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NEWS: Cachette of 17 mummies unearthed in Egypt’s El-Minya

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 (Source: Ahram Online).

“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.
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.
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” – via Ahram Online.

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NEWS: Egyptian mummy’s name revealed after experts carry out project on a coffin lid held at Chiddingstone Castle

The Egyptian coffin lid on display at Chiddingstone Castle (Source: Kent Online).

“Experts have lifted the lid on the secrets of a 3,000-year-old Egyptian coffin, part of which is held at a Kent castle.

Managers at Chiddingstone Castle have completed their quest to find the name of the person whose mummy had been interred inside the coffin, the lid from which is on display in the castle.
Egyptologist and imaging specialist at UCL Advanced Imaging Consultants and Cerys Jones, a PhD candidate in imaging applied to heritage, carried out a multispectral imaging of the coffin lid and an infrared filter was able to spell out the name on the lid, written in the pigment Egytian blue, which fluoresces in the infrared when the light is applied.
After consulting with other experts in the USA and Egypt, Dr Piquette announced that they were “relatively certain” that the person interred was called Irethoreru. Translated, the name is “The eye of Horus is against them”, a fairly common male name used between 664 BC and 30 AD.

With the help of different imaging and processing methods, the team were also able to find two figures of what appeared to be seated goddesses on either side of the central inscription.
Castle curator Maria Esain said: “Our Ancient Egyptian coffin lid that has been exhibited here for many years has undergone some careful conservation and advanced digital imaging. There is a saying from ancient Egyptian times – “To speak a man’s name is to restore him to eternal life.” Therefore, if we were able to determine the name written in hieroglyphs on the ‘foot’ of the coffin then we would be enabling that person to live forever.”
The coffin lid is now back on display in its improved display case with additional LED lighting to make the inscription more visible.
It comes a few months after experts used a CT scan to find out the age of Ta-Kush, the 2,700-year-old Egyptian mummy at Maidstone Museum.
The castle’s ancient Egyptian collection is among a number of artefacts on show at the castle, including a Japanese collection, Buddhist artefacts and a Stuart collection.

Chiddingstone Castle is open Sundays to Wednesdays and Bank Holiday Monday. For details go to chiddingstonecastle.org.uk” – via Kent Online.

 

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NEWS: Studies on newly discovered pyramid point to 13th Dynasty King Kamaw

(Source: Ahram Online).

“Preliminary studies on hieroglyphs found in newly discovered pyramid ruins in the Dahshour necropolis have revealed a cartouche of the 13th Dynasty King Emny Kamaw, Adel Okasha, director-general of the Dahshour necropolis, told Ahram Online.

Okasha said that offering texts are engraved on the ruins, as well as a female name of the king’s family.

Okasha said that excavation work is ongoing to reveal more of the pyramid’s secrets.
Earlier this week, an Egyptian mission from the Ministry of Antiquities uncovered remains of the pyramid.
Okasha says that the structure is composed of a corridor leading to the inside of the pyramid, a hall leading to a southern ramp, and a room at the western end.
An alabaster block measuring 15cm by 17cm has been found in the corridor, engraved with 10 vertical hieroglyphic lines that are still being studied.
A granite lintel and a collection of stony blocks showing the interior design of the pyramid have also been uncovered” – via Ahram Online.

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NEWS: Remains of 13th Dynasty pyramid discovered in Dahshur necropolis

Archaeologists have revealed a portion of the pyramid’s internal structure, described as being in very good condition (Source: Ahram Online).

“The remains of a 13th Dynasty pyramid have been discovered by an Egyptian archaeological mission working in an area to the north of King Senefru’s Bent Pyramid in the Dahshur Necropolis.

Mahmoud Afifi, the head of the ancient Egyptian antiquities sector at the antiquities ministry, announced the find, adding that the remains are in a very good condition and further excavation will take place to reveal more of the structure.

Adel Okasha, director general of the Dahshur Necropolis, explained that the portion of the pyramid uncovered so far shows a part of its inner structure.
This structure is composed of a corridor leading to the inside of the pyramid and a hall that leads to a southern ramp, as well as a room at the western end, he said.
An alabaster block measuring 15 cm by 17 cm was also found in the corridor, engraved with 10 vertical hieroglyphic lines that are still being studied.
A granite lintel and a collection of stoney blocks showing the interior design of the pyramid have also been uncovered.
Further studies will be conducted to identifiy the owner of the pyramid and the kingdom two which it belongs” – via Ahram Online.

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NEWS: 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 (Source: Ahram Online).

“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” – via Ahram Online.

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NEWS: Intact tomb uncovered in Aswan

The intact tomb of the brother of a 12th Dynasty Elephantine governor has been uncovered, containing a range of funerary goods (Source: Ahram Online).

“The Spanish Archaeological Mission in Qubbet El-Hawa, west Aswan, has discovered an intact structure where the brother of one of the most important governors of the 12th Dynasty, Sarenput II, was buried.

Mahmoud Afifi, head of Ancient Egyptian Antiquities Department, described the discovery as “important” not only for the richness of the burial chamber, but also in shedding light on individuals close to those in power. 

Nasr Salama, director general of Aswan Antiquities, said that the find is unique with funerary goods that consist of pottery, two cedar coffins (outer and inner) and a set of wooden models, which represent funerary boats and scenes of daily life.

Alejandro Jiménez-Serrano, head of the Spanish mission from the University of Jaen, said that a mummy was also discovered but is still under study. It is covered with a polychrome cartonnage with a beautiful mask and collars.

Inscriptions on the coffins bear the name of the deceased, Shemai. followed respectively by his mother and father, Satethotep and Khema. The latter was governor of Elephantine under the reign of Amenemhat II.

He explained that Sarenput II, the eldest brother of Shemai, was one of the most powerful governors of Egypt under the reigns of Senwosret II and Senwosret III. Apart from his duties as governor of Elephantine, he was general of the Egyptian troops and was responsible for the cult of different gods.

With this discovery, Serrano asserted, the University of Jaen mission in Qubbet El-Hawa adds more data to previous discoveries of 14 members of the ruling family of Elephantine during the 12th Dynasty. Such high numbers of individuals provide a unique opportunity to study the living conditions of the upper class in Egypt more than 3,800 years ago” – via Ahram Online.

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Event: Peek Inside the New ‘Mummies’ Exhibition at the Museum of Natural History

American Museum of Natural History

A ‘gilded lady’ seen in three different ways (Source: The American Museum of Natural History).

“Mummies in real life can be just as captivating as the ones in the movies — particularly when you can see their insides.

That’s the point of “Mummies,” a new exhibition at the American Museum of Natural History opening on March 20.

On tour from the Field Museum in Chicago, the exhibit not only showcases the ritually preserved bodies and accompanying artifacts of 18 ancient Egyptians and Peruvians from the pre-Columbia era, but the modern technology that makes them more accessible than ever.

“This show simultaneously offers a fascinating window into the past — including two very different ancient worlds, cultures and burial practices — and onto the latest imaging technology used to study them,” museum president Ellen V. Futter said at a preview Thursday.

“Perhaps most thrillingly… we offer an actual glimpse into the actual people entombed as mummies — who they were, what their lives were like, and even what they may have looked like.”

Images, videos, 3D printed objects and interactive touch-screens included in the exhibit present the kinds of discoveries made possible through technologies like computerized tomography (CT) scanning and DNA testing.

In the words of co-curator Dr. David Hurst Thomas, visitors will “come face-to-face with mummified people of the past.”

According to Dr. Thomas, The exhibition’s ‘show-stopper’ is the middle-aged Egyptian “Gilded Lady,” seen above from three different perspectives: the gold-masked coffin that encases her body, a CT scan used to generate a 3D-printed reconstruction of her skull, and a realistic portrait of what she may have looked like” – via This is New York.

“Mummies,” a new exhibition at the American Museum of Natural History opens on March 20.