Showing posts with label Tombs. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Tombs. Show all posts

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

New Discovery, Secrets of the Saqqara Tomb' Review: Egypt excavation documentary plays out like an ancient true crime show.

Think of ancient Egypt and the first things that probably come to your mind are buried treasures, curses, and 'The Mummy' (whether that is the Brendan Fraser or the Tom Cruise version probably depends on how old you are). Nevertheless, unless you are someone who is extremely interested in the subject and well-versed, whatever comes to your mind is potentially offensive. 
This comes from a principle known as orientalism.
The word was coined by the late Palestinian-American philosopher, Edward Said, to describe how Westerners would often exoticize the Middle East and Asia -- for instance, think of 'Aladdin' (both the original and the remake are guilty of being orientalist) or even, 'The Mummy'.
It is not often you see a documentary on Egyptology that does not involve an offensive outtake, but with Netflix's latest documentary, 'Secrets of the Saqqara Tomb', you can expect something completely different. 
For one thing, almost everyone featured in the documentary is Egyptian -- as one archaeologist says, because they are looking at the stories of their own ancestors, they have a different perspective than those coming from outside.
That difference is something you can see and feel throughout the documentary. As the excavations and the artifacts are shown, not once do these people forget that they are handling the remains of people who were once living and the experts featured treat everything with the utmost respect. 

'Secrets of the Saqqara Tomb' is also very emotional -- and it is quite unexpected for a documentary that features many shots of just people digging through sand. 
We meet many people who work on the Saqqara excavations, including archaeologists Hamada Mansour and Mohammed Mohammed Yousef, and digger Ghereeb.
In the nearly 120-minute long documentary, we learn just as much about the story of these people as we learn about Wahtye, the ancient Egyptian priest who is the focus of the dig at the ancient burial ground.
At one point, as Hamada is excavating in a shaft as others carefully look on, he accidentally disturbs the wooden coffin, and as the pieces of wood fall, so does your heart. 
The unraveling of Wahtye's story is just as intense as the anticipation with which the dig proceeds -- they need to find something substantial before the budget runs out for the season so they can extend it to another season. 
The documentary is filled with incredible finds -- like the first mummified lion ever found (a lion cub), and a statue for which its three broken parts were found separately in separate seasons. 
Another fascinating aspect of the documentary is the presence of women among the men who are digging through the tombs of ancient Egypt.
Three of the experts featured in the documentary are women -- the hieroglyphics expert Nermeen, the anthropologist and rheumatology expert, Amira Shaheen, and funerary archaeologist and archaeozoologist, Salima Ikram. 
All three women do an incredible job of piecing together a story from thousands of years ago, just from the bones and objects they find.

There is, of course, one thing that stays with the viewer long after you've watched 'Secrets of Saqqara Tomb'. Hamada says that the Bubasteion Necropolis at Saqqara is strange because it does not give the archaeologists what they are expecting -- and "that's a wonderful thing.
" He says this twice, the second time comes when just as the men are cleaning up everything as the budget runs out, they discover something extraordinary.
 You would not expect a documentary on archaeology and history to bring tears to your eyes in the end, but that is exactly what 'Secrets of the Saqqara Tomb' does.
'Secrets of the Saqqara Tomb' is now streaming on Netflix.

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

New Discovery, El-Minya "4": Egyptian Pharaonic Tomb Of Elite Family And Countless Artifacts Found.

Major archaeological finds in Egypt continue to be unearthed and this one involves an entire elite family burial tomb. Archaeologists have found a new ancient Egyptian pharaonic tomb, belonging to an important royal official, that is roughly 2,500 years old. The recently unearthed Egyptian pharaonic tomb includes the graves of family members and a trove of important funerary artworks and grave goods .
The team of Egyptian archaeologists made a remarkable discovery while excavating a site in the al-Ghuraifah antiquities area in central Egypt. This is their fourth season digging in the area, which was once a necropolis, and today is known as Tuna el-Gebel. They have already made several important finds at the location including a limestone coffin of the high priest of Djehuty, Egyptian god of the moon and wisdom. The recent Egyptian pharaonic tomb discovery in Tuna el-Gebel is one of the most important finds in Egypt this year, because the tomb has not been looted by robbers, unlike so many finds of the past.
Mostafa Waziri, Secretary-General of the Egyptian Supreme Council of Antiquities told that the team found a burial area that “consists of a 10-metre deep burial well that leads to a large room with niches carved into the rock.

The well or shaft is lined by regularly shaped stone blocks.
It was reported by the Egyptian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities in a Facebook post that the experts had found “The tomb of the supervisor of the royal treasury , ‘Badi Eset’.” His name is also written as Badi Est or Pa Di Eset in some sources.
*Egyptian Elite Sarcophagi and Unique Gold Treasures Unearthed.
*Tomb of Kaires the ‘Keeper of the Secret’ and the Pharaoh’s ‘Sole Friend’ Unearthed in Egypt.
*Making Copper Look Like Gold: 1,400-Year-Old Moche Graves Reveal Rich Artifacts of Ancient Elite.
As supervisor of the royal treasury, Badi Eset would have been one of the most powerful men in Egypt at that time, with immense influence in royal society. Essentially, Badi Eset would have been in charge of the personal wealth of the pharaoh. His responsibilities would have included the safekeeping of the treasury and the upkeep of the pharaoh’s household and palaces.
Badi Eset’s Egyptian Pharaonic Tomb Was Full of Grave Goods.
The ancient pharaonic tomb was dated to the Late Period of Egyptian history, which is the era from the 26 th to the 30 th dynasty.  Also found in the tomb were two beautiful limestone statues.  One is in the shape of the Apis calf, a sacred bull, which was worshipped in Memphis.
The other statue is of a woman, possibly a goddess. The figures are in a remarkable state of preservation.

“A canopic vessel was also found, made of alabaster in the form of the four sons of Horus,” according to the Egyptian Independent. This is a sealed jar that usually contained the viscera of the deceased. The Facebook page of the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities quoted Mr Wazari as saying that the canopic jars, made of limestone, are “some of the most beautiful jars that have been found.
These were funerary figurines and they were interred with the dead so that they could act as servants in the afterlife.
The tomb also contained nearly 1000 Ushabti figurines made of tin-glazed pottery. Some amulets including many scarabs were also unearthed in the tomb, which are believed to have been used to help the deceased in the afterlife.
And a set of pottery vessels, possibly kitchen utensils, were also found in the Badi Eset tomb.
The tomb of the supervisor of the royal treasury also included the sarcophagi of members of Badi Eset’s family.
The Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities Facebook page reports that “Also, 4 stone sarcophagi were found” in the Egyptian pharaonic tomb. They are all intact and still sealed with mortar.
This is an exciting find, and it may indicate that more intact burials are waiting to be discovered.
The discovery of the tomb of Badi Eset and the sarcophagi of his family is a unique opportunity for researchers to understand Late Period Egypt funerary customs and they may provide insights into elite social relations in this period. According to the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquity’s Facebook page “there is still more to uncover and treasures to reveal in El-Ghorefa.” Excavations are continuing at the site.

Sunday, October 25, 2020

New Discovery, El Minya : Pharaonic tomb unearthed in Egypt.

Egypt's Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities has announced the discovery of an ancient pharaonic tomb in Minya province.
An Egyptian mission unearthed the tomb which is located in Tuna al-Gabal archaeological site in Minya, Xinhua news agency quoted head of the ministry's Supreme Council of Antiquities Mostafa Waziri as saying in a statement on Saturday.
He said that the 10-metre deep tomb belongs to a man who served as "supervisor of the royal treasury".
Waziri added that stone statues, coffins and other archaeological finds were found inside the tomb. Excavations are still ongoing to uncover more secrets and treasures of the archaeological site, Waziri noted, stressing that all artefacts found at the tombs were in a good state of preservation.
Egypt has witnessed several large-scale archeological discoveries in recent years in different parts of the country, including pharaonic tombs, statues, coffins and mummies. 

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 ...