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.
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.
Thursday, January 12, 2017
New Discovery, Aswan: New discovery in Aswan Reveals Health of Gebel Al-Silsila Inhabitants in Ancient Times
New tombs discovered at Gebel Al-Silsila area in Aswan continue to change perceptions of the nature and role of this ancient Egyptian quarry. Written By/ Nevine El-Aref.
Skeletons found in the newly discovered tombs (Photo: Nevine El-Aref)
"While the tombs had been described by previous visitors to the site, no comprehensive survey, nor any proper archaeological work, had been conducted until 2015," Nilsson said, adding that during the initial survey, 43 tombs were identified, and five tombs were chosen to be cleared of sand and a damaging layer of salt, in order to study their state of conservation. Returning to the site eight months later, Nilsson continued, the work proved successful as both external and interior walls, and to some extent also the ceiling, stabilised by exposing them to the sun, drying out prior dampness.
The tombs entrances
The majority of the tombs excavated so far – with the main exception of two infant burials – had been plundered in antiquity and left neglected without further disturbance, covered by up to three metres of Nile silt, blown in sand, and fallen quarry spoil and debris.
"These readily identifiable stratifications have given 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," said Ward. He explained that the individual tombs excavated so far this season reveal multiple burials within the same chamber or crypt. A fact that suggests the tombs could belong 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," Ward pointed out. He added that three different styles of burials have 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 secreted 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 a east-west direction, and facing north.,,, READ MORE.
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