Tuesday, September 22, 2020
Cairo, Sep 22 (IANS) Egyptian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities has announced that a pharaonic tomb has been discovered in the country's Minya province.
The tomb was unearthed by an Egyptian mission working at the Tuna al-Gabal archaeological site, Xinhua news agency quoted Mostafa Waziri, head of the ministry's Supreme Council of Antiquities, as saying on Monday.
A limestone coffin and a collection of 'ushabti' (funerary figurine used in ancient Egyptian religion) statues made of faience were found inside the tomb, Waziri said, adding that all the pieces were in good condition.
Initial inspection indicated that the tomb belongs to a person called Jahouti Umm Hoteb from the 26th Dynasty which ruled Egypt between 664-525 B.C., he added.
The official revealed that the person worked as the supervisor of the thrones, adding that he was the son of Hersa Est, whose coffin was uncovered by the same mission in 2018.
Friday, February 1, 2019
Egypt's Minister of Antiquities Khaled El-Enany, Minister of Tourism Rania Al-Mashat and 11 ambassadors to Egypt toured a number of antiquities sites in Minya on Friday. Written By/ Nevine El-Aref.
In Tel El-Amarna they visited the tombs of Panehsi and Mery Re, two of the top officials in the reign of king Akhenaten, which feature notable wall paintings.
The paintings depict scenes showing the visit of Akhenaten, his wife Queen Nefertiti and their daughters to Aten Temple, as well as scenes showing them worshipping Aten and distributing offerings to the people.
In Beni Hassan they visited tombs of top officials from the Middle Kingdom which have paintings showing hunting scenes, marriage ceremonies, hair cutting, military training.
There are 39 tombs at the site, four of which are open to the public. During the tour, El-Enany announced the opening of a fifth tomb, which features wonderful paintings.
The last stop in the tour was the under-construction Aten museum on the banks of the Nile in Minya city, where El-Enany inspected recent construction work.
Work on the museum stopped in 2010 after the completion of its first and second phase due to lack of funds, and resumed in 2016.
In November 2018, Germany’s parliament agreed to grant Egypt 10 million euros to help in the completion of the third and fourth phases.
The museum relates the story of the monotheistic Akhenaten, who was one of the most important pharaohs in ancient Egypt.
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Tuesday, August 14, 2018
The minister of antiquities visited several historic sites in Assiut on Saturday, allocating EGP 300,000 as a preliminary budget to start excavation work at Meir necropolis, and became the first minister to visit the ancient El-Muharraq monastery. Written By/ Nevine El-Aref.
During an inspection tour of several archaeological sites in the governorate, the Minister of Antiquities Khaled El-Enany gave the go-ahead to begin a comprehensive plan to restore the Meir tombs, located 12km west of El-Qussiya town, and to develop the site to be more tourist-friendly and provide more services to visitors.
The necropolis consists of a collection of 15 rock-hewn tombs, which were unearthed last century by British Egyptologist Aylward Blackman. Only nine are open to visitors.
Mostafa Waziri, secretary-general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, told Ahram Online that the tombs date back to the Old and Middle Kingdoms, from the sixth to the twelfth Dynasties, and include tombs of priest and rulers of the fourteenth Nome, or regional division, of Egypt at that time.
He explains that the tombs contain unusual painted scenes, characterised by their naturalistic qualities. Many of them shows highly detailed scenes of daily life, including industry, cultivation and sports, with a distinct local style.
Among the most distinguished is the one belongs to Ni-Ankh-Hpepy who was the chancellor of sixth dynasty King Pepi I. The tomb is painted with scenes depicting offerings of cattle, birds, and food, as well as fishing scenes. The tomb of Senbi, a nomarch (provincial governor) and overseer of priests during the reign of twelfth dynasty King Amenemhat I, has many offering, agricultural and manufacturing scenes.
El-Enany also visited El-Muharraq monastery, noted for the important role it played during the visit of the holy family to Egypt. The monastery was the final place on their journey.
Waziri told Ahram Online that to commemorate El-Enany’s visit, as he is the first minister of antiquities to visit the monastery, the monastery’s abbot, Bishop Bigol, and the monastery’s board of directors, reproduced a replica of an icon depicting the Holy Family’s journey to Egypt, and offered it to the minister.
The visit included a tour around the monastery’s old and new churches and its fortress.
The minister also met with Bishop Bigol to discuss several archaeological matters and to solve any problems. Waziri said that Bishop Bigol highlighted the successful cooperation between the ministry and the monastery.
El-Muharraq monastery was built on the Qosqam mount in the fourth century AD. The monastery has three churches, the oldest of which is the Church of the Virgin, which was built on the site of a cave where the holy family spent six months and ten days during their flight to Egypt.
Tuesday, August 7, 2018
An Egyptian-Australian mission from Maquarie University has accidently uncovered early this month the burial chambers of Rimushenty and Baqet II, who were top officials during ancient Egypt's Middle Kingdom and rulers of the country's 16th Nome. Written By/ Nevine El-Aref
The discovery was made while the team was carrying out cleaning work inside a tomb at the Beni Hassan necropolis in Minya governorate. No mummies or sarcophagi were found in the burial chambers.
Ayman Ashmawi, head of the Ancient Egyptian Antiquities Department at the Ministry of Antiquities, said that Rimushenty's burial chamber was found at the bottom of a three-metre-deep shaft.
Ashmawi told Ahram Online that no funerary collection was found inside the main burial chamber, explaining that the collection "was probably removed by British Egyptologist Percy E. Newberry, who worked in Beni Hassan necropolis between 1893 and 1900." Ashmawi said that the burial chamber has an empty rectangular space that likely once housed the now-missing sarcophagus.
A collection of clay food containers was also found in two side burial chambers located to the east and west of the main chamber.
Gamal El-Semestawi, General Director of Middle Egypt Antiquities, said that Baqet II's burial chamber has the same design as Ramushenty chamber. El-Semestawi added that the walls of the main chamber are painted with well-preserved coloured scenes dedicated to Baqet II. A collection of clay vessels was also found in the chamber.
Egyptologist Naguib Kanawati, the head of the mission, said that the team will resume its work in January to clean, restore and study the wall paintings as well as inspect the shaft and burial chambers as the first step towards scientific publication. The mission has been working in Beni Hassan necropolis since 2009.
Saturday, February 24, 2018
The new discovery has yielded a large cache of figurines and a fully preserved mummy. Written By/ Nevine El-Aref.
In the middle of the desert, six kilometres south of Tuna Al-Gabal archaeological site, Egyptian and international media gathered to witness the announcement of a new discovery.
Five showcases displaying the artefacts uncovered from burial sites in the cemetery were guarded by inspectors. Minister of Antiquities Kaled El-Enany, who was on site, announced the discovery of a 26th Dynasty cemetery that consists of a large number of burial shafts.
The discovery was made out by an Egyptian mission led by Mostafa Waziri, secretary general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA), who started excavations at end of 2017.
“Excavation work is scheduled to last for five years in an attempt to uncover all the burials of the cemetery,” El-Enany told Ahram Online. He explained that the discovery is still fresh, and many more are to come as excavation continues.
Waziri said that in the last three months the mission has discovered a group of tombs and burials that belong to priests of the ancient Egyptian god Thoth, the main deity of the 15th nome and its capital Al-Ashmounein.
One the discovered tombs belongs to a high-priest of god Thoth, “Hersa-Essei”. The tomb houses 13 burials in which was found a large number of ushabti figurines carved in faience. A collection of 1,000 figurines are in a very good state of conservation while other statuettes were found broken in pieces.
“Restorers are now busy collecting all of the parts for restoration,” Waziri pointed out. He continued that four canopic jars made of alabaster with lids bearing the faces of the four sons of the god Horus were also unearthed.
They are in a very good state of conservation and still contain the mummified inner organs of the deceased. The jars are decorated with hieroglyphic texts showing the name and titles of its respective owner.
The mummy of high-priest “Djehuty-Irdy-Es” was also found. The mummy is decorated with a bronze collar depicting the god Nut stretching her wings to protect the deceased according to ancient Egyptian belief. It is also decorated with a collection of blue and red precious beads as well as bronze gilded sheets, two eyes carved in bronze and ornamented with ivory and crystal beads.
Four amulets of semi-precious stones were also found on the mummy. It is decorated with hieroglyphic texts, one of which is engraved with a phrase saying: "Happy New Year.”
The mission has also unearthed 40 limestone sarcophagi of different shapes and sizes, some of them with anthropoid lids decorated with the names and different titles of their owners.
Another family tomb was uncovered in the cemetery, Waziri said. It houses a collection of gigantic sarcophagi of different shapes and sizes, ushabti figurines bearing the names of their owners who were priests of the gods during their time. Other funerary collections showing the skills and art tastes of the ancient Egyptians were also found.
Al-Gurifa site was subject to an attempt at illegal excavation in 2002, a matter that led the SCA at the time to start comprehensive excavation work on site in 2002 and 2004 under the supervision of archaeologist Atta Makram. In 2004, the site was declared an archaeological site under the guard of the SCA. In 2017, excavation work resumed to uncover the part of the cemetery of the New Kingdom and Late Period.
The cemeteries of the Old Kingdom, First Intermediate Period and the Middle Kingdom were on the east bank of the Nile in Al-Sheikh Saad and Eeir Al-Barsha area. The Ptolemaic period of the cemetery was on the west bank of the Nile at Tuna Al-Gabal.
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