly nine-foot-long, five-foot-wide sarcophagus is the largest ancient coffin yet discovered in the city, according to an official statement. This has prompted speculation that it may be the resting place of a powerful or wealthy person—perhaps even that of Alexander the Great, who founded his namesake city in 331 B.C.

While some historical accounts claim that the great Macedonian conqueror was ultimately buried in Alexandria following his death in 323 B.C., his tomb has never been found.

Two archaeologists who work in Alexandria and have knowledge of the discovery spoke independently to National Geographic. They both suspect that the sarcophagus itself may date to an earlier pharaonic dynasty in Egypt's long history, due in part to its unusually large proportions.

One of the two archaeologists believes that, since Alexandria wasn't even founded until the fourth century B.C., the massive sarcophagus may have been brought to the city empty, from an earlier, dynastic-period site down the Nile—such as Memphis—and then re-used to bury someone in later years.