Ancient Egyptian tombs discovered


This video says about itself:

9 December 2017

Archaeologists in Egypt have displayed items, including a mummy, from one of two previously unexplored tombs in the ancient Nile city of Luxor.

The mummy is believed to be that of a senior official from Egypt’s “New Kingdom”, about 3,500 years ago.

Other items included figurines, wooden masks and richly colored wall paintings.

The tombs lie in the Draa Abul Naga necropolis, an area famed for its temples and burial grounds.

It is close to the Valley of the Kings where many of ancient Egypt’s pharaohs were buried.

Egypt’s antiquities ministry said that the tombs had been discovered by a German archaeologist in the 1990s, but were kept sealed until recently.

The identity of the mummified body is not known but the ministry says there are two possibilities.

It could be a person named Djehuty Mes, whose name is engraved on one of the walls, or it could be a scribe called Maati whose name – and the name of his wife, Mehi – are written on funerary cones, officials said.

The other tomb was only recently “uncovered” and has not yet been fully excavated, the ministry said.

In September, archaeologists discovered the tomb of a royal goldsmith near Luxor.

The tomb, which also dated back to the New Kingdom, contained a statue of the goldsmith Amenemhat, sitting beside his wife.

From daily The Independent in Britain today:

Egyptian mummy and ancient treasures ‘in near perfect condition’ discovered in 3,500-year-old tombs

Findings believed to date back to 18th dynasty, in what experts are calling ‘the discovery of the year’

Edmund Bower

Draa Abou Naga, Egypt

The Egyptian Ministry of State for Antiquities announced on Saturday the discovery of two ancient tombs at the necropolis of Draa Abou Naga, part of the Unesco World Heritage site of Thebes, near the Nile city of Luxor.

The occupants of the private tombs are as of yet unknown but believed by the ministry to date back to the 18th dynasty (1550BC to 1292BC). It’s the latest find of a series of discoveries in Draa Abou Naga, and Egypt in general, after the minister Khaled Alnani announced at the beginning of 2017 that it would be “a year of discoveries”.

The two tombs, seven and ten metres deep respectively, were found to contain a number of artefacts, including 40 funerary cones, 36 Usahbti statues, and funerary furniture, some of which was gold plated.

Of particular interest is a large painted wall, which has survived almost intact. “It’s really beautiful,” said famed Egyptologist Zahi Hawass, “and typical 18th dynasty. It looks like it was painted yesterday. In my opinion, this could be the best painted wall discovered in Draa Abou Naga in the last 100 years.”

Also discovered were a number of mummies, skeletons, and a large painted statue of a woman named Isis Nefret – believed to be the mother of the tomb’s occupant – in the form of the Ancient Egyptian god of the afterlife, Osiris. “It’s in near perfect condition,” said Mr Alnani.

Mostafa Waziry, who is leading the excavation, said he believes the find to be related to one that was announced three months ago. Less than 100 metres from the site his team announced the discovery of another important tomb, which Mr Hawass described then as “the discovery of the year”. It contained a goldsmith named Amenemhat who lived 3,500 years ago, along with a host of other mummies and artefacts. It also included evidence that a man called “Marty” was buried there, although his body was never discovered. Speaking of one of the bodies found in the most recent tomb, Mr Waziry said: “I believe this is Marty.”

With his “year of discoveries” coming to an end, Mr Alnani said that the results have been “exceptional”. Other notable finds this year include a Roman-era mass grave near the Upper Egyptian town of Minya, a previously unknown pyramid at the Dahshur necropolis, and an eight-metre tall statue of King Psamtek I found in a suburb of East Cairo.

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Egyptian singer arrested for eating banana


This 15 November 2017 music video is by Shyma from Egypt.

From daily The Independent in Britain today:

Egyptian singer arrested for ‘inciting debauchery’ after eating a banana in music video

‘I didn’t imagine all this would happen and that I would be subjected to such a strong attack’

Rachael Revesz

A pop star has been arrested in Egypt on suspicion of inciting debauchery in a music video.

[21-year-old] Shyma, who was shown dancing in her underwear and eating fruit in front of a classroom of men and a blackboard with “Class #69” written on it, was detained after the video caused numerous complaints. …

For Shyma’s supporters, the pop star’s arrest was a symbol of women’s oppression in a country that was voted the worst in the Arab world for women in 2013.

I’d say that Saudi Arabia is still a lot worse.

Egypt has announced a bid to ban atheism in the hopes that it will stop people from “turning” gay: here.

Leila Amer: Egyptian singer arrested over video branded a ‘moral disaster’ by conservative lawyer. Arrest comes less than a month after another singer was sentenced to two years in prison over a similar case: here.

Ancient Pharaoh Tutankhamun, new research


This 2016 video is called Tutankhamun Tomb – Incredible Story of Egyptian Pharaoh – Documentary.

From the University of Tübingen in Germany:

New treasures from Tutankhamun’s tomb

November 16, 2017

As part of a German-Egyptian project, archaeologists from Tübingen for the first time examine embossed gold applications from the sensational find of 1922. The motifs indicate surprising links between the Levant and the Egypt of the pharaohs.

Researchers from Tübingen working on a German-Egyptian project have examined embossed gold applications from the treasure of the tomb of the pharaoh Tutankhamun for the first time. The objects come from the famed find made by English archaeologist Howard Carter in 1922. Until now, they had been held in storage at the Egyptian Museum Cairo. They can be seen at a special exhibition at the museum which began on Wednesday. Conservators and archaeologists of the Institute of Ancient Near Eastern Studies (IANES, Professor Peter Pfälzner), the German Archaeological Institute, Cairo, (DAI, Professor Stephan Seidlmayer), and the Römisch-Germanischen Zentralmuseums Mainz (RGZM, Professor Falko Daim), as well as the Egyptian Museum have spent four years (2013-2017) analysing the find.

Through painstaking hours in the lab, the partners restored the objects at the Egyptian Museum. They also made drawings of the items and did comprehensive research on them. A team of conservators, Egyptologists and specialists in Near Eastern archaeology found the embossed gold applications in the same crate they were placed in by Howard Carter’s team immediately after their discovery. At the time, the artefacts were photographed and packed, unrestored, and were never again removed until this project.

During years of detail work, conservators Christian Eckmann and Katja Broschat of the Römisch-Germanischen Zentralmuseum Mainz reassembled the fragments to produce 100 nearly complete embossed gold applications. They suspect the items are decorative fittings for bow cases, quivers and bridles. IANES archaeologists from Tübingen examined the images on the embossed gold applications and categorized them from an art-historical perspective. In her dissertation, doctoral candidate Julia Bertsch succeeded in distinguishing the Egyptian motifs on the embossed gold applications from those that could be ascribed to an “international,” Middle Eastern canon of motifs.

Among these are images of fighting animals and goats at the tree of life that are foreign to Egyptian art and must have come to Egypt from the Levant. “Presumably these motifs, which were once developed in Mesopotamia, made their way to the Mediterranean region and Egypt via Syria,” explains Peter Pfälzner. “This again shows the great role that ancient Syria played in the dissemination of culture during the Bronze Age.”

Interestingly, he adds, similar embossed gold applications with thematically comparable images were found in a tomb in the Syrian royal city of Qatna. There, the team of archaeologists from Tübingen led by Pfälzner, discovered a pristine king’s grave in 2002. It dates back to the time of around 1340 B.C., so it is just a bit older than Tutankhamun’s tomb in Egypt. The archaeologist says, “This remarkable aspect provided the impetus for our project on the Egyptian finds.” Now,” says Pfälzner, “we need to solve the riddle of how the foreign motifs on the embossed gold applications came to be adopted in Egypt.” The professor says that here, chemical analyses have been illuminating. “The results showed that the embossed gold applications with Egyptian motifs and the others with foreign motifs were made of gold of differing compositions,” he says. “That does not necessarily mean the pieces were imported. It may be that various local workshops were responsible for producing objects in various styles — and that one used Near Eastern models.”

After the current initial exhibition of these objects in Cairo, they will be on display in future in the new Grand Egyptian Museum close to the pyramids at Gizeh. Now, almost a century after they were discovered, and thanks to the work of archaeologists from Tübingen and Egyptologists and conservators from Mainz and Cairo, the scientific analysis of these artefacts from one of Egypt’s most sensational archaeological finds has been completed.

The German Foreign Office and the German Research Foundation (DFG) funded the work.

Ancient Egyptian obelisk discovered


Part of the newly discovered obelisk, photo by Waziri and Collombert

Translated from Dutch NOS radio:

Special find in Egypt: 2.5 meter high obelisk of 6-year-old monarch

Today, 11:17

At least 2.5 meters high, red granite and covered with gold leaf: in Egypt the upper part of a huge obelisk has been found. “A special find in a special place, in the Southern Sakkara region, where a big obelisk had never been found before”, Egyptologist Huub Pragt explains in the NOS Radio 1 News.

It is an obelisk from the Old Kingdom, the first great period, says Pragt. “From that time we know small obelisks, but this is a big one. Probably the monolith was 5 meters high, which is really huge for that period.”

An obelisk is a straight needle-shaped monument that usually consists of granite. At the point, gold leaf was often placed to reflect the sun’s rays. The obelisks were therefore established as a worship for the sun god Ra. In the Old Kingdom, the monuments were also often associated with tombs.

The obelisk most probably belonged to Queen Anchesenpepy II, the mother of King Pepy II of the 6th Dynasty. “Pepy II came as a 6 year old boy on the throne and would be the longest ruling king ever. He became 100 years old and continued to rule”, says Pragt. On his side was his mother Anchesenpepy II, she ruled jointly with him. “Therefore she will probably have received that great obelisk.”

The French-Swiss archaeological mission that has found the obelisk continues to search for fragments in the area.

Ancient Egyptian goldsmith’s tomb discovery


This video says about itself:

Get a First Look Inside a Newly Opened Egyptian Tomb | National Geographic

17 September 2017

Archaeologists explored for the first time a 3,500-year-old tomb near Luxor, Egypt. The tomb belonged to a goldsmith and his wife, and includes a crumbling statue of the pair. The family lived during Egypt’s 18th Dynasty. Archaeologists also found statuettes, mummies, pottery, and other artifacts. They hope that its contents may yield clues to other discoveries.