Monthly Archives: May 2014

NEWS: Two Twenty-sixth Dynasty tombs discovered in old city of Per Medjet

The Egyptiana Emporium

20140421-153124.jpg(Source: Luxor Times).

“Dr. Mohamed Ibrahim, Minister of Antiquities, has announced the discovery of two Twenty-sixth Dynasty tombs (663 B.C- 525 B.C) in Al Bahnsa, Minia governorate in middle Egypt.
The site of Al Bahnsa is the location of the ancient Egyptian town of Per-Medjet which was developed into the Graeco-Roman city of Oxyrhynchus.

The discovery by the Spanish team works in cooperation with an Egyptian team from the Ministry of Antiquities.

One of the tombs belongs to a scribe. A bronze inkwell and two small bamboo pens were found next to his mummy which is in good condition. Thousands of fish were found in the scribe’s tomb, some mummified. Also the top of a canopic jar was found in the tomb.

The second tomb belongs to a priest who was the head of a family – many of its members were priests in the Osireion which was discovered few…

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NEWS: Almost 60 royal mummies discovered in Egypt’s Valley of the Kings

The Egyptiana Emporium

20140428-203224.jpgA huge tomb discovered in the West Bank of the Nile Valley of the Kings in Luxor is seen in this undated Egyptian Supreme Council of Antiquities handout photo received April 28, 2014 (Source: Ahram Online).

“A cache of royal mummies has been unearthed inside a rock-hewn tomb in the Valley of the Kings on Luxor’s West Bank, Egypt’s antiquities ministry announced on Monday.

The tomb contains almost 60 ancient Egyptian royal mummies from the 18th dynasty along with the remains of wooden sarcophagi and cartonnage mummy masks depicting the facial features of the deceased, Antiquities Minister Mohamed Ibrahim told Ahram Online.

Ibrahim explained that the excavation work was carried out in collaboration with Basel University in Switzerland.

Early studies reveal that the Heratic texts engraved on some of the clay pots found inside the tomb identify the names and titles of 30 deceased, among them the names of princesses…

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NEWS: Ramesside tomb of Egypt’s royal ambassador discovered at Saqqara

The Egyptiana Emporium

20140508-223759.jpgNew Kingdom tomb discovered at Old Kingdom site at Saqqara, a find that officials say will transform the location into an even greater tourist attraction (Source: Ahram Online).

“Journalists, photographers and top officials flocked to a site south of Unas Pyramid causeway at Saqqara necropolis on Thursday to admire a newly discovered tomb that, according to experts, “will change the history of the necropolis.”

Archaeologists from Cairo University stumbled upon what is believed to be the tomb of Paser – Egypt’s royal ambassador to foreign countries during the late Ramesside period as well as the army archives holder.

The tomb is temple-shaped and consists of a portico entrance, pillars hall and a peristyle court, which contains the main burial shaft in the centre and opens directly onto a sanctuary with three rooms.

“It’s a vey important discovery that add more to Egypt’s history and political status with its neighbouring countries,”…

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NEWS: Archaeologists unearth 5,600-year-old tomb complete with mummy that PREDATES the First Dynasty of pharaohs

The Egyptiana Emporium

20140510-175617.jpgTreasure trove: Archaeologists in southern Egypt found a mummy that predates the First Dynasty and the unification of Egypt together with an array of precious objects (pictured), the Egyptian Antiquities Ministry announced (Source: The Daily Mail).

“From the country’s enormous riches to its complex religious rituals, there is an enduring fascination with Ancient Egypt.

But now a 5,600-year-old tomb has been discovered that could shed light on a time before the First Dynasty of pharoahs.

Archaeologists in southern Egypt unearthed a mummy that predates the unification of Egypt, the Egyptian Antiquities Ministry has announced.

The tomb was built before the rule of King Narmer, the founder of the First Dynasty who unified Upper and Lower Egypt in the 31st century BC, the ministry said in a statement.

It was discovered in the Kom al-Ahmar region, between Luxor and Aswan, on the site of Hierakonpolis” – via The Daily Mail.


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NEWS: The mummified FOETUS: Scans reveal tiny ancient Egyptian sarcophagus contains the remains of a 16-week-old embryo

The Egyptiana Emporium

20140510-180229.jpgA CT scan has revealed what appears to be a foetus, pictured, in the centre of a tiny Egyptian mummy. The majority of the interior is taken up by folded strips of material. Within this material is a darker area, about 3-inches (10cm) long, that researchers claim is a foetus, in the foetal position with the placental sac (Source: The Daily Mail).

“For more than 40 years, mystery has surrounded a tiny mummy that lay among exhibits at an Egypt centre in Wales.

Experts were so baffled by its unusually small size and its delicate design that some even suggested it was a fake, created in the 19th century.

Now CT scans have revealed not only is the case a genuine Egyptian artefact, it contains the rare remains of a mummified foetus thought to have been just 12 weeks into development when it died.

The 20-inch (52cm) mummy is part…

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NEWS: Funeral relics of pharaonic singer unearthed at Saqqara necropolis

The Egyptiana Emporium

20140518-092131.jpgThree painted sarcophagi belonging to an Ancient Egyptian singer have been unearthed at Saqqara (Source: Ahram Online).

“During excavation works carried out in Bastet cemetery at the Saqqara necropolis just outside Cairo, French archaeologists stumbled upon three wooden sarcophagi belonging to Ta-Ekht, a singer in a sacred choir in the 18th dynasty period (1543–1292 BC).
Mohamed Ibrahim, the antiquities minister, said that the sarcophagi were found inside each other. The outer sarcophagus is a little deteriorated while the middle and inner ones are well-preserved.

Ibrahim told Ahram Online on Saturday that the sarcophagi were unearthed during excavation works at the tomb of the daughter of 18th dynasty pharaoh Akhenaten, Maya, who was known as Meritee Atun.

Ali El-Asfar, head of the ancient Egyptian antiquities department at the ministry told Ahram Online that the sarcophagi depict the facial features of Ta-Ekht and are decorated with paintings of foliage.

Some elements of…

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NEWS: Egyptian archaeologists unearth Ptolemy II temple of Isis

The Egyptiana Emporium

20140519-202642.jpg(Source: Luxor Times).

“The Minister of Antiquities visited Beni Suef today to announce the discovery of a Ptolemaic limestone temple in Gebel El-nour site on the east bank of the Nile in Beni Suef governorate (115km south of Cairo). The temple dated back to Ptolemy II (Philadelphus) 284-246 B.C.

The importance of this discovery that it is the first temple of Ptolemy II to be found in Beni Suef which will help to shed the light on one of the important rulers who reigned for over 39 years.

The Minister said that initial look on the temple show that it was probably dedicated to the goddess Isis. He also stressed that more excavations has to be carried out to uncover more of the architectural elements of the temple soon.
Ali Al Asfr said that the Egyptian mission managed to reach the second part of the temple which contains few rooms…

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May 17, 2014 · 11:07 pm


Did the ancient Egyptians eat like us? If you’re a vegetarian, tucking in along the Nile thousands of years ago would have felt just like home.

In fact, eating lots of meat is a recent phenomenon. In ancient cultures vegetarianism was much more common, except in nomadic populations. Most sedentary populations ate fruit and vegetables.

Although previous sources found the ancient Egyptians to be pretty much vegetarians, until this new research it wasn’t possible to find out the relative amounts of the different foods they ate. Was their daily bread really daily? Did they binge on eggplants and garlic? Why didn’t someone spear a fish?

A French research team figured out that, by looking at the carbon atoms in mummies that lived in Egypt between 3500 B.C. and 600 A.D., you could find out what they ate.

All carbon atoms are taken in by plants from carbon dioxide in the atmosphere by the process of photosynthesis. By eating plants, and the animals that had eaten plants, the carbon ends up in our bodies.

The sixth-lightest element on the periodic table – carbon – exists in nature as two stable isotopes: carbon-12 and carbon-13. Isotopes of the same element behave the same in chemical reactions but have slightly different atomic masses, with the carbon-13 being slightly heavier than the carbon-12. Plants are categorized into two groups. The first group, C3, is most common in plants such as garlic, eggplants, pears, lentils and wheat. The second smaller group, C4, comprises foodstuffs like millet and sorghum.

The common C3 plants take in less of the heavier isotope carbon-13, while the C4 plants take in more. By measuring the ratio of carbon-13 to carbon-12 you can distinguish between these two groups. If you eat a lot of C3 plants, the concentration of carbon-13 isotopes in your body will be lower than if your diet consisted mainly of C4 plants.

The mummies that the French researchers studied were the remains of 45 people that had been shipped to two museums in Lyon, France during the 19th century. “We had an approach that was a little different,” explained Alexandra Touzeau, who led the research team at the Univ. of Lyon. “We worked a lot with bones and teeth, while most researchers study hair, collagen and proteins. We also worked on many different periods, with not many individuals for each period, so we could cover a very long time span.”

The researchers reported their findings in the Journal of Archaeological Science. They measured carbon-13 to carbon-12 ratios (and also some other isotope ratios) in bone, enamel and hair in these remains, and compared them to similar measurements performed on pigs that had received controlled diets consisting of different proportions of C3 and C4 foodstuffs. As pigs have a similar metabolism to humans, their carbon isotope ratios could be compared to what was found in the mummies.

Hair absorbs a higher rate of animal proteins than bone or teeth, and the isotope ratios in hair of the mummies corresponded to that found in hair of modern European vegetarians, confirming that the ancient Egyptians were also mainly vegetarians. As is the case with many modern people, their diet was wheat- and barley-based. A main conclusion of the research was that C4 cereals, like millet and sorghum, were only a minor part of the diet, less than 10 percent.

But there were a few surprises.

“We found that the diet was constant over time; we had expected changes,” said Touzeau. This showed that the ancient Egyptians adapted well to the environment while the Nile region became increasingly arid between 3500 B.C. and 600 A.D.

To Kate Spence, an archeologist and specialist in ancient Egypt at the Univ. of Cambridge, this could be expected, “Although the area is very arid, they were cultivating crops along the river just by managing irrigation, which is very effective,” she said. When the level of the Nile decreased, farmers just came closer to the river and kept on cultivating in the same way.

The real mystery is the fish. Most people would probably expect the ancient Egyptians living along the Nile to have eaten loads of fish. However, despite considerable cultural evidence, there seems to have been little fish in their diet.

“There is abundant evidence for fishing in Egyptian wall reliefs and models (both spear and net fishing), and fish shows up in offering lists. There is also a lot of archeological evidence for fish consumption from sites such as Gaza and Amama,” said Spence, who added that some texts indicated that a few fish species were not consumed because of religious associations. “All this makes it a bit surprising that the isotopes should suggest that fish was not widely consumed.”

Source: Inside Science News Service




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Early tomb discovered Luxor times

Dr. Mohamed Ibrahim announced a new discovery today. The discovery is a Pre-Dynastic tomb dates back about 500 years before King Narmer of 1st Dynasty.
The tomb is in Kom Al Ahmar, Edfu in the site of Nekhen or Hierakonpolis.
A mummy of the tomb owner and an ivory statue were found by the mission directed by Dr. Renée Friedman in cooperation with the Ministry of Antiquities.
Ali Al Asfr, head of Ancient Egypt department, said that discovered ivory statue measures 32cm hight which could be representing the tomb owner with a beard or maybe one of the gods.
The initial examination of the mummy showed that the mummified person died at early age between 17 to 20 years old.
Dr. Renée Friedman said that there are also 10 ivory combs found in the tomb as well as a number of tools and weapons. 
According to Dr. Friedman, the importance of this tomb that it still has its content which gives archaeologists the opportunity to know more on the rituals of this era. It also shows how much respect and appreciation they had in Pre-Dynastic time for their ancestors.

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