Showing posts with label tel el amarna. Show all posts
Showing posts with label tel el amarna. Show all posts

Saturday, February 24, 2018

New Discovery, Minya: 26th Dynasty Cemetery Uncovered in Egypt's Minya

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.

Sunday, October 1, 2017

New Discovery, Minya: Gypsum Head of King Akhenaten Statue Unearthed in Egypt's Minya

A British-Egyptian archaeological mission from Cambridge University has discovered a gypsum head from a statue of King Akhenaton (around 1300 BC) during excavation work in Tel El-Amarna in Egypt’s Minya governorate. Written By/ Nevine El-Aref.

The head – which is 9cm tall, 13.5 cm long and 8 cm wide – was unearthed during excavation work in the first hall of the Great Atun Temple in Tel El-Amarna, secretary-general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities Mostafa Waziri told Ahram Online.

Waziri says the discovery is important because it sheds more light on the city that was Egypt's capital during the reign of King Akhenaten, the 10th pharaoh of the 18th dynasty whose reign was among the most controversial in ancient Egyptian history.

The Cambridge University mission is led by archaeologist Barry Kemp, who started excavations in Tel El-Amarna in 1977 at several sites including the grand Aten Temple, the Al-Ahgar village, the northern palace, and the Re and Banehsi houses, according to director-general of Antiquities in Middle Egypt Gamal El-Semestawi.

The mission has also carried out restoration works at the Small Atun Temple and the northern palace.

Tel El-Amarna, which lies around 12 kilometers to the southwest of Minya city, holds the ruins of the city constructed by King Akhenaten and his wife Queen Nefertiti to be the home of the cult of the sun god Aten. The ruins of this great city include magnificent temples, palaces and tombs.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

New Discovery, Tuna Al-Gabal: Cachette of 17 Mummies Unearthed in Egypt's El-Minya

The Late Period burial site was discovered at the Tuna Al-Gabal archaeological site by a team from Cairo University. Written By/ Nevine El-Aref.

Egyptian Antiquities Minister Khaled el-Enany (C) speaks to the media on May 13, 2017,
 in front of mummies following their discovery in catacombs in the
Touna el-Gabal district of the Minya province, in central Egypt. (AFP)
Tuna Al-Gabal archaeological site, near Upper Egypt's El-Minya, buzzed Saturday with journalists who flocked in to catch a glimpse of a newly discovered cachette of mummies, dating from the Late Period.

During excavation work in the area, which neighbours the birds and animals necropolis, a mission from Cairo University stumbled this week upon the cachette -- a term that describes an unmarked burial site used to house multiple mummies and protect them from looting.

Mission head Salah El-Kholi told Ahram Online that the cachette includes 17 non-royal mummies wrapped in linen and very well preserved. It was found by chance through a radar survey carried out in collaboration with experts from the university's faculty of science in early 2016 that revealed hollow ground.

A mummy inside the newly discovered burial 
site in Minya, Egypt  May 13, 2017. (Reuters)
El-Kholi said the mummies were found in burial shafts along with a collection of eight limestone sarcophagi, two of which were carved in clay. A number of baboon coffins were also found.

Minister of Antiquities Khaled El-Enany described the discovery as important because it is the first made in the area since the discovery of the birds and animals necropolis by Egyptologist Sami Gabra between 1931 to 1954.

The discovery adds to a spate of recent finds at sites across Egypt. Most recently, a mission from the antiquities ministry stumbled upon the almost intact funerary collection of Userhat, the chancellor of Thebes during the 18th dynasty, in the Draa Abul Naga necropolis on Luxor's west bank.

A number of mummies inside the newly discovered burial
site in Minya, Egypt  May 13, 2017. (Reuters)
El-Enany told reporters about this week's cachette discovery at a gala ceremony attended by El-Minya governor Essam Al Bedewi, the ambassadors of Belgium, Hungary and Serbia and a number of top officials from the ministry and Cairo University.

El-Kholi said that both clay sarcophagi are anthropoid coffins, one of which is in good condition while the other is partly damaged. Two papyri written in Demotic and a gold decoration with the shape of a feather were also found.

"This feather could be decoration on the hair dress of one of the deceased," El- Kholi said. He said the papyri would be transferred to the Grand Egyptian Museum for restoration.

At a neighbouring site, the mission has also uncovered a number of Roman funerary houses made of clay. Inside they found a collection of different coins, lamps and other domestic items.

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 ...