Tuesday, October 23, 2018
New Discovery, Luxor: 3,000-Year Old Tattooed Mummy Belonged to Top Official or Elite Woman, Studies Reveal
Four years after its discovery in Deir El-Madina on Luxor’s west bank, it has been revealed that a unique tattooed 3,000-year-old mummy belonged to an elite woman or a top official. Written By/ Nevine El-Aref.
Mostafa Waziri, secretary-general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, says the discovery is important because this is the first time an Egyptian mummy has been found to have figurative tattoos.
Waziri said that previous tattoos found on mummies were only a line or a dot, not whole scenes like the ones on this mummy and not drawn on several parts of the body.The mummy, Waziri said, has 30 tattoos depicting a wild bull, a Barbary sheep, a lotus flower, a baboon and the udjat eye. They are drawn on the mummy’s upper arm, shoulders, back, and neck.
The nature of the tattoos suggest that the mummy, discovered in 2014 by a mission from the French Institute for Oriental Studies, belonged to a member of the elite. Using state of the art techniques and x-rays, the scientific and archaeological studies carried out on the mummy showed that it belongs to a 25 to 34-year-old woman who lived between 1,300 and 1,070 BC. The studies have also revealed that the large number of tattoos on her body may have been indented to signal prestige or indicate an important religious role.
The mummy is currently stored in tomb TT 291 in Luxor so it can be maintained in an environment similar to which it had been stored for millennia. More studies and research will be carried out in an attempt to reveal the name and position of the tattooed mummy.
Wednesday, August 1, 2018
The Antiquities Ministry announced on Monday the paving, equipping, and renovation of walkways between Buildings 7 and 10 of the Karnak Temple complex, in order to accommodate the walking-impaired.
The announcement came as part of a larger plan by the ministry to rehabilitate archaeological sites and open museums to better suit visitors with special needs.
Secretary General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities Mostafa al-Waziry reported that these walkways will be built along the temple’s second axis. The project will also link the first and second axes of the southern sector with the side corridors next to the Holy Lake.
Waziry also announced that the restoration work of Akh-menu, built by King Thutmose III, is complete. The old work of the 1990s have been removed to make way for newer restoration methods. He added that the internal compartments of Khonsu Temple and the statues of King Seti II have also been renovated.
According to archeological officials, the renovation of walkways in Luxor sites is a part of a project sponsored by the Luxor Governate’s local authorities, in cooperation with the Ministry of Antiquities, to increase accessibility across the city.
Saturday, April 28, 2018
News, Luxor: Karnak Temple Will Soon Be Accessible to The Disabled - Egypt's Antiquities Minister at Luxor Ceremony
The southern axis of Karnak, which links it to the Avenue of Sphinxes, is also set to open for the first time. Written By/ Nevine El-Aref.
In recognition of both World Heritage Day and Social Solidarity Minister Ghada Wali's declaration of 2018 as the year of Egyptians with disabilities, Egypt's Antiquities Ministry on Friday announced that Karnak Temple would soon be accessible to the disabled.
Antiquities Minister Khaled El-Enany and Luxor Governor Mohamed Badr toured around Karnak Temple and its southern axis in order to examine the latest work at the site. The visit was attend by Mostafa Waziri, Secretary General of Egypt's Supreme Council of Antiquities, top ministry officials, members of Egypt's Parliament and ambassadors of foreign countries to Cairo.
El-Enany told Ahram Online that special visitors' pathways were created throughout the temple to ease the visits of those with physical disabilities. Special signs for the disabled were also installed. The additions make Karnak Temple the first archaeological site in Egypt to be more friendly to those with special needs. The project was carried out in collaboration with an NGO named Helm (Dream), which advocates on behalf of disabled Egyptians.
El-Enany also inspected ongoing work to link the temple's southern axis with the Avenue of Sphinxes. The southern axis runs north to south and extends from the courtyard of the Karnak cachette in front of the seventh pylon all the way to the 10th pylon. Waziri noted that this is the first opening of the southern axis to tourists.
Mostafa Al-Sagueer, director of the Karnak Temple and the Avenue of Sphinxes development project, said that the project is in full swing in hopes of opening soon. He added that the ministry carried out the project in collaboration with the Engineering Authority of Egypt's armed forces.
Friday, April 27, 2018
The colossus of Ramses II was unveiled at Luxor Temple as part of Ministry of Antiquities celebrations of the World Heritage Day. Written By/ Nevine El-Aref.
Ministry of Antiquities celebrations of World Heritage Day extended to Luxor as Minister of Antiquities Khaled El-Enany and Luxor Governor Mohamed Badr inaugurated a new display at Luxor Museum after the transfer of 122 artefacts from the King Tutankhamun collection at the Grand Egyptian Museum.
Elham Salah, head of the museums sector at the ministry, said that the new display includes of 186 artefacts that were recently discovered by an Egyptian archaeological mission at Draa Abul Naga necropolis on Luxor’s west bank. The objects include a collection of ushabti figurines (statuettes), painted mummy masks, anthropoid sarcophagi jewelleries, and a beautifully carved statuette of Isis Nefret, the singer of the god Amun.
El-Enany and Badr then went to Luxor Temple to unveil the colossus of King Ramses II after restoration. Mostafa Waziri, secretary general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, explained that the colossus once adorned the façade of Luxor Temple but collapsed during a destructive earthquake in antiquity.
He continued that the restoration and reconstruction of the colossus took almost six months in collaborate with the Engineering Authority of the Armed Forces and Luxor Governorate who provided the restoration material required.
Waziri added that the statue was found broken into 14 blocks of different sizes. The largest two were the head of the statue and the base, representing 40 per cent of the original colossus. The colossus is carved in black granite and weighs 65 tons at a height of 11.7 metres. It depicts Ramses II standing wearing the double crown, his left leg in front of him.
Ahmed Orabi, general director of Luxor Temple, said that the colossus was found during excavation works carried out by Mohamed Abdel Kader in 1958 to 1960, which also uncovered other colossi.
This colossi is the second to be restored by the Ministry of Antiquities. The first was completed last year. It is carved in black granite, weighs 75 tons and stands at a height of 11 metres. It depicts Ramses II wearing the double crown, his left leg in front of him. Beside him stands a 1.5 metre statue of his wife, Queen Nefertari.
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, February 12, 2018
New, Luxor: Supreme Council of Antiquities Denies Claims of New Discovery in King Tutankhamun’s Tomb
Secretary-General of Egypt’s Supreme Council of Antiquities Mustafa Waziri denied on Wednesday media reports that a15-metre-deep hole was discovered behind the walls of Tutankhamun’s tomb during a third radar survey carried out on the western and northern walls of the king’s burial chamber. Written By/ Nevine El-Aref.
The survey started early in February and lasted for one week. Director of the Department of Foreign Missions Mohamed Ismail told Ahram Online that the head of the survey team says that at least three weeks are needed to study the results of the survey.
Ismail also denied media reports of a new archaeological discovery in the area, describing these reports as a breach of the antiquities law, which stipulates that any announcement should first be approved by the ministry’s permanent committee in order to ensure scientific credibility.
In 2015, British Egyptologist Nicholas Reeves published a theory suggesting that the northern and western walls of Tutankhamun's tomb house hidden doorways that could lead to the final resting place of Queen Nefertiti, the wife and co-regent of the monotheistic King Akhenaten and the golden king’s step mother.
Reeves’ theory was based on his examination of 3D photos of the tomb. Former Minister of Antiquities Mamdouh El-Damati was enthusiastic about the theory and asked reeves to travel to Luxor to prove his hypothesis. Two radar surveys and an infrared examination have since been conducted, but have given inconclusive results.
A Japanese radar survey suggested the existence of void spaces, while a survey by an American team asserted that there is nothing behind the walls. Meanwhile, the infrared researchers asked to re-examine the walls as the environment inside the tomb was not conducive to accurate results. The third radar survey was then conducted by an Italian team from Turin University to settle the matter.
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