Saturday, May 27, 2017

Lintel bearing Middle Kingdom cartouches unearthed at Ihnasya site in Egypt

A lintel inscribed with the cartouche of Sesostris II was unearthed at Heryshef temple in Ihnasya

By Nevine El-Aref , Saturday 27 May 2017

Photocredit: Ahram Online

A large temple lintel made of red granite was discovered by an Egyptian-Spanish mission during excavation work at the temple of Heryshef at an archaeological site in Ihnasya El-Medina, Beni Suef.

Mahmoud Afifi, the head of the Ancient Egyptian Antiquities Department at the Ministry of Antiquities, announced the discovery on Saturday.

He described it as “very important” because the lintel is engraved with two cartouches containing the name of the Middle Kingdom King Sesostris II, (c.1895 – 1889 BC), who built the Lahun pyramid located 10 km away from Ihnasya.

The presence of the lintel at the Heryshef temple proves the interest of Sesostris II in this site, and in Fayoum in general.

Maria Carmen Perez-Die, the director of the mission from the Antiquities Museum in Madrid, said that the mission had uncovered several constructions levels, one dating to the early 18th dynasty, which concluded with the reign of Thutmosis III (c. 1479 – 1425 BC) and another to that of Ramesses II (c.1279 – 1213 BC).

Source: http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/9/40/269618/Heritage/Ancient-Egypt/Lintel-bearing-Middle-Kingdom-cartouches-unearthed.aspx

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Burial chamber of recently unearthed 13th Dynasty Pyramid in Dahshur uncovered

The wooden box of the canopic jars and remains of an anthropoid sarcophagus were uncovered inside the newly discovered pyramid remains in Dahshur necropolis

By Nevine El-Aref , Wednesday 10 May 2017

The Egyptian archaeological mission from the Ministry of Antiquities uncovered the burial chamber of a 13th Dynasty Pyramid discovered last month at Dahshur archaeological site.

Adel Okasha, head of the mission and the general director of the Dahshur site, explained that after removing the stones that covered the burial chamber, the mission discovered a wooden box engraved with three lines of hieroglyphics.

These lines are rituals to protect the deceased and the name of its owner.

Sherif Abdel Moneim, assistant to the minister of antiquities, revealed that the box housed the four canopic jars of the deceased with their name engraved, that of the daughter of the 13th Dynasty King Emnikamaw, whose pyramid is located 600 metres away.

He said that the mission also discovered last month a relief with 10 lines of hieroglyphics bearing the cartouche of King Emenikamaw. Hence the box may belong to the King’s daughter, or one of his family. Inside the box, the mission found wrappings of the deceased's liver, intestines, stomach and lungs.

Remains of an anthropoid sarcophagus have been found but in a very bad state of conservation. Excavation works would continue to uncover more of the pyramid's secrets.

Khaled El-Enany, minister of antiquities, visited the site this morning to inspect the excavation works.

Source: http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/9/40/268521/Heritage/Ancient-Egypt/Burial-chamber-of-recently-unearthed-th-Dynasty-Py.aspx

Friday, May 5, 2017

Unique funerary garden unearthed in Thebes

For the first time, an almost 4000 year-old funerary garden is uncovered in Draa Abul Naga necropolis on Luxor’s west bank

By Nevine El-Aref , Wednesday 3 May 2017

During excavation work in the area around the early 18th Dynasty rock-cut tombs of Djehuty and Hery (ca 1500­‐1450 BCE) in Draa Abul Nagaa necropolis, a Spanish archaeological mission unearthed a unique funerary garden.

Mahmoud Afifi, head of the Ancient Egyptian Antiquities sector at the Ministry of Antiquities told Ahram Online that the garden was found in the open courtyard of a Middle Kingdom rock-cut tomb and the layout of the garden measures 3m x 2m and is divided into squares of about 30cm.

These squares, he pointed out, seem to have contained different kinds of plants and flowers. In the middle of the garden the mission has located two elevated spots that was once used for the cultivation of a small tree or bush.

At one of the corners, Afifi continued, the roots and the trunk of a 4,000 year-old small tree have been preserved to a height of 30cm. Next to it, a bowl containing dried dates and other fruits, which could have been presented as offerings, were found.

“The discovery of the garden may shed light on the environment and gardening in ancient Thebes during the Middle Kingdom, around 2000 BCE,” said Jose Galan, head of the Spanish mission and research professor at the Spanish National Research Council in Madrid.

He explained that similar funerary gardens were only found on the walls of a number of New Kingdom tombs where a small and squared garden is represented at the entrance of the funerary monument, with a couple of trees next to it. It probably had a symbolic meaning and must have played a role in the funerary rites. However, Galan asserted, these gardens have never been found in ancient Thebes and the recent discovery offers archaeological confirmation of an aspect of ancient Egyptian culture and religion that was hitherto only known through iconography.

Moreover, he pointed out, near the entrance of the Middle Kingdom rock-cut tomb, a small mud-brick chapel measuring 46cm x 70cm x 55cm was discovered attached to the façade. Inside it three stelae of the 13th Dynasty, around ca 1800 BCE, were found in situ.

He explained that early studies reveal that the owner of one of them was called Renef‐Seneb, and the owner of the second was “the citizen Khemenit, son of the lady of the house, Idenu.” The latter mentions the gods Montu, Ptah, Sokar and Osiris.

“These discoveries underscore the relevance of the central area of Dra Abul Naga as a sacred place for the performance of a variety of cultic activities during the Middle Kingdom,” asserted Galan.

The Spanish mission has been working for 16 years in Dra Abul Naga, on the West Bank of Luxor, around the early 18th Dynasty rock-cut tombs of Djehuty and Hery.


Source: http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/9/40/267024/Heritage/Ancient-Egypt/Unique-funerary-garden-unearthed-in-Thebes.aspx

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

2nd Pyramid Bearing Pharaoh Ameny Qemau's Name Is Found

By Owen Jarus, Live Science Contributor | April 4, 2017

A 3,800-year-old pyramid found with an alabaster block bearing the name of pharaoh Ameny Qemau has been discovered at the site of Dahshur in Egypt.

Another pyramid containing artifacts bearing the name of Ameny Qemau (also spelled Qemaw) was discovered in 1957 in Dahshur, a royal necropolis in the desert on the Nile River's west bank. The finding has left Egyptologists with a mystery as to why the same pharaoh seemingly has two pyramids to his name.

The remains of the pyramid's inner structure were discovered by a team of Egyptian archaeologists and announced today (April 4) by the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities.

"The uncovered remains of the pyramid represents a part of its inner structure, which is composed of a corridor leading to the inner side of the pyramid and a hall, which leads to a southern ramp and a room to the western end," Adel Okasha, the director general of the Dahshur necropolis, said in a statement from the ministry.

Within the inner structure, the team discovered an alabaster block containing 10 lines of hieroglyphic writing. The ministry said it had not yet deciphered the writing on the block.

Live Science showed pictures of the pyramid's block, released by the ministry, to several Egyptologists. Both James Allen, a professor of Egyptology at Brown University, and Aidan Dodson, a research fellow at the University of Bristol, said  that inscribed on the block is a type of religious text used to line the walls of pyramids, and that it bears the name of the pharaoh Ameny Qemau.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

4th century imperial bath complex inaugurated in Egypt's Alexandria

By Nevine El-Aref , Saturday 1 Apr 2017

Egyptian Minister of Antiquities Khaled El-Enany and members of parliment inaugurated Alexandria's cistern and imperial bathing complex area in the Kom El-Dikka archaeological site.

The area had been undergoing excavation and restoration since 1960 by an Egyptian-Polish mission from Warsaw University.

Mahmoud Afifi, head of the ministry's Ancient Egyptian Antiquities Department, said that the newly inaugurated area will be included within the Kom Al-Dikka tourist path, which includes the Roman amphitheater, the bird villa and residential houses from the Hellenistic period until the Islamic era.

El-Enany describes the bathing complex as "one of the finest edifices of its time," and that the bathing halls had welcomed hundreds of bathers at a time.

The complex also includes palestrae for physical exercises, colonnade passages and amenities such as public latrines.

Water was supplied to the complex using huge cisterns and heated by a complex system of furnaces and pipes.

The minister and the parlimentary delegates also paid a visit to the planned Mosaic museum in downtown Alexandria to inspect the ongoing work and address any obstacles to its completion.

During the tour, Mohamed Abdelmaguid, director-general of the Underwater Archaeological Department, introduced a three-phase plan to develop the Qayet Bey Citadel and its surroundings.

Abdelmaguid also reviewed a plan for the construction of the first underwater museum beneath the city's eastern harbour, which once was the ancient Alexandria royal area.

Abdelmaguid suggests the building of an underwater park to promote diving as well as the establishment of a training centre for underwater archaeology.

Source: http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/9/41/262047/Heritage/GrecoRoman/th-century-imperial-bath-complex-inaugurated-in-Eg.aspx

Friday, March 24, 2017

Can a long-lost Egyptian colossus save ancient Heliopolis?

By Garry Shaw 21 March 2017

Earlier this month, news of the discovery of a colossal statue of an ancient Egyptian king took the world by storm. Working deep in a water-logged pit, a joint team of Egyptian and German archaeologists discovered the eight metre-high colossus broken into two large pieces: a torso and lower part of the face, with a part of the pharaoh’s false beard present, and the top of its head, wearing a crown. These pieces have now been lifted to the surface, and taken for conservation at the Egyptian Museum in Cairo, where they will be temporarily displayed. Afterwards, the statue will be exhibited at the Grand Egyptian Museum, currently under construction at Giza and scheduled to open in 2018. Though early reports indicated that the quartzite colossus might have been erected under the famous King Ramesses II (c. 1279–1212 BC), it has since been shown to bear the name of King Psamtik I (c. 664–610 BC) of the Late Period – an arguably equally important pharaoh, though lacking the star power of the earlier, better known ruler.

The colossus was discovered in Matariya, a northeast suburb of Cairo. Now a densely packed area of apartment buildings, for thousands of years it was part of one of ancient Egypt’s greatest cities, better known today by its Greek name: Heliopolis, ‘City of the Sun’ (not to be confused with modern Heliopolis, a couple of kilometres to its east). From the beginning of Egyptian history, ancient Heliopolis was the main centre of Egypt’s sun cult, where priests worshipped the god Re, and developed myths proclaiming his temple to be built on the first land that rose from the floodwaters after creation. Ancient descriptions and depictions present it as a city of statues, obelisks (two of which are now in London and New York), sphinxes, shrines, large and elaborate temple complexes, housing, fields and farms, connected to the Nile by canal. It was a place of learning, where astronomical observations were made. Such was the city’s prestige that occasionally the office of high priest of Re was held by a royal prince.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Archaeologists unearth statue of Queen Tiye in Egypt's Luxor

The discovery of the statue was made by the European-Egyptian mission, working under the umbrella of the German Archaeological Institute

By Nevine El-Aref , Thursday 23 Mar 2017

A unique statue, possibly of Queen Tiye, the wife of King Amenhotep III and grandmother of King Tutankhamun, has been unearthed at her husband's funerary temple in Kom El-Hittan on Luxor's west bank.

The exciting find was made by the European-Egyptian mission, working under the umbrella of the German Archaeological Institute.

Minister of Antiquities Khaled El-Enany who visited the site to inspect the discovery, described the staute as "unique and distinghuised".

He told Ahram Online that no alabaster statues of Queen Tiye have been found before now.

"All previous statues of her unearthed in the temple were carved of quartzite," he said.

Hourig Sourouzian, head of the mission said that the statue is very well preserved and has kept is colours well.

She said the statue was founded accidentally while archaeologists were lifting up the lower part of a statue of king Amenhotep III that was buried in the sand.

"The Queen Tiye statue appeared beside the left leg of the King Amenhotep III statue," Sourouzian said.

She added that the statue will be the subject of restoration work. 

Source: http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/9/40/261512/Heritage/Ancient-Egypt/Archaeologists-unearth-statue-of-Queen-Tiye-in-Egy.aspx