Showing posts with label West Bank. Show all posts
Showing posts with label West Bank. Show all posts

Sunday, December 3, 2017

New Discovery, Luxor: Statues of Ancient Egyptian Lioness Deity Sekhmet Uncovered in Luxor

A collection of 27 fragmented statues of the goddess Sekhmet has been unearthed at the King Amenhotep III funerary temple on Luxor’s west bank. Written By/ Nevine El-Aref.

A collection of 27 fragmented statues of the lioness goddess Sekhmet has been uncovered during excavation work at the King Amenhotep III funerary temple at the Kom El-Hettan area on Luxor’s west bank. 

The discovery was made by an Egyptian-European archaeological mission led by archaeologist Hourig Sourouzian as part of the King Amenhotep III Temple Conservation Project.

Mostafa Waziri, secretary-general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, said the black-granite statues have a maximum height of about two metres. Some statues depict Sekhmet sitting on a throne, holding the symbol of life in her left hand, while others show her standing and holding a papyrus sceptre before her chest. The head of Sekhmet is crowned with a sun-disk, while a uraeus adorns her forehead.

Sourouzian told Ahram Online that the discovery includes many almost complete statues with only the feet and base missing. Those statues that were not buried so deep in the ground are in a good state of preservation, he said. 

Others that were found at deeper levels are in a bad condition due to subterranean water and salt, which damaged the surface.

“The sculptures are of a high artistic quality and of the greatest archaeological interest,” Sourouzian said. He said the importance and quality of the statues explains why they survived a period of extensive quarrying of the temple remains in the Ramesside Period, after a heavy earthquake had toppled the walls and the columns of the temple in 1200 B.C.

Sourouzian pointed out that the statues are now in restoration. They will be cleaned and desalinated, as they were lying in a layer of mud and crushed sandstone.

All statues of the goddess will be placed back in their original setting when the site protection project is completed.

Ayman Ashmawy, head of the Ancient Egyptian Antiquities Sector, pointed to the collaboration between the European mission and the ministry to ensure ongoing excavation work and the completion of the Amenhotep III Temple protect. 

The mission began excavation work in 1998, and about 287 statues of Sekhmet have been unearthed since then.

The King Amenhotep III temple is the largest of its kind. It was once a magnificent structure with an unprecedented number of royal and divine statues, among them hundreds of statues of Sekhmet. 

Sekhment, whose name means "Powerful One", is one of three figures in the Triad of Memphis sculpture, which also features Ptah and Ramses III.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

New Discovery, Aswan: Ancient Wall Markings of Wild Animals Uncovered in South Aswan

Pre-Dynastic wall markings have been uncovered in Subeira Valley near Aswan. Written By/ Nevine El-Aref.

During an archaeological survey in the desert of Subeira Valley, south Aswan, an Egyptian archaeological mission from the Ministry of Antiquities stumbled upon pre-Dynastic rock markings.

Mostafa Waziri, secretary-general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, explained that the markings can be dated to the late pre-Dynastic era, and were found engraved on sandstone rocks. They depict scenes of troops of renowned animals at that time, such as hippopotamuses, wild bulls and donkeys, as well as gazelles. Markings showing workshops for the production of tools and instruments were also found on some of the rocks.

Nasr Salama, director general of Aswan and Nubia Antiquities, described the newly discovered markings as "unique and rare" in Egypt. He pointed out that similar markings were previously uncovered at sites in Al-Qarta and Abu Tanqoura, north of Komombo town.

"These markings helped archaeologists to determine the exact dating of the newly discovered ones in Subeira Valley," Salama asserted. He added that 10 new sections of wall markings at around 15,000 years old had been discovered.

Adel Kelani described the discovery as important because it dates to the same period of markings founds in caves in southern France, Spain and Italy, which confirms the idea that art and civilisation during that time spread from Africa to Europe and not vice versa.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

New Discovery, Aswan: Ten Late Period Tombs Uncovered in Aswan

The tombs were uncovered on Aswan's West Bank. Written By/ Nevine El-Aref.

During excavation work in the area neighbouring the Agha Khan mausoleum on Aswan’s west bank, an Egyptian mission from the Ministry of Antiquities stumbled upon ten rock-hewn tombs.

Mahmoud Afifi, dead of Ancient Egyptian Antiquities at the ministry, said that the tombs can be dated to the Late Period and early studies reveal that the site is probably an extension of Aswan necropolis on the west bank where a collection of tombs belonging to Aswan overseers from the Old, Middle and New kingdom are found.

Nasr Salama, director-general of Aswan and Nubia Antiquities told Ahram Online that the tombs have similar architectural design. they are composed of sliding steps leading to the entrance of the tomb and a small burial chamber where a collection of stone sarcophagi, mummies and funerary collection of the deceased were found.

He said that during the next archaeological season which starts in September, the mission will continue the excavation and begin comprehensive studies and restoration work on the funerary collection uncovered to learn more about who the tombs contain.

Monday, May 22, 2017

New Discovery, Luxor: Embalming Materials For Middle Kingdom Vizier Lpi Rediscovered On Luxor's West Bank

Newly discovered embalming jars.Photos courtesy of the Spanish Mission
The embalming materials of Ipi, vizier and overseer of Thebes and member of the elite during the reign of King Amenemhat I in the early 20th Dynasty, have been rediscovered in his tomb at Deir Al-Bahari on Luxor's west bank. Written By/ Nevine El-Aref.

Within the framework of the Middle Kingdom Theban Project, an international mission under the auspices of the University of Alcalá (UAH, Spain) has uncovered over 50 clay jars filled with embalming materials for the mummification of the ancient Egyptian vizier Ipi during the cleaning of the courtyard under his tomb number (TT 315).

Mahmoud Afifi, head of the antiquities ministry’s Ancient Egyptian Antiquities Department, said that the jars were first discovered in 1921 and 1922 by American Egyptologist Herbert Winlock inside an auxiliary chamber in the northeast corner of the upper courtyard of Ipi’s tomb, where they were left as is.

Time has taken its toll on the courtyard, which had been buried in sand before being uncovered by the Spanish mission.

The jars hold equipment such as bandages, oils and salts, which were used by embalmers in mummification, as well as jars, bowls, scrapers, and a mummification board decorated with ankh-signs.

“The identification of these materials is of great importance for understanding the mummification techniques used in the early Middle Kingdom and the assessment of the kinds of items, tools, and substances involved in the process of embalming,” head of the Spanish mission Antonio Morales told Ahram Online.

Morales added that the deposit of the mummification materials used for Ipi included jars with potmarks and other types of inscriptions, various shrouds and four-metre-long linen sheets, shawls, and rolls of wide bandages.

Embalming Materials Discovered
Photos Courtesy of The Spanish Mission
There were also other types of cloth, rags, and pieces of slender wrappings designed to cover fingers, toes, and other parts of the vizier’s corpse.

Team specialist Salima Ikram has identified what seems to be the mummified heart of Ipi, an uncommon practice that no doubt deserves more investigation.

Morales said that the deposit also contained around 300 sacks of natron salt, oils, sand, and other substances, as well as jar stoppers and a scraper.

Among the most outstanding pieces of the collection are the Nile clay and marl jars, some with potmarks and hieratic writing, various large bandages six metres in length, as well as a shroud used for covering the body of the vizier Ipi; a fringed shawl 10 metres in length.

There are also natron bags that were deposited in the inner parts of the vizier’s body, twisted bandages used as mummy packing, and small pieces of bandages for the upper and lower extremities.

Embalming Materials Discovered
Photos Courtesy of The Spanish Mission
The collection should provide members of the Middle Kingdom Theban Project an excellent opportunity for the scientific analysis of the substances, components, textiles, and human remains found in the embalming cache, as well as the technical procedures and religious rituals used in the mummification of a high official in the early Middle Kingdom.

Ezz El-Din El-Noubi, director of the Middle Area of Al-Qurna Antiquities, said that the discovery was made during the third season of project by the University of Alcalá Expedition to Deir El-Bahari in collaboration with the Ministry of Antiquities and the Luxor Inspectorate.

The main purpose of the project is the archaeological study and epigraphy of the tombs of Henenu (TT 313) and Ipi (TT 315), the funerary chamber and sarcophagus of Harhotep (CG28023), as well as the conservation and detailed publication of information of these monuments and others located at Thebes.

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 ...