Tuesday, November 24, 2020
New Discovery , Sakkara "2": Secrets of mummy's portrait exposed under microscope after 1,800 years.
Thursday, November 12, 2020
Tuesday, November 10, 2020
The Egyptian archaeological mission announced that, in the past few years, a number of important archaeological discoveries in Saqqara have been made.
The excavations of the Egyptian archaeological mission, which is working in the Saqqara necropolis, discovered new shafts filled with a huge number of intact, painted and anthropoid coffins buried inside.
Such is the size of the new discovery, that it exceeds even the huge number of coffins that were discovered and announced in early October. The shafts, which have been closed for over 2,500 years, include a number of gilded artefacts, including wooden statues and coloured and gilded masks.
Tuesday, November 3, 2020
Sunday, November 1, 2020
The find was remarkable; mummified remains wrapped in cloth and buried in ornately decorated sarcophagi with brightly-coloured hieroglyphic inscriptions.
The discovery was the first since Covid-19 mostly shut Egypt's museums and archaeological sites and reduced tourism to a trickle.
What's interesting is that – to be frank – a mummy is much like most other mummies.
Sure, there may be more colour, but the basic concept remains the same; and yet, these artefacts of ancient Egyptian history have had a spellbinding effect on the west since the first mummy – named 'Ginger' for its red hair – was exhibited at the British Museum in 1901.
The first Hollywood mummy movie, 1932's The Mummy, was a smash hit and since then, Hollywood has produced close to 100 mummy related films.
So, what explains the western world's fascination with Egyptian mummies? It's not like they are the world's only examples of well-preserved, ancient human remains.
And they aren't the oldest. One mummy, that that was DNA tested, was found to be 28,000 years old.
Called Paglicci 23 due to being found in the Paglicci Cave in Apulia, Italy, it predates the oldest Egyptian mummies by 25,000 years.
There are Chinese mummies, there are South American mummies and there are frozen or preserved-in-a-bog specimens; some of which are in excellent condition.
There's something about ancient Egypt that has lured western scientists, tourists and movie makers for generations. Hollywood is infatuated with mummies, but even Tom Cruise couldn't save the disastrous 2017 film 'The Mummy.
The intended attempt to create a new franchise – on paper – had everything going for it: a great cast, a spookier story, a sexier mummy, but it bombed, badly. Universal Pictures put up US$345 million – no doubt banking on Cruise's star power – but the movie ended up losing the studio as much as US$95 million.
You would think after that they would have learned their lesson, but no, internet rumours abound of a 2021 Mummy re-re-boot, this time starring Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson.
Every studio is denying it, but the fact there are fan-made trailers for a non-existent concept movie online attests to the staying power of Egyptian mummies.
Hollywood should have let
things be with the well-received 1999 The Mummy remake starring Brendan Fraser,
a film that mixed adventure and humour well. The movie and its cast didn't take
themselves too seriously and audiences enjoyed the ride.
But of course, Hollywood executives love to beat a dead camel and made half-a-dozen squeals and prequels and spinoffs, most of which got lost in quicksand.
And it's not just mummies that Hollywood seems infatuated with. The whole 'mystical Egypt' trope has spawned dozens of films, with The Scorpion King, Legion of the Dead, and even X-Men: Apocalypse, whose villain was some sort of ancient Egyptian king-mummy, to cite just a few.
It might be fair to credit or blame French scholar Jean-François Champollion with this enduring fascination. Champollion was the man who, in 1822, finally cracked the code to Egyptian hieroglyphics. He'd become entranced by hieroglyphics after spending time in the service of Napoleon Bonaparte as French armies rampaged through Syria and Egypt in 1798, partly in a bid to weaken Britain's control of India.
That French invasion also gave birth to another enduring western myth related to Egypt: that the nose of Great Sphinx of Giza was shot off by French troops doing target practice. Modern scholars have debunked the claim and archaeological research has concluded that it was broken with instruments sometime between the 3rd and 10th centuries CE, but by whom remains a topic for debate.
But back to the mummies.
Some praise the sophistication of ancient Egyptian mummification. Reports note the 3,000-year-old mummy of Pharaoh Seti I looked like he was sleeping after being discovered in 1881.
The Minneapolis Institute of Art, however, has a deeper answer than just how pretty the mummies look.
In one word, it's 'intrigue.' In an article for the Institute regarding Egypt, Jan-Lodewijk Grootaers, Mia's curator of African art notes, 'There's something about the mystery of it all.
Things are hidden — in pyramids, in tombs, in sarcophagi. There are false doors. Even hieroglyphs require a code to understand them.'
Mystery does indeed abound.
King Tutankhamun's mummy was buried inside three coffins nested inside each other like Russian dolls, those were then hidden inside a sarcophagus, which was in turn hidden inside a frame, all of which was entombed inside four shrines. Why he required nine coverings is fascinating and allows each observer to 'choose your own adventure,' if you will.
With so much still unknown about ancient Egypt, the mystery is sure to continue to entice travellers, scientists and of course, Hollywood.
Sunday, October 4, 2020
New Discovery, Saqqara: Egypt reveals 59 ancient coffins found near Saqqara pyramids, many of which hold mummies
Egyptian antiquities officials had announced the discovery of the first batch coffins last month, when archaeologists found 13 of the containers in a newly discovered 11 meter-deep (36 feet) well.
Monday, September 21, 2020
They were found inside a newly-discovered well at a sacred site in Saqqara, south of the capital, Cairo.
Thirteen coffins were discovered earlier this month, but a further 14 have followed, officials say.
The discovery is now said by experts to be one of the largest of its kind.
Initial studies indicate that these coffins are completely closed and haven't been opened since they were buried," Egypt's antiquities ministry said in a statement on Saturday.
The statement adds that Egypt's Antiquities Minister Khaled al-Anani initially delayed announcing the find until he could visit the site himself, where he thanked staff for working in difficult conditions down the 11m-deep (36ft) well.
Excavation work is continuing at the site as experts attempt to establish more details on the origins of the coffins.
The ministry said it hoped to reveal "more secrets" at a press conference in the coming days.
In November, a large cache of mummified animals discovered in 2018 by archaeologists near the Step pyramid of Saqqara were displayed to the public for the first time.
The discovery included mummified cats, crocodiles, cobras and birds.
Sunday, December 16, 2018
Saturday, December 15, 2018
New Discovery, Saqqara: 'Exceptionally Well-Preserved' Tomb of Fifth Dynasty Royal Priest Discovered in Egypt's Saqqara
Thursday, November 15, 2018
3,700-year-old skeletons of woman, fetus discovered in Egypt's Aswan
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 ...
The myth of red mercury, a substance supposedly found in the throats of ancient Egyptian mummies, is still widespread in Egypt, writes Zah...
A collection of 71 artifacts were transferred to the Grand Egyptian Museum in preparation for its opening in 2020. Written By/ Nevine El-A...
New Discovery, Kafr El-Sheikh: Remains of Royal Ancient Egyptian Artefacts Uncovered in Tel Al-PharaeenAt least one of the pieces uncovered in Kafr El-Sheikh dates to the reign of King Psamtik I. Written By/ Nevine El-Aref. An Egyptian e...