Monday, November 16, 2020

News: Egypt's tourism & antiquities min. embarks on an inspection tour to the National Museum of Egyptian Civilization.

Egypt's Minister of Tourism & Antiquities Khaled el-Enany visited the National Museum of Egyptian Civilization in Fustat, in Old Cairo.
The museum is located on an area of ​​135 thousand square meters.
Enany visited the museum in order to follow up on the progress of work there in preparation for receiving the Royal Mummies Parade from the Egyptian Museum in Tahrir.
Enany also reviewed the work that is currently in full swing to equip the central exhibition gallery and the mummies gallery in preparation for their opening.
He checked the museum’s multimedia display, which is an integral part of the museum’s display scenario.
It relies on the dazzling display of content that paves the way for visitors to enter the museum’s most important gallery: The gallery of the Royal Mummies.

Furthermore, Enany was accompanied by Director of the National Museum of Egyptian Civilization Ahmed Ghoneim, Secretary General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities Mostafa Waziri, Head of the Museums Sector Moamen Othman, Adviser to the Minister for Museums Display Scenario Ali Omar and members of the committee. 
During the visit, Enany instructed the staff to make some adjustments in the way some artifacts are displayed and rearranged them according to the museum's display scenario, in addition to adding some pieces to enrich the museum’s display. 
At the end of the visit, Enany held two meetings with the members of the museum’s display scenario committee, during which he discussed the display scenario of the artifacts in the National Museum of Egyptian Civilization, the Administrative Capital Museum in the City of Culture and Arts in the New Administrative Capital, and the Grand Egyptian Museum.
The project of the National Museum of Egyptian Civilization will play a big role in introducing visitors to the various aspects of Egyptian civilization throughout history, with its manifestations of the richness and diversity of the Egyptian civilization from prehistoric times to the modern era, through its unique collections.
Source:egypttoday

New Discovery, Sakkara "2":Egypt unveils 2,500-year-old ancient coffins, statues found in Saqqara.

Egyptian antiquities officials on Saturday announced the discovery of at least 100 ancient coffins, some with mummies inside, and around 40 gilded statues in a vast Pharaonic necropolis south of Cairo.
Colourful, sealed sarcophagi and statues that were buried more than 2,500 years ago were displayed in a makeshift exhibit at the feet of the famed Step Pyramid of Djoser at Saqqara.
Archaeologists opened a coffin with a well-preserved mummy wrapped in cloth inside. They also carried out X‐raying visualising the structures of the ancient mummy, showing how the body had been preserved.
Tourism and Antiquities Minister Khaled el-Anany told a news conference that the discovered items date back to the Ptolemaic dynasty that ruled Egypt for some 300 years – from around 320 B.C. to about 30 B.C, and the Late Period (664-332 B.C.).

He said they would move the artefacts to at least three Cairo museums including the Grand Egyptian Museum that Egypt is building near the famed Giza Pyramids. He said they would announce another discovery at the Saqqara necropolis later this year.
The Saqqara site is part of the necropolis at Egypt’s ancient capital of Memphis that includes the famed Giza Pyramids, as well as smaller pyramids at Abu Sir, Dahshur and Abu Ruwaysh. The ruins of Memphis were designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1970s.
Egypt frequently touts its archaeological discoveries in hopes of spurring a vital tourism industry that has been reeling from the political turmoil following the 2011 popular uprising that toppled longtime autocrat Hosni Mubarak. The sector was also dealt a further blow this year by the coronavirus pandemic.

Source:stuff

Sunday, November 15, 2020

New Discovery, Sakkara "1": Egypt announces the biggest archaeological discovery in 2020 at Saqqara Necropolis.

A collection of 100 intact 26th Dynasty coffins were unearthed in Egypt's Saqqara Necropolis, in addition to golden funerary masks and a collection of 40 wooden statues of Saqqara goddess Ptah Soker, some of which are gilded.

Excavations conducted by the Egyptian archaeological mission working in the Saqqara Necropolis resulted in the discovery of three 12- metre deep shafts, closed for more than 2,500 years, containing 100 intact, sealed and painted anthropoid coffins.

During the announcement, a CT- scan was conducted on a mummy in one of the coffins. It was revealed that the deceased died in his 40s, was 175 cm tall, healthy, and did not suffer any fatal diseases.

Bassem Gehad, who conducted the scan, said the deceased was perfectly mummified with his arms crossed on his chest, in a position known in ancient Egypt as the Osiris shape.

“It is a great discovery in 2020, but it is not the last one,” said khaled El-Enany, the minister of tourism and antiquities.

"We have discovered only one per cent of the antiquities buried in the Saqqara Necropolis," he added, pointing out that many other discoveries will follow.

El-Enany stated a discovery made by renowned Egyptologist Zahi Hawass will be announced soon in Saqqara. 

He explained the coffins will distributed among the Cairo Museum in Tahrir, the Grand Egyptian Museum, and the National Museum of Egyptian civilization.

The Egyptian archaeological mission made throughout the past years a number of important discoveries in Saqqara, the last of which was in October when the mission unearthed 59 painted coffins with mummies in a good condition of top officials and priests from the 26th Dynasty. 

A short film released by the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities to coincide with the discovery described the Saqqara Necropolis as a “sacred place where the rich and powerful wanted to be buried."

The video showed many statues of animals, figurines, as well as intact and sealed coffins.

“That is what we were expecting; the coffins were well-sealed, no chemical reaction, no air inside, nothing, that is why it is all in perfect condition of preservation,” the secretary-general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, Mostafa Waziry, explained in the film.

Thursday, November 12, 2020

New Discovery Saqqara "2': Ancient Egyptian coffins unearthed 400 years ago ‘virtually’ opened to reveal ‘bodies buried with organs’ and gold coins.

Scientists were able to peer inside the ancient coffins without opening them thanks to a few CT scans.
Two of the coffins were found 400 years ago in a rock cut tomb at the Saqqara necropolis in Egypt.
Only three of these coffins are known to still exist and the third one was also found at Saqqara at a later date.
They're known as 'stucco-shrouded portrait mummies' because the outside of the coffin supposedly depicts what the people inside looked like when they were alive.
One contains a male and the other two contain females, one of which is a teenager girl.
These mummies were unusual because they were placed on wooden boards, wrapped in decorative shrouds and then covered in plaster on which a whole-body portrait and gold was added.
CT scans showed that the teenage girl mummy was definitely buried with all of her organs inside.
That includes the brain, which was often removed during standard mummification.
Researchers think all of the mummies may have been left with their organs inside, which then decayed.
Both women were buried wearing multiple necklaces and all of the coffins contained artefacts that Egyptians may have thought were useful in the afterlife.
These include coins that might have been intended for paying Charon, a god believed to carry souls across the river.
All the mummies date to the late Roman period in Egypt, which was around 30 BCE to CE 395.
It's thought they were all fairly wealthy when they were alive.
The two famous mummies found together in Saqqara were X-rayed before in the 1980s but the CT scans revealed much more.
For example, we now know the woman died in her 30s and was around 4'11".
She is also thought to have suffered with arthritis.
The teenage girl died between the ages of 17 and 19 and had a benign tumour in her spine.
The male was around 5'4" inches, died around the age of 25 and had some quite bad dental issues.
The teenage mummy is on display at the Museum of Egyptian Antiquities, Cairo, Egypt.
The other two can be found at an exhibition in Dresden in Germany.
This research has been published in the journal PLOS One
Source:thesun

Wednesday, November 11, 2020

News: Egyptian Expert Believes He Has Found Out How the Great Pyramid Was Built Without Modern Technology.

An archaeologist has stated that he has finally solved the mystery regarding the Great Pyramid's peculiar alignment after he spotted a 'flaw'.
The expert from Egypt believes that he has got the answer to how the ancient civilization was able to make such a complex structure without the help of modern technology, as per reports.
Researchers from the US-based Glen Dash Research Foundation and the Ancient Egypt Research Associates (AERA) had earlier identified the flaw in the alignment. 
A well-known theory suggests that the 4,500-year-old structure that is estimated to weigh more than six million tonnes got built after huge stones were moved from a nearby quarry, dragged, and also lifted into the place.
The researchers found that three sides of the base of the pyramid were once between 230.295 meters and 230.373 meters long, but the west side came in between 230.378 meters and also 230.436 meters, which means it was off by around 14.1 cm, as reported by the Express.
But, the sides fit properly despite the measurements along with the cardinal points of north, east, south, and west with all three of the largest pyramids of Egypt, two in Giza and one at the Dahshur, which are remarkably aligned.
Archaeologist and engineer Glen Dash stated, "All three pyramids exhibit the same manner of error, they are rotated slightly counterclockwise from the cardinal points," as reported by the Daily Star.
Many hypotheses exist as to how the workers from ancient times did this, which include using the pole star to align the pyramids or the shadow of the Sun, but Dash stated he had cracked the mystery.
His study that was published in The Journal of Ancient Egyptian Architecture, suggested that the people from Egypt made use of the autumnal equinox for achieving perfect alignment.
The Earth is tilted on the axis, which means that as it orbits the Sun, the star illuminates the northern or southern hemisphere more depending on the orbit.
However, at two points in the year, the Sun illuminates the northern and also the southern hemispheres equally, which is known as the equinox.
The researcher also showed the chances of error were similar to those discovered in the alignment of the Khufu and Khafre pyramids at Giza and the Red pyramid at Dahshur.
Despite the convincing argument, there is no proper evidence that it was the case. "The Egyptians, unfortunately, left us a few clues.
No engineering documents or architectural plans have been found that give technical explanations demonstrating how the ancient Egyptians aligned any of their temples or pyramids," Dash's report concluded. 
Source:ibtimes

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, November 10, 2020

New Discovery , Saqqara "4": Egypt to announce biggest archaeological discovery of 2020 soon.

Egypt’s Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities will announce the biggest archaeological discovery of 2020 at a press conference in the Saqqara necropolis in the next few days.
The Egyptian archaeological mission announced that, in the past few years, a number of important archaeological discoveries in Saqqara have been made. 
The last of these was the discovery of 59 well-preserved, painted coffins of top officials and priests from the 26th Dynasty, with mummies still inside.
The discovery was announced at an international press conference early last October.
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
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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 ...