Archaeology

Egyptian princess tomb discovered

antichamber of Princess Shert Nebti tomb

Egypt’s antiquities minister announced on Friday the discovery of a princess’s tomb dating from the fifth dynasty (around 2500 BC) in the Abu Sir region south of Cairo.

“We have discovered the antechamber to Princess Shert Nebti’s tomb which contains four limestone pillars,” Mohamed Ibrahim said.

The pillars “have hieroglyphic inscriptions giving the princess’s name and her titles, which include ‘the daughter of the king Men Salbo and his lover venerated before God the all-powerful,’” he added.

Ibrahim said that the Czech Institute of Egyptology’s mission, funded by the Charles University of Prague and directed by Miroslav Bartas, had made the discovery.

“The discovery of this tomb marks the beginning of a new era in the history of the sepulchers at Abu Sir and Saqqara,” Ibrahim said.

The Czech team also excavated a corridor in the southeast of the antechamber, which leads off to four other tombs, two of which have already been discovered separately.

The two tombs belonged to high-ranking officials including a “grand upholder of the law” and an “inspector of the servants of the palace,” according to their inscriptions. They date from the fifth pharaonic dynasty.

The discoveries have all been made during the excavation season, which began in October, said Usama al-Shini, director of the Supreme Council of Antiquities for Giza.

The corridor contains four limestone sarcophagi that contain statuettes of a man, a man accompanied by his son, and two men with a woman.

Reference: Alarabiya.net English
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New Egyptian Pyramids Found by Google Earth


Two possible pyramid complexes might have been found in Egypt, according to a Google Earth satellite imagery survey.

Located about 90 miles apart, the sites contain unusual grouping of mounds with intriguing features and orientations, said satellite archaeology researcher Angela Micol of Maiden, N.C.

One site in Upper Egypt, just 12 miles from the city of Abu Sidhum along the Nile, features four mounds each with a larger, triangular-shaped plateau.

The two larger mounds at this site are approximately 250 feet in width, with two smaller mounds approximately 100 feet in width.

NEWS: Egyptian Pyramids Found With NASA Satellite

The site complex is arranged in a very clear formation with the large mound extending a width of approximately 620 feet — almost three times the size of the Great Pyramid.

“Upon closer examination of the formation, this

Two possible pyramid complexes might have been found in Egypt, according to a Google Earth satellite imagery survey.

Located about 90 miles apart, the sites contain unusual grouping of mounds with intriguing features and orientations, said satellite archaeology researcher Angela Micol of Maiden, N.C.

One site in Upper Egypt, just 12 miles from the city of Abu Sidhum along the Nile, features four mounds each with a larger, triangular-shaped plateau.

The two larger mounds at this site are approximately 250 feet in width, with two smaller mounds approximately 100 feet in width.

appears to have a very flat top and a curiously symmetrical triangular shape that has been heavily eroded with time,” Micol wrote in her website Google Earth Anomalies.

Intriguingly, when zooming in on the top of the triangular formation, two circular, 20-foot-wide features appear almost in the very center of the triangle.

Some 90 miles north near the Fayoum oasis, the second possible pyramid complex contains a four-sided, truncated mound that is approximately 150 feet wide.

Reference : Discovery News
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Did You Know How Old the Sphinx is?

 

Great Sphinx

 

For years, Egyptologists and archaeologists have thought the Great Sphinx of Giza to be about 4,500 years old, dating to around 2500 B.C. However, some recent studies have suggested that the Sphinx was built as long ago as 7000 B.C.

The relatively new theory is based on what is thought to be “precipitation-induced weathering” on the upper areas of the Sphinx. Archaeologists supporting this view contend that the last time there was sufficient precipitation in the region to cause this pattern of rainfall erosion on limestone was around 9,000 years ago, 7000 B.C.

More traditional Egyptologists reject this view for several reasons. First, a Sphinx built earlier than 7000 B.C. would upset our understanding of ancient civilization, as there is no evidence of an Egyptian civilization this old.

Also, the new theory focuses only on a specific type of erosion and ignores other evidence that would support an age of 4,500 years. Among these: The Sphinx is a rapidly weathering structure, appearing older than it is; subsurface water drainage or Nile flooding could have produced the pattern of erosion; and the Sphinx is believed to resemble Khafre, the pharaoh who built one of the nearby pyramids of Giza. He lived circa 2603-2578 B.C.

It’s exciting to contemplate the existence of an unknown civilization that predates the ancient Egyptians, but most archaeologists and geologists still favor the traditional view that the Sphinx is about 4,500 years old.

 

Reference : msnbc.com
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Crocodile museum to open in Aswan, Egypt

Crocodile-Museum

The first “Museum of Crocodiles” will open this month in front of the Temple of Kom Ombo in Aswan, a busy tourist area on the East bank of the Nile, southern Egypt.

 

Forty mummified crocodiles of ranging in size from 1.5m long to almost of five metres long will be exhibited, according to Egypt’s tourism authority.

The museum, which is opening in time for Aswan’s National Day in January, will also feature statues of Sobek, known by Ancient Egyptians as ‘the crocodile god’.

 

Reference :HotelierMiddleEast.com
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The Last Secret Door of Great Pyramid will be opened in 2012

The secret gates at the heart of the Great Pyramid may be opened for the first time in 2012, a British robot company believes – solving a mystery that has puzzled archaeologists since 1872.

‘We’re still waiting for permission to return to the pyramid,’ Whitehead told Mail Online today. ‘In the meantime, we have been working on enhancing the robot.’

‘The main plan is to carefully survey and document the shafts, to gather as much information as possible to allow archaeologists to determine their purpose.  We also still plan to look beyond the blocking stones at the ends of the shafts, if it is safe and practical to do so.’

Scoutek UK had already begun exploring behind the gates earlier this year – and produced the first-ever images from behind the gates using a ‘micro snake’ robot. But the exploration was halted by the recent unrest in Egypt.

Expedition leader Shaun Whitehead said, ‘I’m very confident we can resume work in 2012.’

Egypt’s Supreme Council of Antiquities stopped granting permits for research such as the Djedi robotic exploration of the Great Pyramid.

But it has recently started granting permits again.

The expedition is named Djedi after the magician who Khufu consulted while building the pyramid. It is a joint project founded by Dr Ng from Hong Kong University, and Scoutek UK, in cooperation with the Supreme Council of Antiquities, Egypt, Dassault Systèmes in France and the University of Leeds.

The four narrow shafts deep inside the 4,500-year-old Great Pyramid have puzzled archaeologists ever since they were first found in 1872.

The shafts are just eight inches across – and thus can’t be explored by human explorers. Many experts believe that the shaft was designed to provide an ‘exit’ for the Pharaoh’s spirit into.

The pyramid is the last of the seven wonders of the ancient world still standing, and is thought to have been built as a tomb for Pharoah Khufu, who ruled in the Fourth Egyptian Dynasty and died in 2566 BC.

Khufu had the Great Pyramid of Giza built as a monumental tomb, inside of which are tomb chambers, ante-rooms, chambers, ventilation shafts and access tunnels.

There are three main chambers: The King’s Chamber, the Queen’s Chamber and the Grand Gallery.

The King’s Chamber has two shafts connected to outside, but two tunnels from the Queen’s Chamber deep inside the widest part of the pyramid have two stone doors.

Some experts now believe this may indicate a secret chamber, further still within the pyramid.

 It is not the first time robots have been used within the pyramid to gather evidence about the inner depths of the structure.

In 1993 a robot discovered a small door set with metal pins, the first time any metal had been found inside the pyramid, igniting speculation that the pins were keys or door handles.

In 2002 a different robot filmed a small chamber blocked by a stone after managing to drill through the first stone block.

The latest robot, built by UK company Scoutek, is a ‘micro-snake’ armed with a camera, designed to explore small spaces.

Designer Whitehead also worked on sensors for the Beagle 2 Mars exploration craft.

The door which still puzzles experts can be seen to be polished, thanks to the bendy camera, marking it out as an important part of the structure rather than simply as something to stop debris entering the chamber, says camera designer Shaun Whitehead.

Egyptologist Kate Spence of Cambridge University says the tunnels may purely be symbolic and relate to the stars.

Although she is not involved directly in the study of the Giza pyramid, Spence does not believe there is a further, hidden chamber behind the door, suggesting instead that the shafts could have been built to allow the Pharoah’s spirit to cross to the afterlife.

Reference : Dailymail
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1,200 tourists gather to watch the sun light in Abu Simbel temple

Coming from different countries, 1,200 tourists were able to see the sun illuminate the inner sanctuary of the Abu Simbel temple Saturday, amidst an expansion of facilities used by tourists to the southern Egyptian archaeological site.

Archaeologist Ahmed Saleh, the Director General of Abu Simbel, said that the sun’s passage started promptly at 5:42 am, and lasted for 22 minutes. The illumination announced the beginning of the harvest season for the ancient Egyptians.

Saleh said the phenomenon has nothing to do with what is rumored about the Pharaoh’s birth or his coronation. The phenomenon is repeated twice each year, on Feb. 22 and Oct. 22.

Ahmed Saleh stressed the necessity of promoting this phenomenon all over the over by broadcasting the phenomenon on international channels.

Asad Abdul Majeed, the director of Abu Simbel, said that the city had prepared to receive the tourists. It undertook landscaping and an upgrade in lighting and waste disposal.

The first stage of an expansion of the 125 km (78 mile) Aswan-Abu Simbel road was completed, costing 125 million EGP (U.S. $21 million). The road was doubled in width, and added signage, stations, and car parks.

Work on the international airport of Abu Simbel also continued, with the addition of a car park. This is parallel effort with the creation of a parking area by the Abu Simbel Temple.

Most tourists come to Abu Simbel from Aswan, although some fly to the site or arrived on cruises and floating hotels.

Reference: youm7

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Youth Convoy to support ecotourism in the White Desert Protectorate in Wadi Gedid

Egyptian Minister of State for Environmental Affairs Maged Ilyas Ghattas yesterday announced the arrival of the first youth convoy to support ecotourism in the White Desert Protectorate in Wadi Gedid, the Upper Egypt governorate.

The youth convoy will spend four days in the protectorate, and they will work in cooperation with the Sea Scouts and with the Environmental Researcher Program.

The convoy will attempt to purify the Roman wells and archaeological sites. They will also work on road maintenance programs.

The youth will hold a cleaning campaign in the protectorate as well, Ghattas said, adding that they will remove weeds and parasites and maintain underground aquifers.

Roman wells, which serve both residents and tourists, are the only source of drinking water along the road leading to the protectorate.

The protectorate is considered an important habitat for many kinds of gazelles and birds.

The participants will also build a large umbrella next to the Saro well to help with tourism.

The civil police forces and criminal investigation teams are still in the process of arresting those who were illegally using excavation tools in the protectorate.

Reference: youm7

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‘royal’ coffin has been discovered at Torquay Museum

An extremely rare Egyptian coffin, possibly belonging to the son of a king
or a very senior official, has
‘royal’ coffinbeen ‘discovered’ at Torquay Museum by an archaeologist at the University of Bristol.

Dr Aidan Dodson, a senior research fellow in Bristol’s Department of Archaeology and Anthropology made the discovery while undertaking a long-term project to catalogue every single Egyptian coffin in English and Welsh provincial museums.

Dr Dodson said: “When I walked into Torquay Museum for the first time I realised that the coffin was something really special.  Not only was it of a design of which there is probably only one other example in the UK (in Bristol), but the quality was exceptional.

“Cut from a single log of cedar wood, it is exquisitely carved, inlaid and painted.  For a child to have been given something like that, he must have had very important parents – perhaps even a king and queen. Unfortunately, the part of the inscription which named the boy and his parents is so badly damaged that we cannot be certain.

“The inscription had been re-worked at some point for a new owner – a 2,500 year old mummified boy, anonymous but given the name Psamtek by his current custodians, that came to Torquay Museum with the coffin when in was donated in the 1950s.  ‘Psamtek’ is in fact nearly 1,000 years younger than the coffin itself.”

The secrets of the mummified boy were probed by Torbay Hospital’s state-of-the-art CT scanner in 2006 in an attempt to determine his age and cause of death.  It was discovered that he was three to four years old – around three years younger than previously thought – but there were no obvious signs of the cause of death.

Ever since he went on show as part of a major redevelopment at Torquay Museum in 2007, ‘Psamtek’, the only human mummy on public display in the county, has captured the imagination of thousands of curious visitors.

But now his own coffin has stolen the limelight, after it was discovered that it is nearly 1,000 years older than the body it contains.  Further investigation reveals the coffin may have been made for a junior member of royalty more than a century before the time of the famous boy king Tutankhamun.

Museum curator Barry Chandler said: “It’s an extraordinary discovery and means that the coffin is now the most spectacular exhibit in our entire collection. It’s extremely rare – even the British Museum doesn’t have one quite like it.”

Both the coffin and its contents were donated to the museum in 1956 by Lady Winnaretta Leeds, daughter of sewing machine heir Paris Singer.  Fascinated by Egyptology, Lady Leeds travelled to the Middle East many times.  It was during one of her visits in the 1920s that she is thought to have bought the coffin and mummy.

For years they were kept hidden away in storage until Torquay Museum carried out a £2 million refurbishment and decided to make the items the centrepiece of an Egyptian exhibition in their new Explorers’ Gallery.

Mr Chandler said the always thought the coffin and its contents had not gone together and that the original occupant had been taken out so it could be reused.

“We thought perhaps the coffin dated back another 200 years or so to about 700BC,” he said. “But we never realised it had actually been made somewhere between the reign of Ahmose I and the early years of the reign of Thutmose III – the first and fifth rulers of the 18th Dynasty – so somewhere between 1525 and 1470 BC.

“Not only has it gained an awful lot of age, but it has gone back to one of the most famous Egyptian dynasties of all.  No-one knows who exactly Devon’s own ‘Psamtek’ was. It’s possible that he perished during a turbulent period in Egypt’s past when coffins were in short supply.”

The coffin is covered in linen impregnated with plaster.  Predominantly painted white, it has a red-painted face – indicating a male – and eyes that are made from volcanic glass and limestone mounted in bronze.  Further down, “perfectly modelled” knees are another of the features that indicate that the coffin must have originally contained someone important – either the child of a pharaoh or the offspring of a government minister.

 

 

Reference: Insciences Organisation

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KING TUT AND THE GOLDEN AGE

Discovery Times Square Exposition, New York City
April 23, 2010 – January 2, 2011

The Tutankhamun and the Golden Age of the Pharoahs Exhibition opens in New York City on April 23rd.  Ambassador Shoukry will attend the opening ceremony.  The exhibition includes approximately 130 objects from the tomb of King Tut and other Valley of the Kings ancestors.

 

Reference: Modern Egypt

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Team unearths first Roman-era basilica in Egypt

Egyptian officials say archaeologists have unearthed the first basilica erected in the Mediterranean port city of Alexandria.

Team unearths first Roman-era basilica in Egypt

Team unearths first Roman-era basilica in Egypt

Antiquities authorities say the basilica is dated to the Roman era and was built on the ruins of a temple from the Ptolemaic reign that ended with the death of Cleopatra.

A statement Thursday says two parallel rows of granite and limestone pillars suggest the basilica was a social site that was also used for trade and judicial matters.

It says several statues of the Ancient Egyptian goddess Isis — one showing her breast-feeding — and others of the Graeco-Egyptian god Serapis also have been unearthed during five months of excavations that ended in May when archaeologists hit underground water.

 

Posted by : Yasmine Hamzawy
Reference : youm7.com

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