Showing posts with label Saqqara Necropolis. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Saqqara Necropolis. Show all posts

Sunday, January 17, 2021

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 Old Kingdom, announced Saturday important archaeological discoveries dating back to the old and New Kingdoms.

The mission is headed by Dr. Zahi Hawass, who works in cooperation with the Ministry of Antiquities and Bibliotheca Alexandrina.

These discoveries will rewrite the history of this region, especially during the 18th and 19th dynasties of the New Kingdom, during which King Teti was worshiped, and the citizens at that time were buried around his pyramid.

Mostafa El-Feki, Director of the Bibliotheca Alexandria, said that the Zahi Hawass Center for Egyptology has been practicing its activities successfully since its establishment in 2018.

Today, El Feki expressed his happiness to participate in the ceremony announcing the archaeological discovery of the center, in Saqqara, which is a new breakthrough in the process of discovering Pharoahs antiquities in this region.

Hawass stressed that the mission had discovered the funerary temple of Queen Nearit, the mother of King Teti, part of which was already uncovered in the years prior.
 
The mission also found three mud-brick warehouses attached to the temple in the southeastern side – these stores were built to store temple provisions, offerings and tools that were used in the queen’s tomb.
Among the most important discoveries of the mission also at the site was the unveiling of 52 burial shafts, that reach to 10-12 meters deep, and inside these shafts hundreds of wooden coffins dating back to the New Kingdom were uncovered. This is the first time that coffins dating back 3,000 years have been found in the Saqqara region.
 
These coffins are wooden and anthropoid, and are many scenes of the gods that were worshiped during this period were represented on the surface of the coffins, in addition to various excerpts from the Book of the Dead that help the deceased to pass through the journey of the other world.

 The mission also succeeded in discovering a cache of anthropoid wooden coffins. Inside this shaft, 50 coffins were found in good condition.

The mission found inside the wells large numbers of archaeological artifacts and large numbers of statues in the form of deities such as the god Osir and Ptah Sukur Uzir, in addition to a unique discovery, where the mission found a four-meter-length papyrus and one meter in width representing Chapter 17 of the Book of the Dead, on which the name of its owner is recorded, which is (Bu-Khaa-Af).
 
The same name was found recorded on four orchid statues; a wooden coffin was also found on the human body of the same person, and many beautiful shabty statues made of wood, stone and vines were found. It dates back to the era of the New Kingdom.

The discoveries found in the shaft are considered one of the most important findings uncovered in the Saqqara region. The mission also found many wooden funerary masks as well as a shrine dedicated to god Anubis (Guardian of the Cemetery) and beautiful statues of Anubis, as well as many games that the deceased used to play in the other world, such as the game (Senet), which is similar to the modern chess, as well as the (Twenty) game with the name of the player recorded.

Many artifacts were found that represent birds such as geese, as well as a magnificent bronze ax, indicating that its owner was one of the army leaders during the New Kingdom. The upper part of the stelae represents the deceased and his wife in an adoration gesture in front of god Osiris, while the lower part represents the deceased sitting and behind him his wife seated on a chair. Below the chair of the wife there is one of their daughters sitting on her legs and smelling the lotus flower, and above her head is the ointment flask.

In front of the man and his wife we see six of their daughters and sons, who were depicted in two registers, the upper one for seated daughters smelling the lotus flowers and above their heads are the ointment flasks, and the lower one for standing sons.

The mission also found impressive quantities of pottery dating back to the New Kingdom, including pottery that gives us evidence about the commercial relations between Egypt and Crete, Syria, Palestine. This discovery confirmed the existence of many workshops that produced these coffins, which were bought by the locals, as well as mummification workshops.
 
The mission studied the mummy of a woman and determined that this woman suffered from a chronic disease known as “Mediterranean fever” or “swine fever”, a disease that comes from direct contact with animals and leads to an abscess in the liver.
 
Dr. Sahar Selim, a professor of radiology at Qasr al-Aini, conducted studies on mummies using X-ray, and determined the causes of death and the age of the deceased on death, as well as studying a mummy for a young child.
 
Hawass confirmed that this discovery is considered the most important archaeological discovery during the current year and will make Saqqara, along with other discoveries, an important tourist and cultural destination. 
 
It will also rewrite the history of Saqqara during the New Kingdom, in addition to confirming the importance of the worship of King Teti during the 19th Dynasty of the New Kingdom.3

 Source:see-news

Wednesday, November 11, 2020

New Discovery, Saqqara "1": Archaeologists finally peer inside Egyptian mummies first found in 1615.

Two ancient mummies discovered in a rock-cut tomb in Egypt more than 400 years ago are finally spilling their secrets, now that scientists have CT scanned their remains, a new study finds.
Both mummies, as well as a third on display in Egypt, represent the only known surviving "stucco-shrouded portrait mummies," from Saqqara, an ancient Egyptian necropolis. Unlike other mummies, who were buried in coffins, these individuals were placed on wooden boards, wrapped in a textile and a "beautiful mummy shroud," and decorated with 3D plaster, gold and a whole-body portrait, said study lead researcher Stephanie Zesch, a physical anthropologist and Egyptologist at the German Mummy Project at Reiss Engelhorn Museum in Mannheim, Germany.
Now, CT (computed tomography) scans reveal that at least one of these three stucco-shrouded portrait mummies was buried with organs (even the brain) and that the two females were interred with beautiful necklaces, the researchers found
.

The CT scans also showed that after the deaths of these individuals — a man, woman and teenage girl dating to the late Roman period (30 B.C. to A.D. 395) — their mummies were interred with artifacts likely thought useful in the afterlife, including coins that were possibly meant to pay Charon, the Roman and Greek deity thought to carry souls across the River Styx.
The CT scans also revealed several medical problems, including arthritis in the woman. "The examination of the individuals yielded that they died at rather young ages … however, the cause of death of the individuals could not be determined," Zesch told Live Science.
Long journey
Two of these mummies have traveled far and wide. In 1615, Pietro Della Valle (1586−1652), an Italian composer, took a pilgrimage to the Holy Land and ended up traveling through Egypt. He learned about two stucco-shrouded portrait mummies — a man and woman — discovered by locals in Saqqara. Della Valle acquired these mummies and brought them to Rome, making them the "earliest examples of portrait mummies to have become known in Europe," the researchers wrote in the study.
After passing through several owners, and a little worse for wear, the mummies ended up in the Dresden State Art Collections in Germany, where they were X-rayed in the late 1980s. However, the CT scan revealed much more about their insides.

For instance, the CT scan revealed that the male died between the ages of 25 and 30. He stood about 5'4" inches (164 centimeters) tall, and had two unerupted permanent teeth and several cavities. Some of his bones were broken and jumbled, probably because someone unwrapped him shortly after the mummy's discovery, the researchers wrote in the study. 

While the man's brain was not   preserved, there's no evidence it  was removed through his nose. Nor were many embalming substances used.
Instead, he was wrapped up and painted. Two metal objects found during the CT scan are likely seals from the mummification workshop that handled his remains, Zesch said.
The woman's brain wasn't preserved either, but the teenager's was — it had shrunk, but the cerebrum and brainstem were still identifiable — and the teenager's other internal organs were also present. 
"We are quite sure there was no removing the brain or the internal organs" from these mummies, Zesch said.
"It's very probable that those mummies were only preserved because of a kind of dehydration with the use of [the desiccation mixture] natron, but there is not a huge amount of embalming liquids."

The woman, who died between the ages of 30 and 40, stood about 4'11" (151 cm) tall.
She had advanced arthritis in her left knee. The teenager, who wore a hairpin, according to the CT scan, died between the ages of 17 and 19, and stood about 5'1" (156 cm) tall. She had a benign tumor in her spine known as a vertebral hemangioma, which is more common in people over 40, the researchers said. 
Both women were buried with multiple necklaces. It's exciting to see these necklaces, but it's not unexpected, Zesch said.
"Because of these very precious shrouds, we are sure that those individuals have to be members of the higher socioeconomic class," meaning that they could have easily afforded jewelry, Zesch said. 
Zesch noted that she studied the three mummies with a multidisciplinary team from the German Mummy Project, the Dresden State Art Collections, the Institute for Mummy Studies at Eurac Research in Bolzano, Italy and the American-Egyptian Horus Study Group.
Their work informed a now-live interactive exhibit of the male and female mummy in Dresden.
The teenager's mummy is on display at the Museum of Egyptian Antiquities, Cairo, Egypt.

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

New Egypt bombshell: 4,500-year-old Saqqara mummy bone analysis ‘could change ancient history’.

Egypt bombshell: 4,500-year-old Saqqara mummy bone analysis ‘could change ancient history’
EGYPT experts made the stunning discovery of an intact tomb of a high-ranking official in Saqqara, and analysis of his bones "could change ancient history".
Wahtye was a priest who served under the third king of the Fifth Dynasty, Pharaoh Neferirkare. Described as a “once in a generation” find, his tomb was found in a remarkable state of preservation – with 55 statues carved into the walls – making it the most decorated tomb ever found in Saqqara. Excavations led by a team of Egyptian archaeologists uncovered over 3,000 artefacts during their journey, helping to piece together the secrets of what has been called “Egypt’s most significant find in almost 50 years”.

Netflix’s new documentary ‘Secrets of the Saqqara Tomb’ follows the decoding of the burial of the Old Kingdom priest, untouched for 4,500 years and the excavation of five shafts to uncover the rest of his family.
But Professor of Rheumatology at Cairo University, Dr Amira Shaheen, revealed during the series how she discovered an anomaly within the remains of Wahtye’s bones.
She said: “His skeleton is kept better than the other ones.
“Although he’s a man, he still had some feminine features for his skull.
He seems to be a very delicate man. He’s about 35 years old.
“I think this was Wahtye, at last, I meet him.

“He does not have that strong or rough muscle attachment, which may indicate that he was a fine man with a fine job.”
But the expert found that some of the bones were distended – an indication of what possibly led to his death.
She added: “The skull of Wahtye was showing thickening of the bone and this can give us an indication that something was happening inside these bones.
“These bones can tell us that this person may have some sort of anaemia.
“The same swelling was found in the mother; we have congenital causes of anaemia.
“This is a remote idea because they both died at a different age, but by putting the whole situation together, we may think of some sort of disease, or epidemic. Most probably malaria.

“It may have affected this whole family. If that’s true, it would change ancient Egyptian history.”
This is a monumental theory, as if proven, it will be the first documented case of malaria in history by more than 1,000 years.
The documentary, which will be released globally on Netflix tomorrow, also features the exploration of the wider ancient necropolis where Egyptians buried their dead over thousands of years.
It details the discovery of shafts filled with mummified animals, beautifully preserved human mummies still inside their highly decorated coffins, funerary artefacts and rare finds spanning from the Old, New and Late Kingdoms.
The documentary was filmed in Saqqara, less than a mile from the site of the Step Pyramid – one of the oldest and most iconic stone structures on Earth.
Director James Tovell said in a press release: “This has been an exciting moment for the whole world.
“Shooting this film has been an experience full of thrilling surprises. Working with an Egyptian team that has a deep connection with their ancestors has made the project even more unique.”
Source:news18

Monday, October 26, 2020

News: Egyptian PM’s visit to archaeological site set to boost tourism.

Egypt is gearing up to open the National Museum of Egyptian Civilization later this year and the Grand Egyptian Museum in early 2021.
To promote these important events, Egyptian Prime Minister Mustafa Madbouly made a historic visit to the archaeological site of Saqqara, located south of Cairo.
Madbouly inspected Oct. 19 the excavation works carried out by the Egyptian archaeological mission working in the Saqqara antiquities area. He visited the archaeological site and participated in the inspection works along with the members of the archaeological mission — a first in the history of the country. 
The visit boosted the morale of workers and led them to expedite the discovery of antiquities, artifacts and mummies dating back more than 2,500 years. 
Madbouly went down one of the three new burial wells that were found to inspect for himself the coffins that were discovered inside.
Zahi Hawass, an Egyptian archaeologist and former minister of antiquities, told Al-Monitor that Egypt is conveying a message to the world that it is interested in antiquities, culture and civilization.
President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi is to receive the royal mummies that will be transferred in a majestic procession to the National Museum of Egyptian Civilization in the ancient city of Fustat, now part of Cairo. The museum is set to display antiquities discovered in the Saqqara necropolis, home to thousands of mummies, statues and historical artifacts.

Starting next month, Egypt is set to inaugurate several archaeological museums. Chief among these is the National Museum of Egyptian Civilization in the capital Cairo, the Sharm Museum in the southern Sinai Peninsula, the Royal Chariots Museum in Bulaq, the Kafr El-Sheikh Museum in the Nile Delta region and the Grand Egyptian Museum in Cairo.
Hawass said that for the first time in the history of Egyptian antiquities, a prime minister has visited an archaeological site and went down an 11-meter (36-feet) deep well to see such a discovery for himself.
This came after international agencies had reported the discovery in an area containing thousands of coffins with mummies and statues.
In early October, Minister of Tourism and Antiquities Khaled al-Anani announced at a widely publicized event in the presence of local and international reporters that a huge archaeological discovery was made in the Saqqara area near the pyramids, containing wells with coffins of mummies, artifacts and statues dating back more than 2,500 years. 
Hawass stressed that Egypt is announcing to the world its interest in antiquities and culture.
The cost of the Grand Egyptian Museum has thus far exceeded $1 billion, he stated, adding that Egypt has spent millions of pounds to develop the Pyramids area, the Sohag National Museum, the Baron Palace and the Sharm Museum.

Yaman al-Hamaki, a professor of economics at the Faculty of Commerce at Ain Shams University, told Al-Monitor that Egypt is making great efforts to overcome the repercussions of the coronavirus pandemic on the tourism sector, which was generating about $1 billion per month. Cairo, she said, has resumed in July the flights to Sharm el-Sheikh, Hurghada and Marsa Alam on the northern coast, thus giving a boost to the tourism sector. These destinations are open areas where the necessary measures to stem the spread of the coronavirus are implemented.
Hamaki noted that Egypt is seeking to promote archaeological tourism through the large inauguration events that are scheduled in the coming period.
Egypt, she continued, is encouraging tourists to spend more time in Cairo by opening coffee shops, restaurants and hotels in the Pyramids area.
These projects, according to Hamaki, will play a major role in increasing the revenues generated by the tourism sector.
She said that Madbouly’s historic visit to the Saqqara necropolis was organized to promote to the world Egyptian archaeological tourism, as the country seeks to generate tourism revenues to the national economy as soon as the pandemic ends and the global situation stabilizes.
Amr Sidky, head of the parliamentary Tourism and Antiquities Commission, said that Egypt is putting itself on the global map of culture and civilization with the upcoming openings of the Grand Egyptian Museum and the National Museum of Egyptian Civilization and the development of the Baron Palace.

Add to this, she continued, other important archaeological discoveries, all of which are set to attract tourists to Cairo as soon as the coronavirus pandemic is over.
Sidky told Al-Monitor that Egypt is currently showing great interest in workers in the tourism and antiquities sector, which explains Madbouly’s visit to the Saqqara archaeological site, which encouraged Egyptian archaeologists to speed up new discoveries and promote them to various international media outlets so as to convey to the world a positive image of the country.
This will play an important role in reviving the tourism sector in the future and will be of great benefit to the Egyptian economy.
He stressed that while Egypt is currently boosting domestic tourism due to the decline of foreign tourism, the ongoing pandemic and the lockdowns in a number of countries, it is also working on improving infrastructure through the inauguration of these large museums.
Source:al-monitor

New Discovery, Sakkara: Archaeologists unearth 'huge number' of sealed Egyptian sarcophagi.

Archaeologists in Egypt have discovered another large cache of unopened sarcophagi in Saqqara, adding to the trove of almost 60 coffins recently recovered from the ancient necropolis.
Although full details are yet to be announced, authorities said in a statement that "a huge number" of wooden sarcophagi had been unearthed. The country's Tourism and Antiquities Minister Khaled El-Enany said on Instagram that the find amounted to "dozens" of coffins, adding that they have been "sealed since ancient times."
The collection of sarcophagi, stored in three newly discovered burial shafts, is believed to date back more than 2,500 years. Colored and gilded statues were also found in the tombs, a government press release said.
On Monday, El-Enany and Egyptian Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly visited the site alongside secretary general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, Mustafa Waziri. Photos released by the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities show the trio being lowered into a shaft before inspecting painted coffins and a variety of other objects.

Officials said they believe the coffins contain senior statesmen and priests from the 26th dynasty, which ruled Egypt from 664 B.C. to 525 B.C.
The ministry said that further details of this month's discovery will be announced at a press conference at the site in "the next few weeks." Its announcement also revealed that Prime Minister Madbouly had produced a video in which he thanked the ministry and "expressed his great pride in the unique Egyptian civilization."
Although it is not yet confirmed what will happen to the newly discovered sarcophagi, some of those found earlier this year are set to go on display at the soon-to-open Grand Egyptian Museum in Giza. Upon its opening, the 5.2-million-square-foot structure will become the world's largest museum devoted to a single civilization.

 Source:cnn

Thursday, September 24, 2020

New Discovery, Sakkara "9": Archaeologists Find 27 Coffins at Egypt’s Saqqara Pyramid

Egyptian archaeologists have discovered 27 coffins inside a large burial ground in an ancient city south of Cairo.
The coffins have remained unopened since they were buried more than 2,500 years ago, the country’s Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities said this week.
The burial ground is near the famous Step Pyramid of Djoser in Saqqara, said Neveine el-Arif, a ministry spokeswoman. She said 13 coffins were found earlier this month in a newly discovered, 11 meter-deep well. Last week, 14 more were discovered in another well.
The ministry showed video of the coffins, which were covered with colorful ancient Egyptian writing. Other artifacts found in the two wells were also shown.
In March, Egypt reopened the Step Pyramid at Saqqara after a 14-year restoration effort that cost around $6.6 million. The pyramid is believed to be the first ever built.
The Saqqara area once had at least 11 pyramids, including the Step Pyramid. It also held hundreds of tombs of ancient officials, ranging from the 1st Dynasty, 2920 B.C.-2770 B.C., to the Coptic period, 395-642.

Archaeologists are still working to discover more about the history of the coffins, el-Arif said. She added that more information and some “secrets” would likely be announced next month. Additional coffins are expected to be found in the area, she said.
In recent years, Egypt has often announced new archaeological finds to international media and diplomats in an effort to bring more tourists to the country.
Last year, archaeologists found a burial ground containing hundreds of mummified animals.
The Saqqara area is part of Egypt’s ancient city of Memphis. It also includes Abu Sir, Dahshur and Abu Ruwaysh, as well as the famed Giza Pyramids. The ruins of Memphis became a UNESCO World Heritage site in the 1970s.
In October 2019, archaeologists found 30 ancient wooden coffins with writings and paintings in the southern city of Luxor.
The Luxor coffins were moved to be shown to the public at the Grand Egyptian Museum. Egypt is building the museum near the Giza Pyramids.
Egypt’s financially important tourism industry has suffered from years of political problems and violence since the 2011 uprising that removed longtime leader Hosni Mubarak.
The industry has also been hurt by the coronavirus crisis. In July, the country restarted international flights and reopened major tourist areas, but the number of visitors remains low
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Monday, September 21, 2020

New Discovery, Saqqara "8" : Egypt tomb Sarcophagi buried for 2,500 years unearthed in Saqqara.

A total of 27 sarcophagi buried more than 2,500 years ago have been unearthed by archaeologists in an ancient Egyptian necropolis.
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.
Images released show colourfully painted well-preserved wooden coffins and other smaller artefacts.

Saqqara was an active burial ground for more than 3,000 years and is a designated Unesco World Heritage Site.
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.
Other artefacts discovered around the wooden coffins also appeared to be well-crafted and colorfully decorated.
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.


Source:BBC




New Discovery, Saqqara "7":14 Fully Intact and Sealed Coffins Discovered after 2,500 Years in Egypt’s Saqqara.

The Saqqara necropolis southwest of Cairo has yielded yet a new discovery of 14 intact and sealed sarcophagi estimated to be 2,500 years old. The sarcophagi, or ornate coffins, are made of wood and still retain some of their original colour.
This discovery brings the total number of newly unearthed coffins to 27, after 13 were discovered in similar condition earlier this month in a neighboring burial shaft.
The total number of coffins and artefacts buried in this site are as yet unknown according to Waziri, but El-Enany said that it “includes the largest number of coffins in one burial since the discovery of the Al-Asasif cachette.”

Head of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, Mustafa Waziri, who heads this archaeological mission, stated that details on the excavation will soon be communicated officially in a press conference in Saqqara.
The Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities has published a series of videos teasing at footage of the discoveries, in the most recent of which Minister Khaled El-Enany declares that this is only the beginning. In a video published earlier this month, Waziri and world-renowned Egyptologist Zahi Hawass show a few shots of the colourful, newly unearthed discoveries.
                              

Thursday, September 17, 2020

New Discover, Saqqara "6" : Egyptologists discover rare coffin cache in Giza.

When Egyptians hid several sealed coffins deep into a shaft some 2,500 years ago, they probably thought they would be there for all eternity, undisturbed, while their occupants travelled forth to greater things.
Once their souls had successfully passed through judgment by the god Osiris — easy peasy if you were from the upper class — they went on to an eternal paradise, The Field of Reeds, where everything which had been lost at death was returned and one would truly live happily ever after.
Alas, the Field of Reeds will have to wait, as they will probably end up at the massive new Egyptian museum in Cairo.
On Sunday, Egyptian officials announced the discovery of a collection of more than 13 intact sealed coffins dating back to about 2,500 years ago, China Daily reported.
The coffins were found at an archeological site in Saqqara necropolis in Giza, said the Egyptian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities in a statement.
The coffins, along with three sealed niches, were unearthed inside an 11-meter-deep shaft, according to the statement.


Egyptian Tourism and Antiquities Minister Khaled al-Anany and Mostafa Waziri, secretary general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA), visited the site on Sunday and inspected the excavation work in the shaft, China Daily reported.
“The discovery marks the largest number of coffins found in one burial place since the discovery of the Asasif Cachette,” the minister said, referring to the discovery of 30 ancient coffins in October 2019 at Asasif cemetery in Upper Egypt’s Luxor Province.
“The discovery in Saqqara includes a wonderful collection of colored wooden coffins whose colors and inscriptions are still in a good condition despite the passage of 2,500 years,” said Waziri, who leads the Egyptian archeological mission in Saqqara.
Waziri said the exact number of the unearthed coffins as well as the identity and titles of their owners have not yet been determined, but they will be found out in the coming few days as the excavation work still continues.
“The mission continues excavation work on the site and it is expected to result in many other new discoveries of shafts, colored wooden coffins and statues,” the SCA chief added.
Initial studies revealed that the coffins are completely sealed and have not been opened since they were buried inside the shaft, China Daily reported.

Source:asiatimes

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

New Discovery, Saqqara "5": Egypt announced the discovery of 13 completely sealed coffins dating back more than 2,500 years.

The Egyptian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities announced Sept. 7 the discovery of 13 completely sealed coffins dating back more than 2,500 years in a deep burial shaft in the ancient Saqqara region of the Giza governorate, south of Cairo.
According to Minister of Tourism and Antiquities Khaled al-Anani, the burial shaft is about 11 meters (36 feet) deep. The shaft contained wooden coffins with paint still intact and stacked on top of each other. Anani posted video footage from the archaeological discovery site on his Instagram account, with a caption that read, “An indescribable feeling when you witness a new archeological discovery. Stay tuned for the announcement of a new discovery in Saqqara. Thank you to my colleagues in the ministry.”
According to the ministry's statement published on its Facebook page, a preliminary study showed that the coffins are completely sealed and have not been opened since they were buried. It is likely that more coffins will be discovered in the niches near the shaft, it added. One of these niches was opened and wooden coffins and archaeological pieces were also found.
Al-Monitor spoke to Mostafa Waziry, secretary-general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities who is currently leading the Egyptian archaeological mission in Saqqara. He said, “Saqqara is a promising region. It is one of the most important archaeological regions that still has unrevealed secrets. More work and more archaeological excavations are required to uncover more of its secrets and treasures. Work is underway to define the identity and titles of the occupiers of these 13 coffins, which were found after 2,500 years.”
He explained that a team of Egyptian restoration workers began restoring the 13 archaeological coffins, adding that archaeological excavations are continuing in the region, and that indications are promising and usher in more new discoveries.
Waziri noted that this new discovery is not the first in the archaeological region of ​​Saqqara, as archaeological discoveries have remarkably increased during the past years. “This has resulted in many international archaeological missions working in this region to race against time trying to explore hidden treasures,” he added.
He said the increase in the number of archaeological discoveries recently is due to the resumption of foreign archaeological missions after a hiatus of a number of years. “There are currently 300 archaeological missions from 25 countries, including some that are operating for the first time in Egypt such as the joint Egyptian-Chinese archaeological mission. Add to this the increase in the number of Egyptian archaeological missions, which for the first time in the history of Egypt reached about 50 missions working in various archaeological sites across the country.”
Waziri praised these Egyptian missions made up of prominent workers, technicians and archaeologists, and hailed their work to reveal the ancient Egyptian civilization to the world.

The Egyptian antiquities missions resumed excavation works in August, after they were suspended in April due to the coronavirus pandemic.
While taking into account preventive measures, the missions are now operating in four regions, namely Tuna El-Gabal in Minya, the Saqqara antiquities region, the Pyramids in Giza and al-Asasif region, west of Luxor, according to Waziri.
In September 2019, the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities had announced its approval of the work of about 240 foreign archaeological missions, including one Spanish and one American mission, in addition to 40 Egyptian archaeological missions, at various sites during the new archaeological season.
The 2019 announcement came at the launch of the winter excavation season. Although expectations were high that the archaeological season would be exceptional, the coronavirus outbreak ended the work of all foreign missions.
In recent years, the Saqqara region has witnessed several important archaeological discoveries. The ministry announced in December 2018 the discovery of a tomb that belongs to Wahtye, a high priest who served during the reign of King Neferirkare in the Old Kingdom’s Fifth Dynasty. The 4,400-year-old tomb was intact and well preserved with distinguished colors. It measures roughly 10 meters (33 feet) in length and three meters (10 feet) in height. The tombs’s walls are decorated with colorful scenes showing the royal priest alongside his mother, wife and other members of his family. It contains large colored statues of Wahtye carved in rock.
In July 2018, excavation works in Saqqara carried out by the Egyptian-German mission of the University of Tubingen uncovered a mummification workshop with connected burial chambers dating back to the 26th and 27th dynasties (664-404 B.C.). The announcement was made during the archaeological survey works in the Cemeteries of the Sawy Age, located south of the Pyramid of Unas in Saqqara. The mission also found a gilded mummy mask inlaid with semiprecious stones that covered the face of one of the mummies in one of the attached burial chambers. 
The Egyptian archaeological mission also found in April 2019 a tomb in Saqqara for a person named Khuwy who was one of the nobles living in the era of the Fifth Dynasty in the Old Kingdom. The mission uncovered this tomb while documenting the collection of pyramids that belong to King Djedkare Isesi, a ruler of the Fifth Dynasty.
At the end of last year, the ministry unveiled a huge cache of ancient artifacts and mummified animals in Saqqara. The discovery consisted of a tomb with a number of mummified cats and a statute of a big cat. Crocodiles, cobras and scarab beetles are among the other mummified creatures found at the site, along with statues of other animals and birds. The discovery of the cache, which dates back to the seventh century B.C., includes wooden boxes decorated with hieroglyphics.
                        

Source: al-monitor


Monday, September 14, 2020

New Discovery, Sakkara "4":Dozen of 2,500-year-old untouched mummies discovered in Egypt.

At least 13 coffins believed to contain human mummies were unearthed from a well in Egypt where they had rested undisturbed for more than 2,500 years.

The trove of sarcophagi was uncovered last week during an excavation in the Saqqara necropolis, an ancient burial ground about 20 miles south of Cairo, Egypt’s Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities said.

“[It is] an indescribable feeling when you witness a new archeological discovery,” said Khaled El-Enany, Egypt’s minister of tourism and antiques.
Authorities suspect the well-preserved wooden containers, some which still feature original detailed designs, had remained sealed since their burial.

Archaeologists found the coffins stacked on top of each other in a burial shaft nearly 40 feet deep. More discoveries are expected at the site in coming days.

Saqqara boasts several archaeological treasures and landmarks, including the Step Pyramid, believed to be the world’s oldest. Tombs there have been subject to looting and unsanctioned excavations over the years, making the new discovery even more remarkable.
Source: New York Post

Sunday, September 13, 2020

New Discovery, Sakkara "3": Egypt discovers 13 mummies believed to be 2,500 years old.

Egyptian authorities have discovered a collection of more than a dozen coffins believe to hold human mummies that are more than two millennia old.
The 13 chambers were uncovered piled up in a well in Saqqara, an ancient site located around 20 miles south of Cairo, Egypt's capital, according to Egypt's Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities.
After being found almost 40 feet deep underground, archaeologists said the chambers were protected from weathering, leaving original details visible on the coffins' exteriors.
Khaled El-Enany, Egypt's minister of tourism and antiques, said it was "an indescribable feeling when you witness a new archeological discovery" in a Twitter post.
In a Facebook video, one of the archaeologists says it is a unique find. "I have never seen this before," he says.
Egypt only last week opened its archaeological sites and museums after months of closures because of the coronavirus pandemic. Such finds are not only crucial to Egypt's heritage but also its economy.
Archaeologists also found four caskets holding mummies in Saqqara earlier this year.

Tuesday, September 8, 2020

New Discovery in Saqqara "2": Egyptian Authorities Have Discovered 13 Completely Sealed 2,500-Year-Old Coffins.

An unusual cache of at least 13 wooden coffins dating back to 2,500 years ago has been discovered in the desert necropolis of Saqqara in Egypt.

What makes these coffins so special among the thousands interred in the tomb complex is the fact they have remained intact for millennia, and are still completely sealed - hundreds of years after their inhabitants died.

According to Egypt's recently minted Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities, the coffins were found in a burial shaft 11 metres (36 feet) below the ground, stacked on top of each other. They're so well preserved, even some of the colours painted on the wood are still intact. An initial analysis has found that the coffins have likely been sealed since they were buried.

Inside the burial shaft, three sealed niches were also found. Minister Khaled Al-Anani said that it's likely there are more coffins in the shaft yet to be discovered.

Saqqara is believed to have served as the necropolis for Memphis, once the capital of ancient Egypt. For 3,000 years, the Egyptians interred their dead there; as such, it's become a site of much archaeological interest.

It's not just the high-ranking nobility and officials buried there, with their grave goods, their cartouches, their mummified animals, and their richly appointed tombs. Those are more likely to be found, since their interment was more elaborate - but recent excavations have turned up simpler burials, likely of people from the middle or working class.

Even the rich burials are not immune to outside influences. Over the millennia, many such tombs have been looted. So finding a cache of coffins that have been undisturbed and unopened for all that time means the possibility of untouched grave goods inside.

Given that the coffins are made of wood, and were buried in a dry location, the possibility of any eerie liquid preserved within is probably quite low.

The potential grave goods, however, could not only tell us who was buried, but how important they were. The discovery is likely to add to our ever-growing understanding of ancient Egyptian funerary customs.

The names and identities of the people buried in the coffins are yet to be discovered. But, as excavation work at the site continues, this information is expected to be found soon, as well as the total number of coffins buried in the shaft.

Meanwhile, the Ministry is set to release a series of promotional videos on the discovery - the first adventure-themed promo you can watch above features Indiana Jones-esque music, complete with a cliffhanger about a future announcement.

Egypt reopened cultural tourism to museums and archaeological sites on 1 September, so we can probably expect more announcements from the Ministry in the coming days and weeks, as the government works to renew tourist interest in visiting Egypt's antiquities.

Source: Sciencealert

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 ...