Friday, October 12, 2018
Egyptian Archaeologists discovered a limestone stela in Kom Ombo temple area dated back to Early 18th Dynasty or the Liberation war period.
Dr. Mostafa Waziry (Secretary-General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities) said that the stela has a scene in the upper lunette shows two persons making an offering to Queen Tetisheri and Queen Ahmos-Nefertari. The stele shows Queen Tetisheri titles as “Mother of the King” and “Lady of the Two Lands”.
The importance of this discovery that it shows the activities of the Kings in Upper Egypt to secure their territories during their way with the Hyksos. This discovery is a part of the series of discoveries that could re-date the temple to an older date than it was previously known.
Mohamed AbdBadie said “It is known that Queen Tetisheri is the mother of King Seqenenre and the grandmonth of King Ahmose I and she is the one who inspired them the liberation spirit. Tetisheri was very well respected and dignified by the Egyptians for her great role in the Egyptian history.”
Mr. Abd El-Monem Said, Director of Aswan Antiquities said “The two Queens are of the most important female figures in the history of ruling familes in Egypt and had many stelae and chapels dedicated to them all over Egypt.”
Monday, September 17, 2018
The Egyptian archaeological mission stumbled upon a sandstone statue of a Sphinx during excavation work that was being carried out at the Kom Ombo temple in Aswan to reduce the ground water level. Written By/ Nevine El-Aref.
Mostafa Waziri, general secretary of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, told Ahram Online that the discovered statue likely dates to the Ptolemaic era as it was found in the south-eastern side of Kom Ombo temple, the same location where two sandstone reliefs of King Ptolemy V were previously uncovered 2 months ago.
Abdel Moneim Saeed, general director of the Aswan and Nubia antiquities council said that the mission will conduct more archaeological studies on the Sphinx to discover more information about its history and the king it belongs to.
The previously discovered reliefs of King Ptolemy V were engraved in sandstone and inscribed with hieroglyphic and demotic writings, and upon their discovery, were transferred to the National Museum of Egyptian Civilization in Fustat for conservation and display inside the museum.
Sunday, April 22, 2018
New Discovery, Upper Egypt: Rare Oririan Temple and Marble Head of Marcus Aurelius Unearthed in Luxor and Aswan
Egyptian archaeologists made the surprise discoveries recently at the temples of Karnak and Kom Ombo. Wriiten By/ Nevine El-Aref.
Egyptian archaeological missions in Upper Egypt have made two rare discoveries, unearthing a marble head of Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius in Aswan and an unusually positioned Osirian temple in Luxor.
The Luxor discovery was made at the southern side of Karnak Temples’ tenth pylon, with archaeologists revealing architectural elements of a Late Period shrine dedicated for god Osiris-Ptah-Neb.
The well-preserved find consists of an entrance, foundation remains, columns, inner walls and ruins of a third hall located at the eastern side. Paving stones from the shrine floor were also uncovered, along with other extension structures built during a later period.
Essam Nagy, head of the archaeological mission, described the discovery as important because the shrine is not located on the eastern or northern side of the Amun-Re temple in line with the ancient Egyptian belief. Rather, it is on the southern side, pointing to the importance of the Osirian belief at that time.
Also uncovered were a collection of clay pots, remains of statues, and a winged frame relief decorated with offering tables bearing a sheep and a goose. The relief, Nagy said, bears the name of kings Taharka and Tanut Amun, the last ruler of the 25th Dynasty.
In Aswan, meanwhile, an Egyptian mission working to reduce the subterranean water level at Kom Ombo Temple uncovered a marble head of the Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius.
Aymen Ashmawi, head of the ancient Egyptian Sector at the Ministry of Antiquities, told Ahram Online that the head depicts Emperor Aurelius with wavy hair and beard. He describes the head as "unique", saying that statues of the Roman ruler are rare. The head is now in the archaeological store, awaiting restoration and preservation work.
Monday, January 8, 2018
The two temples will close an hour later during the winter due to lower River Nile water levels, which delay the arrival of cruise boats. Written BY/ Nevine El-Aref.
The Ministry of Antiquities is to extend the official opening hours of the Edfu and Kom-Ombo temples in Aswan during the winter months, starting on Saturday.
Mostafa Waziri, Secretary-General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, told Ahram Online that the decision was taken in cooperation with the governorate of Aswan in response to the delayed arrival of cruise boats at both temples due to a drop in water levels on the River Nile. The move also reflects the ministry’s keenness to provide high-quality services to tourists, he said.
The opening hours for the Edfu temple will be extended to 5 pm every day, instead of 4 pm. The temple at Kom-Ombo, meanwhile, will remain open until 9 pm, instead of 8 pm.
Thursday, December 14, 2017
New Discovery, Aswan: New Discoveries in Gebal El-Silsila Including Child Burials, Small Artemis Statue
Four intact child burials, a cemetery and a headless statue of Greek goddess Artemis have been discovered by different missions. Written By/ Nevine El-Aref.
There have been a series of antiquities discoveries in Aswan in the last few weeks, officials have said. The Swedish-Egyptian mission working in the Gebal El-Silsila area has uncovered four intact burials of children, while the Austrian mission at Kom Ombo’s archaeological hill discovered a large segment of a First Intermediate Period cemetery, and the Egyptian-Swiss mission working in the old town of Aswan has unearthed a small incomplete statue that probably depicts Greek goddess Artemis.
Mostafa Waziri, secretary-general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, told Ahram Online that the four child burials date to the 18th dynasty (549/1550 BC to 1292 BC.). They consist of a rock-hewn grave for a child between two and three years old; the mummy still retains its linen wrapping and is surrounded with organic material from the remains of the wooden coffin.
The second burial, he went on, belongs to another child aged between six and nine years old, who was buried inside a wooden coffin, while the third burial is of a child between five and eight. Both of these graves contain funerary furniture, including amulets and a set of pottery. The fourth burial is also of a child between the age of five and eight.
“The new burial discoveries are shedding more light on the burial customs used in the Thutmosid period as well as the social, economic and religious life of people during that period,” Maria Nilsson, head of the Swedish mission said, adding that the mission has succeed during its previous excavation works to uncover many burials but the newly discovered ones have a special significance.
More excavations and studies on the site will reveal more about the death rituals conducted in this site during the period, she said. The Egyptian-Austrian archaeological mission in Kom Ombo led by Irene Foster uncovered a part of a cemetery from the First Intermediate Period, with a number of mud-brick tombs. Numerous pottery vessels and grave goods were unearthed.
Foster explains that the preliminary study revealed that it is mostly built on top of an earlier cemetery. Below the cemetery, Foster told Ahram Online, the mission has uncovered remains of an Old Kingdom town with a ceiling impression of King Sahure from the 5th Dynasty (2494 to 2345 BC). In the ancient town of Aswan, the Egyptian-Swiss mission, headed by Egyptologist Wolfgang Muller, unearthed a statue of a woman that was missing its head, feet and right hand.
Abdel Moneim Saeed, general director of Aswan and Nubia Antiquities, said that the statue is carved from limestone and measures 14cm by 9cm in width and the thickness of its bust is 3cm and the lower part is 7cm.
A preliminary study on the statue reveals that the dress she wears is similar to that of Artemis, Greek goddess of hunting, procreation, virginity and fertility, combined with the Egyptian goddesses Isis and Bastet.
Wednesday, July 26, 2017
One suspect has been arrested, while two others are still being sought by police. Written By/ Nevine El-Aref
Mahrous Saeed, Director General of Nubian Antiquities, said that the attempted theft occurred on Sunday afternoon, when the museum was closed for lunch.
Security cameras detected three people moving around inside the museum and attempting to remove a statue depicting goddess Isis breast-feeding her son Horus.
The incident was reported to the Tourism and Antiquities Police, who succeeded in securing the statue and identifying those responsible.
One of the suspects was arrested, but the other two escaped and are being sought by police.
Saeed said that two of the suspects were employees in the museum's administration department, while the identity of the third person is not known.
The Nubian Museum was inaugurated in 1997 to relate the history of Nubia, the area that stretches from Aswan in the north through to Sudan in the south.
The museum was designed as an innovative interpretation of traditional Nubian architecture, winning an Aga Khan Award for Architecture in 2001.
The museum's content is organized along chronological lines, illustrating the development of the region from pre-history up to the present through art and artifacts.
In addition, the museum boasts life-size models showing traditional Nubian customs, as well as a permanent exhibit documenting international efforts, carried out during the construction of the Aswan Dam, to rescue the ancient monuments of Nubia from the waters of Lake Nasser.
Tuesday, March 28, 2017
After seven years of closure the Aswan Museum Annex on Elephantine Island has reopened to the public. Written By/ Nevine El-Aref.
Khalil explaining the content of a pharaonic marriage contract
On a rocky hill on the south-eastern side of Elephantine Island at Aswan in Upper Egypt stands the white clapboard building of the Aswan Museum, waiting for restoration. The edifice was originally built in 1898 as the villa of the Old Aswan Dam’s British designer, Sir William Willcocks.
In 1912, the house was converted into a museum displaying antiquities that had been discovered in Aswan and Nubia. Nearby, a modern 220 square metre annex was built and inaugurated in 1998 to house artefacts unearthed on Elephantine Island.
Both buildings were closed for restoration in 2010. A month ago the annex was reopened, but the main building is still closed and will be reopened after the completion of its restoration. The restoration work is funded by the German Foreign Ministry and carried out in collaboration with restorers from the German Archaeological Institute in Cairo.
Museum director Mustafa Khalil told Al-Ahram Weekly that the restoration work included the installation of new lighting and state-of-the-art security systems connected to a closed-circuit TV that was self-operating. New showcases have been installed and the walls painted.
Decorative clay elements found in ancient Egyptian houses
Khalil said that the annex put on display a selection of 1,788 artefacts considered to be the finest and most important discoveries by the German-Swiss archaeological mission in Elephantine from 1969 until the present day.
Among the objects on display are a collection of small baboon statues unearthed from the Satet Temple and children’s toys made of fired clay and faience including dolls and chess pieces. Offerings are also on show, as well as jewellery such as necklaces, rings, amulets and scarabs. Domestic pots, pans, spoons and knives and utensils are also exhibited, shedding light on the island’s inhabitants’ daily lives, as well as the economy and trade with neighbouring countries.
Hunting, fishing and farming tools as well as weapons are also exhibited, along with tools used in the construction of houses such as stone plumb lines, wooden mallets, sanding stones and tools for polishing hard stone, smoothing wall plaster and decorating temple walls. Copper axes from the Second Intermediate Period are exhibited along with moulds used to make oil lamps.
Middle Kingdom statuettes depicting dignitaries of status are exhibited, as well as a colossus of the Pharaoh Thutmose II and coins from the Ptolemaic period. “The marriage contract papyrus from the reign of Nectanebo II is the most distinguished object on display in the annex,” Khalil told the Weekly.
statuettes showing love scenes
He said that the contract dated to the eighth year of the king’s reign and the first month of the inundation season. It mentions the names of the married couple, the gifts the bride gave to the groom, and the furniture she came with to his house. The contract also mentions the marital rules they agreed upon during their daily lives and in case of divorce.
“Although it is a small annex museum, it shows the history of Elephantine Island, which is a unique archaeological park in Aswan,” Khalil said, explaining that the island’s southern end was dominated by the remains of an ancient town.
This settlement was inhabited from late prehistory to the Middle Ages, and the modern Nubian village to the north of the ancient site continues this tradition to the present day.
Ancient Elephantine was the capital of the region situated just below the first cataract of the Nile, and it was for long the southern border town of Egypt. “From here, expeditions for war and trade were sent far into Nubia and the adjacent deserts, today parts of the northern Sudan,” Khalil said.... READ MORE.
Thursday, March 23, 2017
Dr. Mahmoud Afifi, Head of Ancient Egyptian Department announced the discovery of an intact burial in Aswan.
The Spanish Archaeological Mission in Qubbet el-Hawa, West Aswan, has discovered an intact burial chamber. The discovered burial belongs to the brother of one of the most important governors of the 12th Dynasty (middle Kingdom), Sarenput II.
Dr. Afifi said “The discovery is “important” because not only for the richness of the burial but it sheds light on those individuals who were shadowed by others in power. In fact, there is no much information about them.”
Nasr Salama, Director of Aswan Antiquities said that the present finding is unique because it has been located with all the funerary goods, which consist of pottery, two cedar coffins (outer and inner) and a set of wooden models, which represents funerary boats and scenes of the daily life.
Dr. Alejandro Jiménez-Serrano, Director of the Spanish mission of the University of Jaen, said that a mummy was also discovered but still under study. It is covered with a polychrome cartonnage with a beautiful mask and collars in good condition of preservation.
The inscriptions of the coffins bear the name of the defunct, Shemai followed respectively by his mother and father, Satethotep and Khema. The latter was governor of Elephantine under the reign of Amenemhat II.
Dr. Alejandro Jiménez-Serrano explained that Sarenput II, the eldest brother of Shemai, was one of the most powerful governors of Egypt under the reigns of Senwosret II and Senwosret III. Apart from his duties as governor of Elephantine, he was general of the Egyptian troops and was responsible of the cult of different gods.
The director of the mission added “This discovery, the University of Jaen Mission in Qubbet el-Hawa adds more data to previous discoveries of fourteen members of the ruling family of Elephantine during the 12th Dynasty. Such high number of individuals provides a unique opportunity to study the life conditions of the high class in Egypt more than 3800 years ago.
Tuesday, February 28, 2017
Ancient Egyptians were known for their scientific excellence and genius, especially in the fields of astronomy, sculpture and construction.
For instance, the three pyramids are considered among the Seven Wonders of the World. Pharaonic arts and antiquities still hide secrets that no scientists have managed to explain or understand. Every year, a Pharaonic miracle has been happening for 33 centuries. At the main entrance of the Great Temple of Ramses II at Abu Simbel in Aswan governorate, a solar alignment is witnessed on the face of the King Ramses II statue twice a year, once on his birthday, Oct. 22, and again on his coronation day, Feb. 22.
Ramses II built his temple, which took 19 years to complete, in 1275 B.C. At the same time, the king inaugurated another temple for his wife, Queen Nefertari, who was said to be the most beautiful among Pharaonic queens. He ordered her shrine to be located near his own, on a mountain overlooking the Nile.
King Ramses II, of the ninth Pharaonic family, was born in 1315 B.C. He came to power in 1290 B.C. and gained wide popularity for several reasons. For one, he acceded to the throne when he was a young, ambitious and enthusiastic man and remained king for 67 years. He also inherited a strong and rich country from his father who taught him the arts of war, rule and politics.
Civilians and soldiers supported him, and he defeated the Hittites, the largest military power at the time. He was passionate about immortalizing his memory and honoring himself. For that purpose, he built more shrines, palaces, statues and obelisks than any other ruler before him. During his reign, Egypt built a new capital called Pi-Ramesses, which became one of the most important capitals of the ancient Near East.
When the sun shines, its rays creep into his deep shrine, which is about 60 meters (197 feet) from the entrance, to illuminate it. The aim is for the sun’s rays to fall on Ramses II’s face from the east from a narrow opening.
British explorer Amelia Edwards and her team detected this phenomenon in 1848, and she recorded it in her book “A Thousand Miles Up the Nile.” She wrote, “The statues of Abu Simbel Temple gain huge influence and are surrounded by an aura of praise and respect when the sunrays shine and set on them.”
Al-Monitor attended the Aswan governorate's celebration of the phenomenon. According to Aswan Gov. Magdy Hijazi, the governorate holds several artistic and cultural events for the occasion. “This year, the celebration was more organized, given the development of the work and performance to suit its grandiosity,” Hijazi told Al-Monitor. He noted that the event was made possible in coordination with the Ministry of Tourism, Antiquities and Culture in Aswan..... READ MORE.
Thursday, February 2, 2017
New discoveries in the Gabal Al-Silsila area of Aswan have changed perceptions of this ancient Egyptian quarry. Written By/ Nevne El-Aref.
Gabal Al-Silsila in Aswan is well known as an ancient Egyptian quarry where stones were cut to build temples, shrines and tombs. However, new discoveries by a Swedish archaeological mission on its northern side have now changed previous theories of how it operated.
“Gabal Al-Silsila was actually a major hub of commerce, worship and possibly political activities,” John Ward, assistant director of the mission, said. He added that the new discoveries had also revealed the health of the area’s inhabitants.
Two weeks ago, an Egyptian-Swedish archaeological mission from Lund University in Sweden stumbled upon a group of 12 rock-hewn tombs from the reign of New Kingdom pharaohs Amenhotep II and Thutmose III, as well as three crypts cut into the rock, two niches possibly used for offerings, one tomb containing multiple animal burials, and three individual infant burials along with other associated materials.
Maria Nilsson, head of the mission, said that the majority of the tombs excavated so far, with the main exception of the two infant burials, had been plundered in antiquity and left without further disturbance covered by up to three metres of Nile silt, sand, and fallen quarry spoil and debris.
“These readily identifiable stratifications have given us a wealth of information with regards not only to the manner in which the spoil and silt have been deposited, but also provided a rudimentary chronological overview for the area,” Nilsson said. She explained that the individual tombs excavated so far had revealed multiple burials within the same chamber or crypt. This suggests the tombs could have belonged to a complete family and individuals of varying ages and sex.
“In addition, the newly discovered infant burials present another aspect to the cemetery, clearly indicating family life at Al-Silsila,” Nilsson pointed out. She added that three different styles of burials had been documented so far, including a rock-hewn crypt, a shallow grave covered with stone, and one infant wrapped in textile placed within a wooden coffin.
Two of the three children were placed within the overhangs of the natural sandstone bluffs. They were placed on their side, oriented in either a north-south direction, face towards the east, or alternatively an east-west direction, and facing north. Amulets depicting the figure of the god Bes, necklaces, ceramic vessels, worked flint and coloured pebbles were also found within the graves....... READ MORE.
Tuesday, January 24, 2017
Following the astonishing discovery of 12 New Kingdom tombs by Lund university mission directed by Dr. Maria Nilsson, H.E. Charlotta Sparre paid her second visit to the site during the 9th season of the mission's work on Saturday 21st. The first visit was in May 2015.
Moamen Saad, PHD researcher at Gebel Silsila and head of inspectors in Karnak temples complex, told Luxor Times "The work of the Swedish mission in cooperation with the ministry of antiquities is shedding the light on this important site which would result in attracting tourists."
Mr. Saad also said that H.E. expressed her content of the volume of Swedish-Egyptian cooperation in archaeology and historical studies. She also praised the work she witnessed between both sides and the support of the ministry under the patronage of Dr. Khalid El-Enany.
Mr. Nasr Salama (director of Aswan antiquities), Ahmed Said (director of Gebel Silsila), Khalid Shawky (head inspectors of Gebel Silsila) and Mohamed Ibrahim (Kom Ombo antiquities inspector) accompanied the ambassador during the visit.
Ahmed said told Luxor Times "The discoveries of the mission during the past seasons of work has contributed in reshaping the knowledge of scholars of the site of Gebel Silsila as it is not just a quarry site."
"The mission has been training the inspectors of the area which allow to exploit their abilities and give them experience to work on different sites in the grounding Aswan area." Mr. Shawky told Luxor Times.
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