Showing posts with label Dahshur. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Dahshur. Show all posts

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Egypt News "2" : Egypt cuts highways across pyramids plateau, alarming conservationists.

"The roads are very, very important for development, for Egyptians, for inside Egypt," says head of Egypt's Supreme Council of Antiquities. "Know that we take good care of our antiquities sites everywhere in Egypt."
Egypt is building two highways across the pyramids plateau outside Cairo, reviving and expanding a project that was suspended in the 1990s after an international outcry.
The Great Pyramids, Egypt's top tourist destination, are the sole survivor of the seven wonders of the ancient world and the plateau is a UNESCO world heritage site.
The highways are part of an infrastructure push spearheaded by Egypt's powerful military and championed by President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, who is building a new capital city to ease the population pressure on Cairo, home to 20 million people.
The northern highway will cross the desert 2.5 km (1.6 miles) south of the Great Pyramids. The southern one will pass between the Step Pyramid of Saqqara - the oldest one - and the Dahshur area, home to the Bent Pyramid and the Red Pyramid.
Each highway appears to be about eight lanes wide.
Critics say they could cause irrevocable damage to one of the world's most important heritage sites. Authorities say they will be built with care and improve transport links, connecting new urban developments and bypassing central Cairo's congestion.
"The roads are very, very important for development, for Egyptians, for inside Egypt," said Mostafa al-Waziri, secretary general of Egypt's Supreme Council of Antiquities. "Know that we take good care of our antiquities sites everywhere in Egypt."
Some Egyptologists and conservationists say the highways will disrupt the integrity of the pyramids plateau, pave over unexplored archaeological sites, generate pollution that could corrode monuments, produce litter and expose closed areas packed with hidden archaeological treasures to looting.
Al-Waziri said existing roads were much closer to the pyramids and carried a lot of tourist buses. "That is why we are doing a lot of development," he said, noting plans to use electric tourist buses within the plateau to avoid pollution.

The highways, which will dissect the plateau into three, will cross a section of ancient Memphis, one of the world's biggest and most influential cities for almost 3,000 years.
"I was flabbergasted by what I saw," said former senior UNESCO official Said Zulficar, who visited a portion of the southern highway two months ago. "All the work that I had done nearly 25 years ago is now being put into question.
"Zulficar led a successful campaign in the mid-1990s to suspend construction of the northern highway, a branch of Cairo's first ringroad. UNESCO said it had requested detailed information on the new plan several times and asked to send a monitoring mission.
The state press center referred a Reuters request for further comment on the plans to a communications advisor of the tourism and antiquities ministry, who could not be reached.
Construction began well over a year ago in desert areas largely out of public sight and became more visible around March, Egyptologists and Google Earth images indicate.
On a recent visit, Reuters journalists saw heavy machinery clearing fields and building bridges and junctions along both highways. Hundreds of uprooted date palms lay in piles.
The southern highway is a part of Cairo's second ringroad that will connect the western satellite city of Sixth of October to the new capital city east of Cairo via 16 kilometers (nine miles) of desert on the pyramids plateau, farmland and a corner of Memphis.
In 2014, the World Bank estimated congestion in the greater Cairo area cut about 3.6 percentage points off Egypt's output.
"The road cuts through archeologically unexplored cemeteries of the little-known 13th Dynasty, in walking distance of the pyramids of Pepi II and Khendjer and the Mastabat el-Fara'un", said an Egyptologist who knows the area.
The person was among six Egyptologists Reuters spoke to. Most of them declined to be named for fear of losing clearance to handle antiquities.
One said caches of statues and blocks with hieroglyphs had been unearthed since highway construction began; the antiquities authority said on its Facebook page these had been discovered on nearby private property.
Memphis, said to have been founded in about 3,000 B.C. when Egypt was united into a single country, was eclipsed but not abandoned when Alexander the Great moved the capital to Alexandria in 331 B.C.
It extended more than 6 square kilometres, the Nile valley's largest ancient settlement site.
The new road comes close to the ancient city's commercial districts, its harbour walls and the former site of an ancient Nilometer, used to measure the height of the annual flood, said David Jeffreys, a British Egyptologist who has been working on Memphis for the Egypt Exploration Society since 1981.
It also endangers a Roman wall that once bordered the Nile that Jeffreys said few people were aware of.
"Memphis has long been neglected, even by Egyptologists, as it is a complicated site to excavate," another Egyptologist said. "But it is enormously rich, bursting with temples, archives, administrative buildings and industrial areas."


Tuesday, February 6, 2018

New Discover, Dahshur: Rock-Hewn Burial Shaft Uncovered in Egypt's Abusir Necropolis

Three rock-hewn burial shafts filled with coffins and faience pots have been uncovered in Egypt's Abusir necropolis near Cairo. Written By/ Nevine El-Aref.
The discovery was made after authorities received reports of illegal excavations in the area.

Mostafa Waziri, secretary-general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, told Ahram Online that the antiquities ministry formed an archaeological committee led by Sabri Farag, the director-general of the Saqqara Necropolis, to conduct urgent excavations at the site.

Waziri explains that excavation revealed three rock-hewn burial shafts containing funerary collections, including four wooden coffins in bad conservation condition bearing hieroglyphic texts.

Farag says that one of these texts bears the cartouche of King Ptolemy IV (244 – 204 BC), but the remaining text is not clear enough to decipher. More studies are set to be carried out to determine to which reign the coffins belong.

Farag said the coffins hold four mummified bodies, presumably of birds, along with three round-shaped linen wrappings housing the mummies' stomachs.

A collection of 38 symbolic pots carved in faience was also found. All the objects are being held in storage at the site for restoration.

Monday, October 16, 2017

New Discovery, Abu Sir: Parts of A Ramses II Temple Uncovered in Giza's Abusir

Cartouche of Ramesse II. Courtesy of the Czech Institute of Egyptology
The newly uncovered temple in Abusir necropolis helps piece together the activities of Ramses II in the Memphis area. Written By/ Nevine El-Aref.

Parts of a temple to King Ramses II (1213-1279 BC), along with reliefs of solar deities, have been uncovered by an Egyptian-Czech mission during excavation work in Abusir necropolis in the the governorate ofGiza

Mohamed Megahed, deputy to the mission director, told Ahram Online that the temple is located in an area that forms a natural transition between a terrace of the Nile and the floodplain in Abusir. He added that the temple is 32 by 52 metres and behind it was a large forecourt along with two identical and considerably long storage buildings to the right and left side of the complex.

Studies carried out so far, Megahed explained, show that it can be assumed that stone columns lined the side walls of the court, which was enclosed by mud brick walls that were in at least some places painted blue. The rear end of the court, a ramp or staircase leads to an elevated stone sanctuary whose back part was divided into three parallel chambers.

“The remains of this building, which constitutes the very core of the complex, were covered with huge deposits of sand and chips of stone of which many bore fragments of polychrome reliefs,” Professor Mirsolave Barta, director of the Czech mission, told Ahram Online. He pointed out that the fragments not only show the decorative scheme of the sanctuary, but also function to help date the entire complex.

A relief on which is engraved the different titles of King Ramses II was also found, as well as another connected to the cult of solar deities such as Re, Amun and Nekhbet.

“The discovery of the Ramses II temple provides unique evidence on building and religious activities of the king in Memphis area and at the same time shows the permanent status of the cult of sun god Re who was venerated in Abusir since the 5th Dynasty and onwards to the New Kingdom,” Barta asserted.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

New Discovery, Dahshur: Burial Chamber of Recently Unearthed 13th Dynasty Pyramid in Dahshur Uncovered

Newly Discovered Box 
Photo Nevine El-Aref
The wooden box of the canopic jars and remains of an anthropoid sarcophagus were uncovered inside the newly discovered pyramid remains in Dahshur necropolis. Written By/ Nevine El-Aref.

The Egyptian archaeological mission from the Ministry of Antiquities uncovered the burial chamber of a 13th Dynasty Pyramid discovered last month at Dahshur archaeological site.

Adel Okasha, head of the mission and the general director of the Dahshur site, explained that after removing the stones that covered the burial chamber, the mission discovered a wooden box engraved with three lines of hieroglyphics.

These lines are rituals to protect the deceased and the name of its owner.

Sherif Abdel Moneim, assistant to the minister of antiquities, revealed that the box housed the four canopic jars of the deceased with their name engraved, that of the daughter of the 13th Dynasty King Emnikamaw, whose pyramid is located 600 metres away.

He said that the mission also discovered last month a relief with 10 lines of hieroglyphics bearing the cartouche of King Emenikamaw. Hence the box may belong to the King’s daughter, or one of his family. Inside the box, the mission found wrappings of the deceased's liver, intestines, stomach and lungs.

Remains of an anthropoid sarcophagus have been found but in a very bad state of conservation. Excavation works would continue to uncover more of the pyramid's secrets.

Khaled El-Enany, minister of antiquities, visited the site this morning to inspect the excavation works.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

News, Dahshur: Studies on Newly Discovered Pyramid Point to 13th Dynasty King Kamaw

Minister of Antiquities Mohamed El-Nany 
inspects site of new discovery   
Preliminary studies on hieroglyphs found in newly discovered pyramid ruins in the Dahshur necropolis have revealed a cartouche of the 13th Dynasty King Emny Kamaw, Adel Okasha, director-general of the Dahshur necropolis. Written By/ Nevine El-Aref.

Okasha said that offering texts are engraved on the ruins, as well as a female name of the king's family.  

Okasha said that excavation work is ongoing to reveal more of the pyramid's secrets.

Earlier this week, an Egyptian mission from the Ministry of Antiquities uncovered remains of the pyramid. 

Okasha says that the structure is composed of a corridor leading to the inside of the pyramid, a hall leading to a southern ramp, and a room at the western end.

An alabaster block measuring 15cm by 17cm has been found in the corridor, engraved with 10 vertical hieroglyphic lines that are still being studied. 

A granite lintel and a collection of stony blocks showing the interior design of the pyramid have also been uncovered.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

New Discovery, Dahshur: Remains of 13th Dynasty Pyramid Discovered in Dahshur Necropolis

The newly discovered corridor in Dahshour.
(Photo courtesy of the Ministry of Antiquities) 
Archaeologists have revealed a portion of the pyramid's internal structure, described as being in very good condition. Written By/ Nevine El-Aref.

The remains of a 13th Dynasty pyramid have been discovered by an Egyptian archaeological mission working in an area to the north of King Snefru's Bent Pyramid in the Dahshur Necropolis.

Mahmoud Afifi, the head of the ancient Egyptian antiquities sector at the antiquities ministry, announced the find, adding that the remains are in a very good condition and further excavation will take place to reveal more of the structure.



Adel Okasha, director general of the Dahshur Necropolis, explained that the portion of the pyramid uncovered so far shows a part of its inner structure. 

This structure is composed of a corridor leading to the inside of the pyramid and a hall that leads to a southern ramp, as well as a room at the western end, he said.

An alabaster block measuring 15 cm by 17 cm was also found in the corridor, engraved with 10 vertical hieroglyphic lines that are still being studied. 

A granite lintel and a collection of stoney blocks showing the interior design of the pyramid have also been uncovered.

Further studies will be conducted to identify the owner of the pyramid and the kingdom to which it belongs.

Friday, February 10, 2017

News, Giza: Encroachments Removed From Dahshur Necropolis Site - Ministry

Bulldozers from a neighbouring quarry had entered the Dahshur necropolis site. Written By/ Nevine El-Aref.

After two days of violations, the Dahshour necropolis, where the both pyramids of King Senefru are located, has been restored to its former state.

Alaa El-Shahat, head of the Administrative Centre for Antiquities in Cairo and Giza, told Ahram Online that in collaboration with the Tourism and Antiquities Police, Cairo Governorate, the army forces and General Security, the Ministry of Antiquities has succeeded in removing all recent encroachments made on the archaeological site and its safe zone.

Three days ago, El-Shahat said, bulldozers from a neighbouring quarry entered the Dahshur necropolis site, which is located around 40km south of Cairo.

The ministry has removed the encroachments and the police have caught the criminals who violated the archaeological sites.

The ministry, he continued, will also build a long wall to separate the archaeological site from the neighbouring quarry as well as establishing a small security unit of the Tourism and Antiquities Police in the area adjacent to the quarry in order to prohibit any future encroachment onto the site.

New discovery, Sakkara: Hawass Announces New Archaeological Discovery in Saqarra

The Egyptian Mission working in the Saqqara antiquities area next to the pyramid of King Teti, the first king of the Sixth Dynasty of the ...