Newly unearthed ancient tomb with mummies unveiled in Egypt CNN - September 9, 2017
Egyptian authorities unveiled a previously undiscovered ancient tomb belonging to a goldsmith and his wife near Luxor in southern Egypt on Saturday. The tomb, at the Draa Abul Nagaa necropolis, contains "mummies, sarcophagi, statuettes, pots and other artifacts," according to Egypt's Ministry of Antiquities. It belonged to Amenemhat -- which means the god "Amen Is In the Forefront" -- and his wife Amenhotep, said Mostafa Al-Waziri, who led the Egyptian team which unearthed the 3,500-year-old tomb. While Amenhotep is usually a man's name, Waziri said, the team found references inside the tomb that indicated she was the lady of the house. CNN was the first media outlet to be given access to the tomb on the day of the announcement.
New mummies discovered in tomb near Luxor, Egypt BBC - September 9, 2017
Archaeologists in Egypt have discovered the tomb of a royal goldsmith containing the mummies of a woman and her two children, authorities said. The tomb, dating back to the New Kingdom (16th to 11th Centuries BC), was found near the Nile city of Luxor, 400 miles (700km) south of Cairo. Among the items discovered inside was a statue of the goldsmith Amenemhat, sitting beside his wife. It is unclear whether the three mummies discovered are connected to Amenemhat. The mummies were found down a burial shaft leading off the main chamber, Egypt's Ministry of Antiquities said.
The lost languages of Egypt: Hi-tech cameras help archaeologists find ancient works hidden in monastery parchment in discovery hailed as a 'new golden age' Daily Mail - August 28, 2017
Ancient works hidden underneath monastery scriptures have been uncovered using imaging technology that pieced together words originally scrubbed off. The team found a series of lost texts using a method that allows scientists to restore ancient documents that were written over long ago to save on expensive parchment. The discoveries at Saint Catherine's monastery on the Sinai peninsula, Egypt, signal a 'new golden age of discovery'.
Ancient Egyptian Pharaoh May Be the 1st Known 'Giant' Live Science - August 4, 2017
The supposed remains of Sanakht, a pharaoh of ancient Egypt, may be the oldest known human giant, a new study finds. Myths abound with stories of giants, from the frost and fire giants of Norse legends to the Titans who warred with the gods in ancient Greek mythology. However, giants are more than just myth; accelerated and excessive growth, a condition known as gigantism, can occur when the body generates too much growth hormone. This usually occurs because of a tumor on the pituitary gland of the brain. As part of ongoing research into mummies, scientists investigated a skeleton found in 1901 in a tomb near Beit Khallaf in Egypt. Previous research estimated that the bones dated from the Third Dynasty of Egypt, about 2700 B.C.
Archaeologists discover earliest monumental Egyptian hieroglyphs PhysOrg - June 26, 2017
A joint Yale and Royal Museums of Art and History (Brussels) expedition to explore the the ancient Egyptian city of Elkab has uncovered some previously unknown rock inscriptions, which include the earliest monumental hieroglyphs dating back around 5,200 years. These new inscriptions were not previously recorded by any expedition and are of great significance in the history of the ancient Egyptian writing systems.
DNA discovery reveals genetic history of ancient Egyptians CNN - June 23, 2017
Researchers from Germany have decoded the genome of ancient Egyptians for the first time, with unexpected results. The study concluded that preserved remains found in Abusir-el Meleq, Middle Egypt, were closest genetic relatives of Neolithic and Bronze Age populations from the Near East, Anatolia and Eastern Mediterranean Europeans. Modern Egyptians, by comparison, share much more DNA with sub-Saharan populations. The findings have turned years of theory on its head, causing Egyptologists to re-evaluate the region's history while unlocking new tools for scientists working in the field.
5,000-Year-Old 'Billboard' of Hieroglyphs Contains a Cosmic Message Live Science - June 23, 2017
Archaeologists have discovered a "billboard" of hieroglyphs carved into the rocks near the Egyptian village of El-Khawy. The symbols, which show a message related to the cosmos, are the earliest monumental (large) hieroglyphs known, dating back around 5,200 years. This newly discovered rock art site of El-Khawy preserves some of the earliest - and largest - signs from the formative stages of the hieroglyphic script and provides evidence for how the ancient Egyptians invented their unique writing system. The archaeologists also discovered another carving, this one showing a herd of elephants, created sometime between 4000 B.C. and 3500 B.C. One of the adult elephants in the scene was drawn with a little elephant inside its body - an incredibly rare way of representing a pregnant female animal.
The surprising ancestry of ancient Egyptians: First ever genome study of mummies reveals they were more Turkish and European than African Daily Mail - May 30, 2017
The first ever full-genome analysis of Ancient Egyptians shows they were more Turkish and European than African. Scientists analyzed ancient DNA from Egyptian mummies dating from 1400 BC to 400 AD and discovered they shared genes with people from the Mediterranean. They found that ancient Egyptians were closely related to ancient populations in the Levant - now modern day Turkey, Syria, Jordan, Israel and Lebanon. They were also genetically similar to Neolithic populations from the Anatolian Peninsula and Europe. The groundbreaking study used recent advances in DNA sequencing techniques to undertake a closer examination of mummy genetics than ever before.
Remains of a new pyramid discovered in Egypt PhysOrg - April 3, 2017
A top antiquities official says an Egyptian excavation team has discovered the remains of a new pyramid that dates back to the 13th Dynasty, some 3,700 years ago. The remains were located north of King Sneferu's bent pyramid in the Dahshur royal necropolis south of Cairo. Due to the bent slope of its sides, the pyramid is believed to have been ancient Egypt's first attempt to build a smooth-sided pyramid. The necropolis was the burial site for courtiers and high-ranking officials.
Egypt's famed pyramids get new lab to restore pharaonic boat PhysOrg - March 29, 2017
The vessel is believed to be the ceremonial boat of Pharaoh Cheops, known for building the largest of Egypt's pyramids. The project, funded by the Japan International Cooperation Agency and the Higashi Nippon International University, is set to complete the initial phase of repairs of the 4,500-year-old vessel by 2020. Once reassembled, the vessel of the ancient Egyptian ruler will be displayed at the Grand Egyptian Museum, currently under construction on Cairo's outskirts and close to the pyramids at Giza.
5,000-Year-Old Nativity Scene Found in Egypt Live Science - December 26, 2016
Italian researchers have discovered what might be the oldest nativity scene ever found - 5,000-year-old rock art that depicts a star in the east, a newborn between parents and two animals. The scene, painted in reddish-brown ochre, was found on the ceiling of a small cavity in the Egyptian Sahara desert, during an expedition to sites between the Nile valley and the Gilf Kebir Plateau.
Is this the world's youngest mummy? Daily Mail - November 17, 2016
Scans of what was thought to be a 2,300-year-old hawk reveal it to be a miscarried baby. The remains, which are preserved in a tiny sarcophagus, are now believed to belong to a miscarried 20-week gestation fetus. It is the latest in a series of remarkable discoveries made by medical experts analyzing ancient Egyptian artifacts at Maidstone Museum, Kent.
3,800-Year-Old 'Tableau' of Egyptian Boats Discovered Live Science - October 31, 2016
More than 120 images of ancient Egyptian boats have been discovered adorning the inside of a building in Abydos, Egypt. The building dates back more than 3,800 years and was built near the tomb of pharaoh Senwosret III, archaeologists reported. The tableau, as the series of images is called, would have looked upon a real wooden boat said Josef Wegner, a curator at the Penn Museum at the University of Pennsylvania, who led the excavation. Only a few planks remain of the wooden boat, which would have been constructed at Abydos or dragged across the desert, Wegner said. In ancient Egypt, boats were sometimes buried near a pharaoh's tomb.
Scientists Declare Discovery of Two Cavities in Great Pyramid at Giza Epoch Times - October 21, 2016
It has long been rumored that there's much more to the Great Pyramid at Giza than meets the eye, such as hidden corridors and chambers. Scientists working with the Operation ScanPyramids project say they've discovered cavities in the structure, perhaps indicating the fabled spaces really do exist. Researchers hailing from Heritage, Innovation and Preservation, a nonprofit group headquartered in Paris, and Cairo University's Faculty of Engineering employed a number of non-invasive advanced technological methods in locating the voids. One is said to be behind the pyramid's north face and the other along the ancient structure's northeast flank.
Great Pyramid Find: Two Mysterious Cavities With Unusual Features Seeker - October 21, 2016
Using various scanning technologies, researchers have found two inexplicable voids. The Great Pyramid at Giza, Egypt, has long been rumored to contain hidden passageways leading to secret chambers. Now a team of researchers has confirmed the 4,500-year-old pharaonic mausoleum contains two unknown cavities, possibly hiding a corridor-like structure and more mysterious features. The announcement by the ScanPyramids project comes at the end of a year-long effort to use various scanning technology on Old Kingdom pyramids, including the Great Pyramid, Khafre or Chephren at Giza, the Bent pyramid and the Red pyramid at Dahshur.
Blood & Gold: Children Dying As Egypt's Treasures Are Looted Live Science - August 8, 2016
Since the 2011 Egyptian revolution, political instability and a tourism decline have led to widespread looting of archaeological sites - with deadly consequences. Children forced to work in dangerous conditions to pillage historical sites have died. Antiquities guards were gunned down within an ancient tomb they were trying to protect. Mummies have been left out in the sun to rot after their tombs were robbed. And looting pits have pockmarked ancient sites in such vast numbers that words cannot adequately describe. An investigation found that not only were these horrific events happening but that an enormous amount of potentially looted Egyptian artifacts had made their way into the United States. These artifacts include a vast number of gold coins.
Who Was Sattjeni? Tomb Reveals Secrets About Ancient Egyptian Elite Live Science - June 2, 2016
Two eyes painted on a newly discovered Egyptian coffin seem to stare out from across millennia, conveying the secrets of the ancient Egyptian elite. The coffin, discovered this year in the necropolis at Qubbet el-Hawa across the Nile River from Aswan, belonged to an important local woman, Sattjeni, daughter of one governor, wife of another and mother of two more. Sattjeni's mummified body was buried in two cedar coffins made of wood imported from Lebanon. Though the outer coffin had degraded over the nearly 4,000 years since Sattjeni's death, her inner coffin was in excellent condition, according to Egypt's antiquities ministry, which announced the discovery May 24.
In Photos: 3,800-Year-Old Coffin Holds Ancient Egyptian Woman Live Science - June 2, 2016
Painted eyes decorate the cedar coffin of Sattjeni, an important figure in the 12th Dynasty (1950-1775 B.C.) Egyptian town of Elephantine. Sattjeni was the second daughter of Sarenput II, the governor of Elephantine. Sarenput II had no surviving male heirs, so the line passed to Sattjeni and her older sister Gaut-Anuket. Gaut-Anuket married a local official named Heqaib, who subsequently became Elephantine's governor; soon after, presumably after Gaut-Anuket's death, Sattjeni married Heqaib. Two of her sons would go on to become governors.
The secrets of a lost Egyptian city were underwater CNN - May 11, 2016
Until 1996, two of Egypt's greatest cities were missing. Then along came French archeologist Franck Goddio, who made an extraordinary discovery underwater. For 1,000 years, Thonis-Heracleion was completely submerged. Fish made their homes among the rubble of mighty temples; hieroglyphs gathered algae. Gods and kings sat in stasis, powerless, their statues slowly withdrawing from the world, one inch of sand at a time. Goddio spent years surveying this find, as well as neighboring Canopus, which was rediscovered by a British RAF pilot in 1933 who noticed ruins leading into the waters. Thanks to a new exhibition at the British Museum, Goddio's incredible finds will soon be open to the public. Sunken Cities: Egypt's Lost Worlds ...
Egyptian Mummy's Symbolic Tattoos Are 1st of Their Kind Live Science - May 10, 2016
More than 3,000 years ago, an ancient Egyptian woman tattooed her body with dozens of symbols - including lotus blossoms, cows and divine eyes - that may have been linked to her religious status or her ritual practice. Preserved in amazing detail on her mummified torso, the surviving images represent the only known examples of tattoos found on Egyptian mummies showing recognizable pictures, rather than abstract designs. The mummy was found at a site on the west bank of the Nile River known as Deir el-Medina, a village dating to between 1550 B.C. and 1080 B.C. that housed artisans and workers who built the royal tombs in the Valley of the Kings
New Research Shows that Some Ancient Egyptians Were Naturally Fair-Haired Ancient Origins - May 3, 2016
According to Dr. Janet Davey from the Victorian Institute of Forensic Medicine in Australia, some ancient Egyptians were naturally blonde or red haired. Her research has brought an answer to an intriguing question connected with Egyptian mummies and the effects of the mummification process.
Oldest Depiction Of Ancient Egyptian Demons Found Live Science - April 20, 2016
A Belgium-based Egyptologist has discovered the oldest depictions of ancient Egyptian demons, showing that demonic entities populated the ancient Egyptians' imaginations as far back as 4,000 years ago. These demons gripped their victims and cut off their heads. Wael Sherbiny, an independent scholar who specializes in the ancient Egyptian religious texts, found two demons on two Middle Kingdom coffins about 4,000 years old.
Eight More Statues of the Ancient Egyptian Goddess Sekhmet Found in Luxor Ancient Origins - March 17, 2016
Eight statues of the goddess Sekhmet have been discovered in the temple of Amenhotep III at Kom El-Hettan on the west bank of the Nile. The black granite statues were found during excavations which are a part of the Colossi of Memnon and Amenhotep III Temple Conservation.
Provocative Yet Sacred: The Ancient Egyptian Festival of Drunkennes Ancient Origins - February 3, 2016
The Festival of Drunkenness is a religiously significant celebration that was held annually (said to be biannually in some places) by the ancient Egyptians. The background story for the celebration of this festival can be found in a text known as The Book of the Heavenly Cow. In this text, there is an ancient Egyptian myth involving the destruction of mankind.
4,500 Year-Old Egyptian Boat Unearthed at Abusir Pyramids Site Epoch Times - February 3, 2016
A funeral boat dating to approximately 2,550 B.C. was unearthed in Egypt by archaeologists. At the Abusir pyramids site south of Cairo, a team found the 4,500-year-old remains of the wooden vessel, which archaeologists believe belonged to a prominent member of society, according to the antiquities ministry. Parts of the 59-foot (18-meter)-long boat, along with pottery, were found covered in sand and lying on a bed of stones by a team from the Czech Institute of Archaeology at Charles University. The vessel is believed to date back to the end of the Third or beginning of the Fourth Dynasty.
Unique Discovery Made in Egyptian Necropolis: Archaeologists Uncover a 4,500-Year-Old Funerary Boat Alongside Tomb of Unknown Elite, Who Was Not part of the Royal Family Ancient Origins - February 3, 2016
Czech archaeologists have unearthed an 18 meter (59.1 ft.) long boat near a tomb of an unknown member of the Old Kingdom's elite class in Abusir (Abu-Sir), Egypt. The boat was found in a good state of preservation and there are hopes that the new discovery will help to increase Egyptologists' understanding of the purpose of ships in funerary rites and shipbuilding techniques of the Old Kingdom.
The Tomb of Khentkaus III: A Cautionary Tale of Climate Change? Ancient Origins - February 3, 2016
The reign and remains of a recently discovered Queen Mother of ancient Egypt will provide vital new information about the civilization's distant past, and may provide cautionary information for modern times too. Queen Khentkaus III, who had graffiti on her looted tomb calling her the Queen Mother, lived around 2450 BC - a couple of hundred years before the Egyptian civilization failed because drought caused the Nile River to stop flooding. Her skull was smashed in, experts believe by grave robbers.
Thoth's Storm: New Evidence for Ancient Egyptians in Ireland? Ancient Origins - January 19, 2016
The Irish-Egyptian Connection: One of the more controversial theories when it comes to the origins of the Irish people is a connection to ancient Egypt. Although there are many Irish legends connecting Tara and Egyptian royalty, these have been impossible to prove. When ancient Egypt and Ireland are spoken about in the same breath it usually results in the rolling of eyes, polite exits and the sound of murmurs citing pseudo-history and new age babble. At least, that used to be the case. Recent discoveries in DNA research have added to already verified archaeological finds to present a scenario that is now more difficult to dismiss. The Hill of Tara is one of Ireland's most ancient sacred sites. It is surrounded by many other Neolithic earthworks and tombs and although commonly associated with the Celts, the site pre-dates their arrival in Ireland by thousands of years. In legend it is the place where the Tuatha De Danann reigned. These were a God-like people who were said to have arrived in Ireland in mysterious ships and had magical powers.
Two 3,400-Year-Old Shrines with Statues discovered at Egyptian Quarry Site Ancient Origins - December 30, 2015
Archaeologists in Egypt have discovered some statues of two families in shrines that researchers previously thought were destroyed by an earthquake in ancient times. They made the find at Gebel el Silsila, the site of a quarry on both banks of the Nile River, whose rock was used in most of the great temples of ancient Egypt. One of the statues, described as the best-preserved cenotaph at Gebel el Silsila, depicts an ancient Egyptian official named Neferkhewe and his wife, Ruiuresti, and their two children. An inscription near the statues describes Neferkhewe as overseer of the foreign lands and chief of the medjay. The medjay was what the ancient Egyptians called southern Sudan. He served under King Thutmosis III, who reigned from 1479 to 1426 BC.
Did Egypt's Old Kingdom Die or Simply Fade Away? National Geographic - December 27, 2015
The end of the great age of pyramid building in Egypt was long thought to be a traumatic collapse that plunged the Nile Valley into a long era of chaos. New research is changing that view. As world leaders celebrate a new agreement to limit the impact of greenhouse gases on human society, archaeologists have been taking a fresh look at one of the most dramatic instances of a civilization confronted with devastating climate change. Around 2200 B.C., ancient texts suggest that Egypt's so-called Old Kingdom gave way to a disastrous era of foreign invasions, pestilence, civil war, and famines severe enough to result in cannibalism. In the past decade, climate data revealed that a severe and long-term drought afflicted the region during this same time, providing evidence of an environmental trigger that led to what has long been considered a dark age of Egyptian history.
Tomb Hidden by History, Now Revealed: Wet Nurse of Tutankhamun May have been His Own Sister Ancient Origins - December 21, 2015
The famous Egyptian boy king, Pharaoh Tutankhamun is believed to have been wet-nursed by a woman named Maia - who may have been his sister. The tomb of this mysterious woman has been opened to the public for the first time since its discovery in 1996, revealing ancient engravings and paintings. The tomb in Saqqara, a necropolis located 20 kilometers (12 miles) south of Cairo, was discovered almost 20 years ago and is set to be opened to visitors for the first time. The tomb of the wet nurse was uncovered by French Archaeologist Dr. Alain Zivie, Head of the French mission in Bubastis at Saqqara since 1996, who was there for the unveiling to journalists last week in Egypt
King Tut's wet nurse may have been his sister: expert PhysOrg - December 21, 2015
An archaeologist said Sunday that Maia, Egyptian pharaoh Tutankhamun's wet nurse, may have actually been his sister Meritaten, reviving speculation about the identity of the mother of the boy king. DNA tests have proved that the pharaoh Akhenaten was the father of Tutankhamun, but the identity of his mother has long been a mystery. Egyptian officials and French archaeologist Alain Zivie unveiled Maia's tomb to journalists ahead of its opening to the public next month. The tomb was discovered by Egyptologist Zivie in 1996 in Saqqara, a necropolis about 20 kilometres (12 miles) south of Cairo.
The Abydos Boats: Transporting the Pharaohs Through the Afterlife Ancient Origins - December 22, 2015
The Abydos boats are a fleet of ships discovered in the sands of Abydos, Egypt. Sea vessels played an important role in ancient Egypt, not only in the everyday life of its people, but also in its religion and mythology. The flowing of the Nile from the south to the north of this civilization meant that boats were an indispensable mode of transportation. Additionally, the ancient Egyptian god, Ra, was believed to travel across the sky in a solar-boat.
Sarcophagus of Egyptian High Priest Unearthed with Hieroglyphic Inscriptions and Scenes of Offerings Ancient Origins - November 27, 2015
The sarcophagus of a high priest of the ancient Egyptian god Amun Ra has been unearthed in Egypt. The well preserved sarcophagus, discovered by a team of archaeologists within the 3,400-year-old tomb of a Vizier of Egypt, contains hieroglyphic inscriptions and depicts offerings to deities. The sarcophagus itself belonged to Ankh-f-n-khonsu (Ankh-ef-en-Khonsu), high priest of the deity Amun Ra, 'King of the Gods'. The coffin was located in the tomb of Amenhotep-Huy, High official, or Vizier of Ancient Egypt during the reign of Amenhotep III.
Shrine dedicated to King Nectanebo I unearthed in Egypt Ancient Origins - October 6, 2015
An Egyptian and German archaeological team sifting through the ruins of a temple dedicated to the ancient King Nectanebo I has found building blocks and parts of the ceiling, which was decorated with stars. Authorities hope to rebuild and restore the shrine. The 30th Dynasty king, whose name is also spelled Nakhtanebu, lived in the fourth century BC. His house was the last native Egyptian royal line before Persians reconquered Egypt in 343 BC and overthrew Nectanebo's grandson.
4,000-year-old Ancient Egyptian manuscript measuring more than 8ft has been rediscovered in Cairo Ancient Origins - September 15, 2015
The oldest known Egyptian leather manuscript, dating back some 4,000 years, has been rediscovered at the Egyptian Museum in Cairo after it was pulled from a dusty, old storage box, where it had been lost for around 70 years. The precious text contains fine quality depictions of supernatural beings which predate the famous drawings of the Egyptian Book of the Dead. Discovery News reports that the manuscript measures 2.5 meters (8.2 feet) in length, making it the longest text ever found. It exceeds the next longest text by just 2 inches – an ancient pre-nuptial agreement between a couple due to be married, which sets out how the wife will be provided for, should the marriage fail.
Researchers identify oldest known case of heart failure in an Egyptian mummy Ancient Origins - August 30, 2015
The oldest case of heart failure in a mummy has been identified in the remains of Nebiri, Chief of Stables, who lived 3,500 years ago in Egypt. Nebiri's head and a broken canopic jar with his internal organs were found in a plundered tomb in 1904 and researchers were allowed to test the tissues this year because the jars were not intact. The head is almost completely unwrapped, but in a good state of preservation. Since the canopic jar inscribed for Hapy, the guardian of the lungs, is partially broken, we were allowed direct access for sampling.
Experts discover traces of rare artificial pigment on Egyptian mummy portraits and panel paintings Ancient Origins - August 29, 2015
Egyptian Blue is one of the first artificial pigments known to have been used by man. First created around 5,000 years ago by heating a mixture of a calcium compound, a copper-containing compound, silica sand and soda or potash to around 850-950 C, the precious pigment was reserved for the most exquisite of artworks. In Egyptian belief, blue was considered the color of the heavens, and hence the universe. It was also associated with water and the Nile. However, scientists have now found traces of the rare pigment behind drab-colored mummy portraits, leading to a new understanding of how this particular pigment was used by artists in the second century A.D.
Egyptian Blue Hides in These Mummy Portraits Epoch Times - August 29, 2015
Dusting off 15 Roman-era Egyptian mummy portraits - mostly untouched for 100 years - has revealed a 2,000-year-old surprise. Researchers discovered that the ancient artists used the pigment Egyptian blue as material for underdrawings and for modulating color -a finding never documented before. Because blue has to be manufactured, it typically is reserved for very prominent uses, not hidden under other colors. We see how these artists manipulated a small palette of pigments, including this unusual use of Egyptian blue, to create a much broader spectrum of hues.
Fallen Egypt archaeologist Zahi Hawass, wants international Grand Museum PhysOrg - June 30, 2015
For more than a decade, he was the self-styled Indiana Jones of Egypt, presiding over its antiquities and striding through temples and tombs as the star of TV documentaries that made him an international celebrity. But four years after the uprising that toppled President Hosni Mubarak and nearly ended his own career, Zahi Hawass can be found in a cramped Cairo office, lamenting the state of the antiquities bureaucracy he once ruled like a pharaoh and dreaming of a new museum whose fate lies in limbo.
Breast Cancer Signs Seen in 4,200-Year-Old Egyptian Bones NBC - March 25, 2015
A team from a Spanish university has discovered what Egyptian authorities are calling the world's oldest evidence of breast cancer in the 4,200-year-old skeleton of an adult woman. Antiquities Minister Mamdouh el-Damaty said the bones of the woman, who lived at the end of the 6th Pharaonic Dynasty, showed "an extraordinary deterioration." The study of her remains shows the typical destructive damage provoked by the extension of a breast cancer as a metastasis. Cancer is one of the world's leading causes of death today,but references to the disease are sparse in archaeological records -giving rise to the idea that cancers are mainly due to modern lifestyles. Tuesday's findings, along with evidence reported last year by British researchers of metastatic cancer in a 3,000-year-old skeleton found in a tomb in modern Sudan, suggest that cancer was known in the ancient Nile Valley.
Mysterious Egyptian tomb reveals stunning 3,000-year-old art Washington Post - March 4, 2015
Back in the day, Egyptians had a lot of gods. To those of us living in the modern era without degrees in archaeology, their names are perhaps most familiar from pop schlock like Raiders of the Lost Ark making hay with Egypt-y stuff: Ra, Geb, Shu, Osiris, Set, et cetera. But then there was Amun. In ancient Egyptian mythology - we're talking 3,000 years ago here - Amun was the king of the gods: the Jupiter, the Zeus, the Odin, the Big Kahuna. The tomb contains many stunning scenes with bright colors painted on plaster.
Man Finds a Hidden Passage to Great Pyramids Beneath His House Epoch Times - January 12, 2015
The Pyramids at Giza are among the world's most famous ancient buildings, but there are still many mysteries surrounding them. Until recently, one thing that has confounded experts is where a covered passageway leading to the Great Pyramid referenced by the Greek historian Herodotus could possibly be. They need not wonder any longer, as a guy found it under his house. The man was illegally digging on his property in a village near Giza when he came upon a tunnel made of large stone pieces. Archaeologists soon arrived on the scene and confirmed that he'd dug down to the corridor that leads to the Pyramid of Khufu as it is sometimes known. The causeway currently lies about 30 feet under the ground's surface. Prior to this, excavations and searches performed over a number of decades had only turned up fragments of the underpass. Not only does the discovery confirm the passageway referenced by Herodotus in the 5th century B.C. exists, it suggests the location of the undiscovered Valley Temple is at its terminus. Archaeologists now believe that the adjoining structure is located somewhere beneath the village Nazlet el-Samman.
The Giza Plateau
Tomb Resembling Mythical Tomb of Egyptian God Osiris Found Epoch Times - January 3, 2015
A tomb dedicated to the ancient Egyptian god of death, Osiris, has been found in the Valley of Nobles (also known as the Tombs of Nobles) in Luxor. The archaeological Min Project announced the find on Thursday, in conjunction with the Ministry of State for Antiquities. The tomb's structure matches the description of Osiris's tomb in Egyptian legend and is said to be a faithful replica. It is thought to date to the 25th dynasty (760-656 B.C.) or 26th dynasty (672-525 B.C.). Other tombs from this time period have been found with similar elements of the mythic tomb.
Egypt unveils renovated Tutankhamun gallery BBC - December 16, 2014
Four renovated halls in the Tutankhamun gallery in the Egyptian Museum in Cairo have been unveiled. The renovation is part of a seven-year project to refurbish the entire Egyptian Museum.
In Photos: Ancient Egyptian Coffin with 'Odd' Art Live Science - December 9, 2014
Radiocarbon dating shows that this Egyptian coffin dates back more than 2,400 years, to a time when the Persian Empire controlled Egypt. Inscriptions on the coffin show that it belonged to someone named Denit-ast, or Dent-ast, likely a woman. The coffin contains a number of unusual features, likely a product of the Persian Empire's deportation of Egyptian artists.
2,400-Year-Old Coffin's 'Odd' Art Hints at Ancient Egypt's Brain Drain Live Science - December 9, 2014
In ancient Egyptian coffin with strange and amateurish decorations has been revealed, shedding light on a tumultuous period in Egyptian history when the Persian Empire was in control of the region. In 525 B.C., Persian King Cambyses marched into Memphis, the Egyptian capital, inaugurating a period of Persian rule that would last for more than a century. The Persian Empire was a vast entity that stretched from modern-day Afghanistan to the west coast of Turkey. Ancient texts say that the Persian kings deported Egyptian artists and used them for building projects in Persia. The coffin bears a series of unusual features that are likely related to the Persian Empire's deportation of artists.
Ancient Egyptian Handbook of Spells Deciphered Live Science - November 20, 2014
An Egyptian Handbook of Ritual Power (as researchers call it) has been deciphered revealing a series of invocations and spells. It includes love spells, exorcisms and a cure for black jaundice (a potentially fatal infection). Written in Coptic (an Egyptian language) the 20 page illustrated codex dates back around 1,300 years. This image shows part of the text.
Ancient Egypt Illuminated by Electricity? Epoch Times - October 3, 2014
The light-bulb-like object engraved in a crypt under the Temple of Hathor in Egypt.
The most widely cited evidence that the ancient Egyptians used electricity is a relief beneath the Temple of Hathor at Dendera, Egypt that depicts figures standing around a large light-bulb-like object. Science and Technology (Alchemy), Ancient Aliens
Ancient Egyptian Woman with 70 Hair Extensions Discovered Live Science - September 17, 2014
More than 3,300 years ago, in a newly built city in Egypt, a woman with an incredibly elaborate hairstyle of lengthy hair extensions was laid to rest. She was not mummified, her body simply being wrapped in a mat. When archaeologists uncovered her remains they found she wore "a very complex coiffure with approximately 70 extensions fastened in different layers and heights on the head. Researchers don't know her name, age or occupation, but she is one of hundreds of people, including many others whose hairstyles are still intact, who were buried in a cemetery near an ancient city now called Amarna.
Egyptian Carving Defaced by King Tut's Possible Father Discovered Live Science - July 24, 2014
A newly discovered Egyptian carving, which dates back more than 3,300 years, bears the scars of a religious revolution that upended the ancient civilization. The panel, carved in Nubian Sandstone, was found recently in a tomb at the site of Sedeinga, in modern-day Sudan. It is about 5.8 feet (1.8 meters) tall by 1.3 feet (0.4 m) wide, and was found in two pieces. Originally, it adorned the walls of a temple at Sedeinga that was dedicated to Queen Tiye (also spelled Tiyi), who died around 1340 B.C. Several centuries after Tiye's death - and after her temple had fallen into ruin - this panel was reused in a tomb as a bench that held a coffin above the floor. Photos
Ancient Priest's Tomb Painting Discovered Near Great Pyramid at Giza Live Science - July 16, 2014
A wall painting, dating back over 4,300 years, has been discovered in a tomb located just east of the Great Pyramid of Giza. The painting shows vivid scenes of life, including boats sailing south on the Nile River, a bird hunting trip in a marsh and a man named Perseneb who's shown with his wife and dog. While Giza is famous for its pyramids, the site also contains fields of tombs that sprawl to the east and west of the Great Pyramid. These tombs were created for private individuals who held varying degrees of rank and power during the Old Kingdom (2649-2150 B.C.), the age when the Giza pyramids were built. The tomb contains a central room, offering room and burial chamber. The complex was first recorded in the 19th century and was noted for its 11 statues, which include depictions of Perseneb and his family. Archaeologists were conducting restoration work and did not expect to make a new discovery. This image shows part of the central room with four of the statues. More Photos ...
4,000-Year-Old Elite Tomb Unearthed in Luxor, Egypt The Epoch Times - June 17, 2014
Spanish archaeologists carrying out excavations in the Egyptian city of Luxor have discovered an 11th dynasty tomb of considerable size, suggesting it belonged to a member of the royal family or someone who held a high position in the royal court. It is hoped that a thorough study of the tomb may provide insights into this pivotal period in ancient Egyptian history, in which Upper and Lower Egypt were united under pharaonic rule.
Remains of 'End of the World' Epidemic Found in Ancient Egypt Live Science - June 16, 2014
Archaeologists have uncovered the remains of an epidemic in Egypt so terrible that one ancient writer believed the world was coming to an end. Working at the Funerary Complex of Harwa and Akhimenru in the west bank of the ancient city of Thebes (modern-day Luxor) in Egypt, the team of the Italian Archaeological Mission to Luxor (MAIL) found bodies covered with a thick layer of lime (historically used as a disinfectant). The researchers also found three kilns where the lime was produced, as well as a giant bonfire containing human remains, where many of the plague victims were incinerated. Pottery remains found in the kilns allowed researchers to date the grisly operation to the third century A.D., a time when a series of epidemics now dubbed the "Plague of Cyprian" ravaged the Roman Empire, which included Egypt. Saint Cyprian was a bishop of Carthage (a city in Tunisia) who described the plague as signaling the end of the world.
The Strange Link Between Your Digital Music and Napoleon's Invasion of Egypt Wired - June 9, 2014
In 1798 Joseph Fourier, a 30-year-old professor at the Ecole Polytechnique in Paris, received an urgent message from the minister of the interior informing him that his country required his services, and that he should be ready to depart at the first order. Two months later, Fourier set sail from Toulon as part of a 25,000-strong military fleet under the command of General Napoleon Bonaparte, whose unannounced objective was the invasion of Egypt. Fourier was one of 167 eminent scholars, the savants, assembled for the Egyptian expedition. Their presence reflected the French Revolution's ideology of scientific progress, and Napoleon, a keen amateur mathematician, liked to surround himself with colleagues who shared his interests.
4,000-Year-Old Royal Tomb Unearthed in Egypt NBC - June 9, 2014
Spanish archaeologists say they have unearthed a 4,000-year-old tomb littered with human remains in the Egyptian city of Luxor, from a time when pharaohs reunified ancient Egypt. A 65-foot-long (20-meter-long) hallway runs underground to a square burial chamber. The tomb in the Dra Abu Naga necropolis dates back to the 11th Dynasty, roughly 2125 to 1991 B.C. During that time period, Upper and Lower Egypt were united under pharaonic rule from the ancient city of Thebes, which has given way to modern-day Luxor. Studying the tomb and its contents could provide fresh insights into the era.
Solved! How Ancient Egyptians Moved Massive Pyramid Stones Live Science - May 2, 2014
The ancient Egyptians who built the pyramids may have been able to move massive stone blocks across the desert by wetting the sand in front of a contraption built to pull the heavy objects, according to a new study. Physicists at the University of Amsterdam investigated the forces needed to pull weighty objects on a giant sled over desert sand, and discovered that dampening the sand in front of the primitive device reduces friction on the sled, making it easier to operate. The findings help answer one of the most enduring historical mysteries: how the Egyptians were able to accomplish the seemingly impossible task of constructing the famous pyramids.
Mysterious Buried Artifacts Discovered in Egypt's Valley of the Kings BBC - May 1, 2014
Four deposits of artifacts possibly buried as a ritual act of sorts before the construction of a tomb have been discovered in Egypt's Valley of the Kings. The so-called foundation deposits, arranged in a boxlike shape, contain a mix of artifacts, including the head of a cow, a vase painted in blue and flint blades that have wooden handles that are still preserved after more than three millennia. The Valley of the Kings was used to bury Egyptian royalty during the New Kingdom (1550 - 1070 B.C.) period. The discovery was made in its "western valley," an area sometimes called the "valley of the monkeys" after a scene depicting 12 baboons was discovered in one of its tombs. (View more images)
Early Image of Jesus Found in Egyptian Tomb Live Science - May 1, 2014
Spanish archaeologists have discovered what may be one of the earliest depictions of Jesus in an ancient Egyptian tomb. Painted on the walls of a mysterious underground stone structure in the ancient Egyptian city of Oxyrhynchus, about 100 miles south of Cairo, the image shows a young man with curly hair and dressed in a short tunic. He raises his hand as if making a blessing.
Roman Emperor Dressed As Egyptian Pharaoh in Newfound Carving Live Science - March 27, 2014
An ancient stone carving on the walls of an Egyptian temple depicts the Roman emperor Claudius dressed as an Egyptian pharaoh, wearing an elaborate crown, a team of researchers has discovered. In the carving, Emperor Claudius, who reigned from A.D. 41 to 54, is shown erecting a giant pole with a lunar crescent at the top. Eight men, each wearing two feathers, are shown climbing the supporting poles, with their legs dangling in midair. Egyptian hieroglyphs in the carving call Claudius the "Son of Ra, Lord of the Crowns," and say he is "King of Upper and Lower Egypt, Lord of the Two Lands." The hieroglyphs say he is raising the pole of the tent (or cult chapel) of Min (an ancient Egyptian god of fertility and power) and notes a date indicating a ritual like this took place around the summertime researchers say. It would have taken place even though Claudius never visited Egypt. A cult chapel is a place of worship and a tent could also be used for this purpose.
13 Photos: Ancient Egyptian Skeleton Reveals Earliest Metastatic Cancer Live Science - March 22, 2014
A 3,000-year-old skeleton from a conquered territory of ancient Egypt is now the earliest known complete example of a person with malignant cancer spreading from an organ, findings that could help reveal insights on the evolution of the disease, researchers say. Here, the skeleton (called Skeleton Sk244-8) in its original burial position in a tomb in northern Sudan in northeastern Africa, with a blue-glazed amulet (inset) found buried alongside him; the amulet shows the Egyptian god Bes depicted on the reverse side.
Ancient Egyptian Kittens Hint at Cat Domestication Live Science - March 17, 2014
The skeletons of six cats, including four kittens, found in an Egyptian cemetery may push back the date of cat domestication in Egypt by nearly 2,000 years. The bones come from a cemetery for the wealthy in Hierakonpolis, which served as the capital of Upper Egypt in the era before the pharaohs. The cemetery was the resting place not just for human bones, but also for animals, which perhaps were buried as part of religious rituals or sacrifices. Archaeologists searching the burial grounds have found everything from baboons to leopards to hippopotamuses. The new find includes two adult cats and four kittens from at least two litters. The size of the bones and timing of the litters hints that humans may have kept the cats. The bones date back to between 3600 B.C. and 3800 B.C., which would be 2,000 years before the earliest known evidence of cat domestication in Egypt.
Great Pyramid at Giza Vandalized to 'Prove' Conspiracy Theory Live Science - February 18, 2014
Two German men who visited the Egyptian pyramids in April 2013 now face criminal charges for their attempt to prove their "alternative history" conspiracy theories through vandalism. The men, Dominique Goerlitz and Stefan Erdmann, were joined by a third German, a filmmaker who accompanied them to document their "discoveries." The men were allowed to enter the inner chambers of the Great Pyramid at Giza normally off-limits to the public and restricted to authorized archaeologists and Egyptologists. The group reportedly took several items from the pyramids, including taking samples of a cartouche (identifying inscription) of the pharaoh Khufu, also known as Cheops. Goerlitz and Erdmann, who are not archaeologists but have instead been described as "hobbyists," allegedly smuggled the artifacts out of the country in violation of strict antiquities laws, according to news reports.
Valley of the other kings: Lost dynasty found in Egypt Independent - February 1, 2014
A previously unknown, yet potentially very important, ancient Egyptian kingdom has been discovered by archaeologists working in the Nile Valley. Excavations at Abydos, 70 miles north-west of Egypt's famous Valley of the Kings, have revealed the existence of an entire royal cemetery, now believed to be the final resting place of up to 16 mysterious pharaohs - an entire dynasty whose existence was up till now virtually unknown to the Egyptological world. Pharaoah Senebkay
Archaeologists find remains of previously unknown pharaoh in Egypt The Guardian - February 1, 2014
Archaeologists in Egypt believe they have discovered the remains of King Senebkay, a previously unknown pharaoh who reigned more than 3,600 years ago in a forgotten dynasty.
Archaeologists discover 3,000-year-old tomb of brewer to the gods in Egypt The Guardian - January 3, 2014
Scenes from ancient Egypt found on the walls of the newly discovered tomb in Luxor, which dates from about 3,000 years ago. Japanese archaeologists have unearthed the tomb of an ancient beer brewer in the city of Luxor that is more than 3,000 years old, Egypt's minister of antiquities said. Mohammed Ibrahim said on Friday that the tomb dated back to the Ramesside period and belonged to the chief "maker of beer for gods of the dead", who was also the head of a warehouse. He added that the walls of the tomb's chambers contain "fabulous designs and colours, reflecting details of daily life along with their religious rituals". The head of the Japanese team, Jiro Kondo, says the tomb was discovered during work near another tomb belonging to a statesman under Amenhotep III, grandfather of the famed boy-pharaoh Tutankhamun.
King Tutankhamen Crystalinks
King Tut's Mummified Erect Penis May Point to Ancient Religious Struggle Live Science - January 2, 2014
Egypt's King Tutankhamun was embalmed in an unusual way, including having his penis mummified at a 90-degree angle, in an effort to combat a religious revolution unleashed by his father, a new study suggests.The pharaoh was buried in Egypt's Valley of the Kings without a heart (or a replacement artifact known as a heart scarab); his penis was mummified erect; and his mummy and coffins were covered in a thick layer of black liquid that appear to have resulted in the boy-king catching fire.
In Photos: The Life and Death of King Tut Live Science - January 2, 2014
Tutankhamun was an Egyptian pharaoh who lived between roughly 1343 and 1323 B.C. Often called the "boy-king," he ascended the throne at around the age ...
Ancient Spider Rock Art Sparks Archaeological Mystery BBC - December 20, 2013
Archaeologists have discovered a panel containing the only known example of spider rock art in Egypt and, it appears, the entire Old World. The rock panel, now in two pieces, was found on the west wall of a shallow sandstone wadi, or valley, in the Kharga Oasis, located in Egypt's western desert about 108 miles (175 kilometers) west of Luxor. Facing east, and illuminated by the morning sun, the panel is a "very unusual" find, said Egyptologist Salima Ikram, a professor at the American University in Cairo who co-directs the North Kharga Oasis Survey Project. The identification of the creatures as spiders is tentative and the date of it uncertain, Ikram told LiveScience in an email. Even so, based on other activity in the area, the rock art may date to about 4000 B.C. or earlier, which would put it well into prehistoric times, before Egypt was unified, noted Ikram, who detailed the finding in the most recent edition of the journal Sahara.
Pyramid-Age Love Revealed in Vivid Color in Egyptian Tomb Live Science - November 15, 2013
She was a priestess named Meretites, and he was a singer named Kahai, who performed at the pharaoh's palace. They lived about 4,400 years ago in an age when pyramids were being built in Egypt, and their love is reflected in a highly unusual scene in their tomb - an image that has now been published in all its surviving color. The tomb at Saqqara - which held this couple, their children and possibly their grandchildren - has now been studied and described by researchers at Macquarie University's Australian Center for Egyptology. Among the scenes depicted is a relief painting showing the couple gazing into each other's eyes, with Meretites placing her right hand over Kahai's right shoulder. Such a display of affection was extraordinary for Egypt during the Pyramid Age. Only a few examples of a face-to-face embrace survive from the Old Kingdom (2649 B.C. to 2150 B.C.), the time period when the couple lived and pyramid building thrived.
Pinpointing When the First Dynasty of Kings Ruled Egypt Science Daily - September 14, 2013
For the first time, a team of scientists and archaeologists has been able to set a robust timeline for the first eight dynastic rulers of Egypt. Until now there have been no verifiable chronological records for this period or the process leading up to the formation of the Egyptian state. The chronology of Early Egypt between 4500 and 2800 BC has been reset by building mathematical models that combine new radiocarbon dates with established archaeological evidence. Over 100 fresh radiocarbon dates were obtained for hair, bone and plant samples excavated at several key sites including the tombs of the kings and surrounding burials.
New timeline for origin of ancient Egypt BBC - September 4, 2013
A new timeline for the origin of ancient Egypt has been established by scientists. A team from the UK found that the transformation from a land of disparate farmers into a state ruled by a king was more rapid than previously thought. Using radiocarbon dating and computer models, they believe the civilization's first ruler - King Aha - came to power in about 3100BC. Until now, the chronology of the earliest days of Egypt has been based on rough estimates. Previous records suggested the pre-Dynastic period, a time when early groups began to settle along the Nile and farm the land, began in 4000BC. But the new analysis revealed this process started later, between 3700 or 3600BC. The Palermo Stone is inscribed with the names of early Egyptian kings The team found that just a few hundred years later, by about 3100BC, society had transformed to one ruled by a king.
Far Out: Ancient Egyptian Jewelry Came from Outer Space Live Science - August 20, 2013
Ancient Egyptian beads found in a 5,000-year-old tomb were made from iron meteorites that fell to Earth from space, according to a new study. The beads, which are the oldest known iron artifacts in the world, were crafted roughly 2,000 years before Egypt's Iron Age. In 1911, nine tube-shaped beads were excavated from an ancient cemetery near the village of el-Gerzeh, which is located about 3,100 miles (5,100 kilometers) south of Cairo, said study lead author Thilo Rehren, a professor at UCL Qatar, a Western Asian outpost of the University College London's Institute of Archaeology. The tomb dates back to approximately 3200 B.C., the researchers said. Inside the tomb, which belonged to a teenage boy, the iron beads were strung together into a necklace alongside other exotic materials, including gold and gemstones. Early tests of the beads' composition revealed curiously high concentrations of nickel, a telltale signature of iron meteorites.
Long-Lost Pyramids Found? Discovery - July 16, 2013
Mysterious, pyramid-like structures spotted in the Egyptian desert by an amateur satellite archaeologist might be long-lost pyramids after all, according to a new investigation into the enigmatic mounds. Angela Micol, who last year found the structures using Google Earth 5,000 miles away in North Carolina, says puzzling features have been uncovered during a preliminary ground proofing expedition, revealing cavities and shafts. Located about 90 miles apart, the two possible pyramid complexes appeared as groupings of mounds in curious positions. One site in Upper Egypt, just 12 miles from the city of Abu Sidhum along the Nile, featured four mounds with an unusual footprint. Some 90 miles north near the Fayum oasis, the second possible pyramid complex revealed a four-sided, truncated mound approximately 150 feet wide and three smaller mounds in a diagonal alignment.
Mummy Teeth Tell of Ancient Egypt's Drought Live Science - July 16, 2013
The link between drought and the rise and fall of Egypt's ancient cultures, including the pyramid builders, has long fascinated scientists and historians. Now, they're looking into an unexpected source to find connections: mummy teeth. A chemical analysis of teeth enamel from Egyptian mummies reveals the Nile Valley grew increasingly arid from 5,500 to 1,500 B.C., the period including the growth and flourishing of ancient Egyptian civilization.
Pharaoh's Sphinx Paws Found in Israel Live Science - July 9, 2013
Archaeologists digging in Israel say they have made an unexpected find: the feet of an Egyptian sphinx linked to a pyramid-building pharaoh. The fragment of the statue's front legs was found in Hazor, a UNESCO World Heritage Site just north of the Sea of Galilee. Between the paws is a hieroglyphic inscription with the name of king Menkaure, sometimes called Mycerinus, who ruled Egypt during the Old Kingdom more than 4,000 years ago and built one of the great Giza pyramids. Researchers don't believe Egypt had a relationship with Israel during Menkaure's reign. They think it's more likely that the sphinx was brought to Israel later on, during the second millennium B.C.
Sphinx paws tied to Egyptian pharaoh dug up in Israel MSNBC - July 9, 2013
This sphinx fragment was found by archaeologists with the Hebrew University of Jerusalem during excavations at Hazor. Archaeologists digging in Israel say they have made an unexpected find: the feet of an Egyptian sphinx linked to a pyramid-building pharaoh. The fragment of the statue's front legs was found in Hazor, a UNESCO World Heritage Site just north of the Sea of Galilee. Between the paws is a hieroglyphic inscription with the name of King Menkaure, sometimes called Mycerinus, who ruled Egypt during the Old Kingdom more than 4,000 years ago and built one of the great Giza pyramids. Researchers don't believe Egypt had a relationship with Israel during Menkaure's reign. They think it's more likely that the sphinx was brought to Israel later on, during the second millennium B.C.
Mysterious Toe Rings Found on Ancient Egyptian Skeletons Live Science - July 5, 2013
Archaeologists have discovered two ancient Egyptian skeletons, dating back more than 3,300 years, which were each buried with a toe ring made of copper alloy, the first time such rings have been found in ancient Egypt. The toe rings were likely worn while the individuals were still alive, and the discovery leaves open the question of whether they were worn for fashion or magical reasons. Supporting the magical interpretation, one of the rings was found on the right toe of a male, age 35-40, whose foot had suffered a fracture along with a broken femur above it.
Ancient Egyptian Statue Mysteriously Rotates at Museum Yahoo - June 25, 2013
An ancient Egyptian statue in a British museum has sparked debate after it was captured on video seemingly rotating on its own. The 10-inch tall statue of Neb-senu has been on display at the Manchester Museum in Manchester, England, for 80 years but it was only recently that museum staff noticed the statue moving. With his curiosity piqued, Price returned the statue of the Egyptian idol to its original position in a locked glass case and set up a camera to film the statue over an 11-hour period. The resulting time-lapse video, Price says, shows the statue moving on its own. Other experts attribute the rotation to a more scientific reasoning, such as subtle vibrations that cause the statue to move.
Ancient Egyptians Crafted Jewelry From Meteorites Live Science - May 31, 2013
An ancient Egyptian iron bead found inside a 5,000-year-old tomb was crafted from a meteorite, new research shows. The tube-shaped piece of jewelry was first discovered in 1911 at the Gerzeh cemetery, roughly 40 miles (70 kilometers) south of Cairo. Dating between 3350 B.C. and 3600 B.C., beads found at the burial site represent the first known examples of iron use in ancient Egypt, thousands of years before Egypt's Iron Age. And their cosmic origins were suspected from the start. Soon after the beads were discovered, researchers showed that the metal jewelry was rich in nickel, a signature of iron meteorites. But in the 1980s, academics cast doubt on the beads' celestial source, arguing that the high nickel content could have been the result of smelting.
Cemetery Reveals Baby-Making Season in Ancient Egypt Live Science - May 17, 2013
The peak period for baby-making sex in ancient Egypt was in July and August, when the weather was at its hottest. Researchers made this discovery at a cemetery in the Dakhleh Oasis in Egypt whose burials date back around 1,800 years. The oasis is located about 450 miles (720 kilometers) southwest of Cairo. The people buried in the cemetery lived in the ancient town of Kellis, with a population of at least several thousand. These people lived at a time when the Roman Empire controlled Egypt, when Christianity was spreading but also when traditional Egyptian religious beliefs were still strong. So far, researchers have uncovered 765 graves, including the remains of 124 individuals that date to between 18 weeks and 45 weeks after conception. The excellent preservation let researchers date the age of the remains at death. The researchers could also pinpoint month of death, as the graves were oriented toward the rising sun, something that changes predictably throughout the year
Giza Secret Revealed: How 10,000 Pyramid Builders Got Fed Live Science - April 23, 2013
The pyramid of Menkaure, with three queens' pyramids in front. Behind are the pyramids of Khafre and Khufu. The workers' town that archaeologists have been exploring was used to house laborers building Menkaure's pyramid. The builders of the famous Giza pyramids in Egypt feasted on food from a massive catering-type operation, the remains of which scientists have discovered at a workers' town near the pyramids. The workers' town is located about 1,300 feet (400 meters) south of the Sphinx, and was used to house workers building the pyramid of pharaoh Menkaure, the third and last pyramid on the Giza plateau. The site is also known by its Arabic name, Heit el-Ghurab, and is sometimes called "the Lost City of the Pyramid Builders." So far, researchers have discovered a nearby cemetery with bodies of pyramid builders; a corral with possible slaughter areas on the southern edge of workers' town; and piles of animal bones.
4,500-year-old harbor structures and papyrus texts unearthed in Egypt MSNBC - April 16, 2013
Archaeologists have stumbled upon what is thought to be the most ancient harbor ever found in Egypt, along with the country's oldest collection of papyrus documents, Egyptian authorities say. The harbor goes back 4,500 years, to the days of the Pharaoh Khufu (Cheops) in the Fourth Dynasty, the Egypt State Information Service reported on Friday. The Great Pyramid of Giza serves as the tomb of Khufu, who died around 2566 B.C.
Egyptian Mummy's Elaborate Hairstyle Revealed in 3D Live Science - January 24, 2013
Nearly 2,000 years ago, at a time when Egypt was under the control of the Roman Empire, a young woman with an elaborate hairstyle was laid to rest only yards away from a king's pyramid, researchers report. She was 5 feet 2 inches in height, around age 20 when she died, and was buried in a decorated coffin whose face is gilded with gold. A nearby pyramid, at a site called Hawara, was built about 2 millennia before her lifetime. The location of her burial is known from archival notes. High-resolution CT scans reveal that, before she was buried, her hair was dressed in an elaborate hairstyle.
Dahshour, Egypt: New cemetery endangers Egypt's ancient necropolis AP - January 15, 2013
In this more than 4,500-year-old pharaonic necropolis, Egypt's modern rituals of the dead are starting to encroach on its ancient ones. Steamrollers flatten the desert sand, and trucks haul in bricks as villagers build rows of tombs in a new cemetery nearly up to the feet of Egypt's first pyramids and one of its oldest temples. The illegal expansion of a local cemetery has alarmed antiquities experts, who warn the construction endangers the ancient, largely unexplored complex of Dahshour, where pharaoh Sneferu experimented with the first true, smooth-sided pyramids that his son Khufu - better known as Cheops - later took to new heights at the more famous Giza Plateau nearby.
Bones and jars of the dead unearthed in 3,000-year-old Egyptian tombs MSNBC - January 10, 2013
Archaeologists say they have discovered a string of 3,000-year-old rock tombs in the ancient Egyptian city of Luxor, containing the remains of wooden coffins, skeletons, furniture and canopic jars. The tombs were dug within the funerary temple of Pharaoh Amenhotep II, who reigned from 1427 to 1401 B.C. during Egypt's 18th Dynasty. However, the newfound tombs appear to be part of a more recent cemetery. In Thursday's announcement of the discovery, Egyptian Antiquities Minister Mohammed Ibrahim said they date back to the beginning of a transitional period that lasted from 1075 to 664 B.C.
Oldest Known Depiction of Pharaoh Found Discovery - December 29, 2012
The oldest known representation of a pharaoh has been found carved on rocks at a desert site in southern Egypt, according to new research into long forgotten engravings. Found on vertical rocks at Nag el-Hamdulab, four miles north of the Aswan Dam, the images depict a pharaoh riding boats with attendant prisoners and animals in what is thought to be a tax-collecting tour. Indeed, the style of the carvings suggests that the images were made at a late Dynasty date, around 3200-3100 B.C. This would have been the reign of Narmer, the first king to unify northern and southern Egypt, thus regarded by many scholars as Egypt's founding pharaoh.
Oldest Pharaoh Carvings Discovered in Egypt Live Science - December 10, 2012
The oldest-known representations of a pharaoh are carved on rocks near the Nile River in southern Egypt, researchers report. The carvings were first observed and recorded in the 1890s, but only rediscovered in 2008. In them, a white-crowned figure travels in ceremonial processions and on sickle-shaped boats, perhaps representing an early tax-collecting tour of Egypt. The scenes place the age of the carvings between 3200 B.C. and 3100 B.C., researchers report in the December issue of the journal Antiquity. During that time, Egypt was transitioning into the dynastic rule of the pharaohs.
'Cult Fiction' Traced to Ancient Egypt Priest Live Science - September 24, 2012
A recently deciphered Egyptian papyrus from around 1,900 years ago tells a fictional story that includes drinking, singing, feasting and ritual sex, all in the name of the goddess Mut. Researchers believe that a priest wrote the blush-worthy tale, as a way to discuss controversial ritual sex acts with other priests.
Dictionary Translates Ancient Egypt Life New York Times - September 19, 2012
Ancient Egyptians did not speak to posterity only through hieroglyphs. Those elaborate pictographs were the elite script for recording the lives and triumphs of pharaohs in their tombs and on the monumental stones along the Nile. But almost from the beginning, people in everyday life spoke a different language and wrote a different script, a simpler one that evolved from the earliest hieroglyphs. These were the words of love and family, the law and commerce, private letters and texts on science, religion and literature. For at least 1,000 years, roughly from 500 B.C. to A.D. 500, both the language and the distinctive cursive script were known as Demotic Egyptian, a name given it by the Greeks to mean the tongue of the demos, or the common people.
Unearthed scarab proves Egyptians were in Tel Aviv MSNBC - September 10, 2012
Researchers find entry fortification in ancient Jaffa was destroyed, rebuilt at least 4 times. A rare scarab amulet newly unearthed in Tel Aviv reveals the ancient Egyptian presence in this modern Israeli city. Archaeologists excavating the ancient city of Jaffa, now part of Tel Aviv, have long uncovered evidence of Egyptian influence. Now, researchers have learned that a gateway belonging to an Egyptian fortification in Jaffa was destroyed and rebuilt at least four times. They have also found the scarab, which bears the cartouche of the Egyptian Pharaoh Amenhotep III, who ruled from 1390 to 1353 B.C. Scarabs were common charms in ancient Egypt, representing the journey of the sun across the sky and the cycle of life.
Was Ancient Egypt Wiped Out by a Mega-Drought? The Epoch Times - August 19, 2012
Analysis of deep sediments around the Nile River in Egypt has shown a massive drought 4,200 years ago contributed to the end of Egypt's pyramid-building era, according to a new U.S. study. A team of researchers looked at fossilized pollen and microscopic charcoal in a sediment core spanning 7,000 years of history, and compared changes with archaeological and historical records. They found four such events occurred between 3,000 and 6,000 years ago, in particular a dramatic global drought around 4,200 years ago that caused famines, affecting ancient Egypt and probably other Mediterranean cultures.
Revered ancient Egyptian birds were fed - even after death MSNBC - January 27, 2012
Ancient Egyptians placed food in the mouths or stomachs of animal mummies, suggesting that animals were treated equally to humans in death and perhaps also in life. In this case the mummies were sacred ibis birds. In a study, published in the Journal of Archaeological Science, the findings are the first known examples of food placed directly in animal mummies. The primary organs were also removed, as was the practice for humans. It's thought that the ancient Egyptians wished to preserve these organs for continued function in the afterlife.
Even In Death, Egyptian Birds Were Fed Discovery - January 27, 2012
The discovery gives clues to how ancient Egyptians viewed the importance of animals and their role in the afterlife.Ancient Egyptian animal mummies were stuffed with food by people in Early Egypt. Some animals were treated equally to humans in death and perhaps also in life. Quality of life for Egyptian animals varied, however, with some killed for sacrifices or food and others spoiled as pets.
Egypt: Pictures: Ancient "Solar Boat" Unearthed at Pyramids National Geographic - June 25, 2011
Excavating a "Solar Boat" ... For the first time in centuries, a multi-ton limestone slab - one of dozens - floats free of the "tomb" of a 4,500-year-old, disassembled "solar boat" at the foot of the Great Pyramids in Giza (map), Egypt, on Thursday. Below are hundreds of delicate wooden "puzzle pieces," protected by the climate-controlled tent built over the site in 2008. Once the months-long process of extracting the pieces is finished, researchers expect to spend several years restoring the ship before placing it on display in Giza's Solar Boat Museum near the Pyramids. A similar ship found nearby has already been reconstructed and is on display in the museum. At about 140 feet (43 meters) long, the restored ship is thought to be a bit bigger than its still fragmented sister. Solar boats played an important role in story of the afterlife in ancient Egyptian mythology. Each night the sun god Ra - in the form of the evening sun, Ra-Atum - was thought to sail through the afterlife in one boat to battle gods and beasts until he rose as the morning sun, Ra-Horakhty, and sailed his day boat across the sky. Buried near the Great Pyramid, the buried sister boats were likely intended to assist Pharaoh Khufu on similar journeys during the afterlife.
Egyptian pyramids found by infra-red satellite images BBC - May 25, 2011
Seventeen lost pyramids are among the buildings identified in a new satellite survey of Egypt. More than 1,000 tombs and 3,000 ancient settlements were also revealed by looking at infra-red images which show up underground buildings. Initial excavations have already confirmed some of the findings, including two suspected pyramids.
Mysterious Ancient Rock Carvings Found Near Nile Live Science - May 14, 2011
An archaeological team in the Bayuda Desert in northern Sudan has discovered dozens of new rock art drawings, some of which were etched more than 5,000 years ago and reveal scenes that scientists can't explain. The team discovered 15 new rock art sites in an arid valley known as Wadi Abu Dom, some 18 miles (29 kilometers) from the Nile River. It's an arid valley that flows with water only during rainy periods. Many of the drawings were carved into the rock faces - no paint was used - of small stream beds known as "khors" that flow into the valley. Some of the sites revealed just a single drawing while others have up to 30. Another, even more mysterious, set of rock art appears to be at least 5,000 years old and shows a mix of geometric designs. The oldest rock art found are the spiral motifs which, as their name suggests, twist up in a way that is hard to interpret. Similar drawings have been found in the Sahara Desert. They were created at a time when Africa was a wetter place, with grasslands and savannah dominating Sudan; people were moving to a lifestyle based on animal husbandry and, in some instances, farming.
Finally, what artist wouldn't like to relax with a bit of music? The team also uncovered several "rock gongs," large rocks that someone would have smacked a small rock against to make a sound. When the archaeologists experimented with them they found that some of the gongs could produce multiple tones. Karberg said that it's difficult to pin down when they were used; it could have been centuries ago or millennia. They may have been used for signaling rather than for actual music. But one thing is for sure, they would have made a pretty decent sound. "As we tried out the sound of many of those rock gongs you could hear (them) quite a long distance," Karberg said.
Egyptian Princess Mummy Had Oldest Known Heart Disease National Geographic - April 15, 2011
An ancient Egyptian princess might have been able to postpone her mummification if she had cut the calories and exercised more, medical experts say. Known as Ahmose Meryet Amon, the princess lived some 3,500 years ago and died in her 40s. She was entombed at the Deir el-Bahri royal mortuary temple on the west bank of the Nile, opposite to the city of Luxor. The princess's mummified body is among those now housed at the Egyptian Museum in Cairo.
Ancient Egyptian priests' names preserved in pottery MSNBC - December 29, 2010
Dozens of crocodile-god priests are identified in broken shards of clay. Broken pieces of clay pottery have revealed the names of dozens of Egyptian priests who served at the temple of a crocodile god, Egypt's Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA) announced. Engraved with text dating back to the Roman period, the small potsherds have been found by Italian archaeologists on the west side of the temple dedicated to the crocodile god Soknopaios in Soknopaiou Nesos, an Egyptian village in the Fayoum oasis. Called ostraca from the Greek word ostrakon (meaning "shell") the inscribed pot fragments have been very helpful in illuminating the religious practices and the prosopography of Greco-Roman Egypt.
Newly Discovered Walls Buffered Sphinx from Egypt's Sand Live Science - November 3, 2010
A routine excavation has uncovered ancient walls surrounding the Great Sphinx of Giza, Egypt's Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA) announced. The walls were likely built to protect the Sphinx from blowing sand, said SCA Secretary-General Zahi Hawass, who is overseeing the excavation. During routine digging, SCA researchers found two segments of mud wall on the Giza Plateau, where the pyramids of Giza and the Sphinx stand. Both walls stand just under 3 feet (1 meter). One runs north-south and is 282 feet (86 meters) long, while the other runs east-west and is 151 feet (46 m) long. The walls are part of a larger enclosure previously found north of the Sphinx. As told in ancient Egyptian texts, King Thutmose IV once went on a hunting trip near the Sphinx. After the trip, he dreamt that the Sphinx wanted him to clear the sand surrounding its body. According to Thutmose, the Sphinx promised that if he restored the statue, he'd become king of Egypt.
Pictures: Egypt Priest's Tomb Found Near Pyramids National Geographic - October 21, 2010
A painting on the wall of a newfound Egyptian tomb shows the occupant, Rudj-Ka (right), and his wife. Rudj-Ka probably lived during the end of ancient Egypt's 5th dynasty, roughly 4,350 years ago, archaeologists say (ancient Egypt time line). Artwork and artifacts found in his elaborate tomb, found in and along a cliff near the Great Pyramids at Giza, indicate Rudj-Ka was a priest in the mortuary cult of the 4th-dynasty pharaoh Khafra, who ruled from 2558 to 2532 B.C. Khafra is best known as the force behind the second of the three Great Pyramids and of the Great Sphinx. Rudj-Ka appears to have been a priest charged with overseeing purification rituals performed in honor of the dead pharaoh.
Egypt's top archaeologist shows off new tomb MSNBC - October 19, 2010
Find could lead to necropolis to excavate near famed Giza pyramids. Standing inside the 4,300-year-old structure, Zahi Hawass said hieroglyphics on the tomb's walls indicate it belonged to Rudj-ka, a priest inspector in the mortuary cult of the pharaoh Khafre, who built the second largest of Giza's pyramids. The tomb - about the size of a train car - was adorned with paintings, some of them still vivid. Images on one wall depict a man standing on a boat, spearing fish. Nearby are lotus flowers and different types of birds standing or in flight. A series of false doors line the opposite wall. A painting above one shows two figures seated opposite each other at an offering table. The priest, buried with his family, would have supervised those presenting sacrifices to the pharaoh, Hawass said.
Tomb of Priest May Mark Egyptian City of the Dead Live Science - October 18, 2010
A maze-like pathway leads to the burial chamber of an ancient Egyptian priest just south of a pyramid builders' necropolis, according to archaeologists. The tomb could mark a completely new-to-science necropolis (Greek for "city of the dead"), said Zahi Hawass, secretary general of Egypt's Supreme Council of Antiquities. He added that it might also mark an offshoot of the western necropolis at Giza - the latter being home to Egypt's most famous pyramids, which housed the mummified bodies of ancient royalty. "This tomb could be the first of many in the area," Hawass said. "Hopefully we have located a new necropolis dedicated to certain members of the royal court."
Saqqara, Egypt unveils discovery of 4,300-year-old tombs PhysOrg - July 8, 2010
The false door of the unearthed tomb of Shendwas, father of Khonsu who both served as heads of the royal scribes during the Old Kingdom, is decorated with a painting depicting the owner sitting at a sacrifice table, in Saqqara near Cairo, Egypt, Thursday, July 8, 2010. Egyptian archaeologists have unveiled their latest discovery - two 4,300-year-old tombs carved out of stone and unearthed in the ancient necropolis of Saqqara near Cairo.
The tomb includes two false doors with colorful paintings depicting the two people buried there, a father and a son who served as heads of the royal scribes, said Abdel-Hakim Karar, a top archaeologist at Saqqara.
Secret Tunnel Explored in Pharaoh's Tomb National Geographic - July 7, 2010
After three years of hauling out rubble and artifacts via a railway-car system (rails visible at left), the excavators have hit a wall, the team announced last week. It seems the ancient workers who created the steep tunnel under Egypt's Valley of the Kings near Luxor (map) abruptly stopped after cutting 572 feet (174 meters) into rock. Work on the tunnel began during the pharaoh's 15-year reign (1294-1279 B.C.), but after the tomb above it was already complete. Work may have stopped when Seti I died.
Radar reveals extent of buried ancient Egypt city PhysOrg - June 21, 2010
This map overlay image displays a color satellite image with radar imaging in monochrome showing the outlines of streets, houses and temples underneath the green farm fields and modern town of Tel al-Dabaa, in Egypt. An Austrian archaeological team has used radar imaging to determine the size of the 3,500-year-old capital of Egypt's foreign occupiers, the Hyksos warrior people from Asia.
Radiocarbon dating pinpoints chronology of Egyptian kings PhysOrg - June 17, 2010
An international research team has mapped out an accurate chronology of the kings of ancient Egypt using a radiocarbon analysis of short-lived plant remains from the region. An international research team has mapped out an accurate chronology of the kings of ancient Egypt using a radiocarbon analysis of short-lived plant remains from the region. The research sheds light on one of the most important periods of Egyptian history documenting the various rulers of Egypt's Old, Middle and New Kingdoms. Despite Egypt's historical significance, in the past the dating of events has been a contentious undertaking with Egyptologists relying on various different chronologies.
The radiocarbon dating, led by Professor Christopher Ramsey from Oxford's Department of Archaeology, provides some resolution on the dates and nails down a chronology that is broadly in line with previous estimates. However, the new dating evidence, published in the journal Science on 18 June, does rule out some chronologies that have been put forward - particularly in the Old Kingdom, which is shown to be older than some scholars thought. For example, in the Old Kingdom, Djoser, one of the best known pharaohs of the Third Dynasty of Egypt who is thought to have commissioned the first of the pyramids, was found to have ruled from between 2691 and 2625 BCE, about 50-100 years earlier than some experts thought. The study also suggests that the start of the New Kingdom might be pushed back slightly to between 1570 and 1544 BC.
Experts have used scientific dating techniques to verify the historical chronology of ancient Egypt BBC - June 17, 2010
Experts have used scientific dating techniques to verify the historical chronology of ancient Egypt. Radiocarbon dating was used to show that the chronology of Egypt's Old, Middle and New Kingdoms is indeed accurate. The researchers dated seeds found in pharaohs' tombs, including some from the tomb of the King Tutankhamun. They write in the journal Science that some of the samples are more than 4,500 years old. Radiocarbon dating of ancient Egyptian objects is nothing new.
Tut's leftover linen burial bandages yield new clues bearing an inscription including the date the linen was woven. MSNBC - May 20, 2010
King Tutankhamun's mummy was wrapped in custom-made bandages similar to modern first-aid gauzes, an exhibition at New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art has revealed. Running from 4.70 meters to 39 centimeters (15.4 feet to 15.3 inches), the narrow bandages consist of 50 linen pieces especially woven for the boy king. For a century, the narrow linen bandages were contained in a rather overlooked cache of large ceramic jars at the museum's Department of Egyptian Art. The collection was recovered from the Valley of the Kings between 1907 and 1908, more than a decade before Howard Carter discovered King Tut's treasure-packed tomb. Now on permanent display in the museum's Egyptian galleries and highlighted in the exhibition "Tutankhamun's Funeral," the objects provide important insights into King Tut's mummification.
Headless Egypt King Statue Found; Link to Cleopatra's Tomb? National Geographic - May 20, 2010
This headless statue found at Taposiris Magna is thought to be of King Ptolemy IV.
A massive, headless statue of a Greek king has been found in the ruins of an ancient Egyptian temple, adding to evidence that the structure could be the final resting place of Marc Antony and Cleopatra, excavation leaders say. For the past five years archaeologists have been searching around the temple of Taposiris Magna, about 28 miles (45 kilometers) west of the port city of Alexandria (map), in hopes of finding the couple's graves.
Egyptian blue found in Romanesque altarpiece PhysOrg - May 5, 2010
A team of researchers from the University of Barcelona (UB) has discovered remains of Egyptian blue in a Romanesque altarpiece in the church of Sant Pere de Terrassa (Barcelona). This blue pigment was used from the days of ancient Egypt until the end of the Roman Empire, but was not made after this time. So how could it turn up in a 12th Century church? Egyptian blue or Pompeian blue was a pigment frequently used by the ancient Egyptians and Romans to decorate objects and murals. Following the fall of the Western Roman Empire (476 AD), this pigment fell out of use and was no longer made. But a team of Catalan scientists has now found it in the altarpiece of the 12th Century Romanesque church of Sant Pere de Terrassa (Barcelona). The results of this research have just been published in the journal Archaeometry.
Pictures: Ancient Egypt Crocodile Mummies Revealed National Geographic - May 4, 2010
There's a real crocodile behind that mask, according to new computed tomography (CT) scans of a 2,000-year-old Egyptian mummy (pictured). The 8-foot-long (2.4-meter-long) artifact wrapped in once colorful linen and outfitted with a stylized mask is one of two crocodile mummy bundles scanned this month at the Stanford School of Medicine in California.
3,500-year-old false door to afterlife from ancient Egyptian tomb found PhysOrg - March 29, 2010
A large red granite false door from the tomb of an ancient queen's powerful vizier has been discovered. The carved stone door -- which ancient Egyptians believed was the threshold to the afterlife -- was unearthed near the Karnak Temple in Luxor and belongs to the tomb of User, a powerful advisor to the 18th dynasty Queen Hatshepsut who ruled Egypt between 1479 BC and 1458 BC, was the longest reigning female pharaoh. The door, 1.75 metres (5.7 feet) high and 50 cm (19 inches) thick, is engraved with religious texts and various titles used by User, including mayor of the city, vizier and prince.
Spell-covered burial chamber found in Egypt's Saqqara - 4,000 year old burial chamber of ancient Egyptian Queen Behenu unearthed Reuters - March 3, 2010
Archaeologists have unearthed the intact sarcophagus of Egypt's Queen Behenu inside her 4,000-year-old burial chamber near her pyramid in Saqqara. The Old Kingdom queen's chamber was badly damaged except for two inner walls covered with spells meant to help her travel to the afterlife, he said in a statement. Ancient Egyptians believed that the souls of royalty could fly to heaven, or alternatively use stairs, ramps and ladders with the help of religious spells.
Such engraved spells, known as Pyramid Texts, were common in royal tombs during the 5th and 6th Dynasties. Pyramid Texts were first discovered inside the burial chamber of King Unas's pyramid at Saqqara, the last king of the 5th Dynasty. The well-known necropolis of Saqqara, 30 km (20 miles) south of Cairo, served the nearby city of Memphis and was scoured in ancient times by thieves. The 5th Dynasty is generally understood to have lasted from 2465 to 2323 BC, while the 6th Dynasty ran from 2323 to 2150 BC. The Old Kingdom collapsed soon after, amid famine and social upheaval and a breakdown in centralized power.
Philippe Collombert, who headed the French mission that excavated Behenu's remains, said the team found her sarcophagus within the sprawling necropolis of Pepi I at Saqqara. It is a well-preserved granite sarcophagus engraved with the queen's different titles, but says nothing about the identity of her husband. Archaeologists are unsure whether Behenu was the wife of Pepi I or Pepi II, both 6th Dynasty rulers. Behenu's 25-meter-long pyramid was discovered in 2007 along with seven queen pyramids belonging to Inenek, Nubunet, Meretites II, Ankhespepy III, Miha, and an unidentified queen.
A colossal red granite head of one of Egypt's most famous pharaohs Amenhotep III, has been unearthed in the southern city of Luxor BBC - February 28, 2010
A colossal red granite head of one of Egypt's most famous pharaohs has been unearthed in the southern city of Luxor, officials said. The 3,000-year-old head of Amenhotep III - grandfather of Tutankhamun - was dug out of the ruins of the pharaoh's mortuary temple. Experts say it is the best preserved example of the king's face ever found. The 2.5m (8ft) head is part of a larger statue, most of which was found several years ago.
Cleopatra's Eye Makeup Warded Off Infections? National Geographic - January 14, 2010
Cleopatra and her kin knew a thing or two about crafting an alluring smoky eye. Now French researchers suggest that the ancient Egyptians' heavily painted eyelids did more than attract admirers they also protected against eye infections. Artifacts and documents from ancient Egypt show that everyone, man or woman from servant to queen, wore black and green powders coated thickly around the eyes.
Ancient Animal Graves From Private Zoo? National Geographic - September 16, 2009
Cave Complex Allegedly Found Under Giza Pyramids Discovery - August 14, 2009
Tunnels lie hidden beneath the Pyramids of Giza, according to a British explorer who claims to have found the lost underworld of the pharaohs. Populated by bats and venomous spiders, the underground complex was found in the limestone bedrock beneath the pyramid field at Giza. "There is untouched archaeology down there, as well as a delicate ecosystem that includes colonies of bats and a species of spider which we have tentatively identified as the white widow," British explorer Andrew Collins said. Collins, who will detail his findings in the book "Beneath the Pyramids" to be published in September, tracked down the entrance to the mysterious underworld after reading the forgotten memoirs of a 19th century diplomat and explorer. "In his memoirs, British consul general Henry Salt recounts how he investigated an underground system of 'catacombs' at Giza in 1817 in the company of Italian explorer Giovanni Caviglia," Collins said.
Ancient fortress city unearthed in Egypt MSNBC - July 16, 2009
Egyptian archaeologists digging near the Suez Canal have discovered the remains of what is believed to be the largest fortress in the eastern Delta, Egyptian Minister of Culture Farouk Hosni announced. Located at the site of Tell Dafna, between El-Manzala Lake and the Suez Canal, the remains reveal the foundation of a military town about 9 miles (15 kilometers) northeast of the city of western Qantara.
Buried City in Oasis Lends View of Ancient Egypt Live Science - July 15, 2009
Clues found in a schoolroom adjacent to this upper-class house have shifted historians' concept of education in ancient Egypt. The site is Amheida, in the Dakhleh Oasis of Egypt's western desert. A trench that was cut through collapsed mud bricks and the compacted debris of buildings leveled centuries ago is revealing a dusty scene of roof-topped streets in ancient Amheida, a city marooned on an oasis deep in Egypt's western desert. The latest in a chain of archaeological discoveries in a site that dates back at least 5,000 years, the covered streets are a glimpse into rural life under the Egyptian sun.
Ancient Egypt Temples Found at Gateway Fortress National Geographic - May 1, 2009
Ancient Egyptian pharaoh Ramses II (right) offers gifts to Geb, god of earth, in a 3,000-year-old carving discovered in the largest mud-brick temple yet found on northeastern Egypt's northern Sinai Peninsula. The landmark is among four ancient temples discovered at a site near the Egyptian border near the Suez Canal. Found among the ruins of a fortified city, the temples would likely have been the first stop in Egypt for travelers from ancient Palestine and other points east. Designed to impress on visitors Egypt's grandeur and might, the city appears to have been the Egyptian military's headquarters during the New Kingdom (1539-1075 B.C.), a time of war and conquest.
Ancient Egypt Brought To Life With Virtual Model Of Historic Temple Complex Science Daily - May 1, 2009
For the past two years, a team of UCLA Egyptologists, digital modelers, web designers, staff and students has been building a three-dimensional virtual-reality model of the ancient Egyptian religious site known as Karnak, one of the largest temple complexes ever constructed.
Egypt unveils 4,000-year-old necropolis MSNBC - April 28, 2009
Painted Egypt Coffins Unearthed National Geographic - April 27, 2009
Archaeologists in Egypt have found 53 rock tombs containing preserved
mummies and vibrantly painted coffins dating back as far as 4,000 years.
Scorpion King's Wines--Egypt's Oldest - Spiked With Meds National Geographic - April 13, 2009
Deep inside the tomb of Scorpion I (no relation to the Rock), scientists discovered Egypt's oldest wines. And now it appears the 5,000-year-old wines were spiked with natural medicines—centuries before the practice was thought to exist in Egypt, researchers say.
Ancient medicines were alcoholic BBC - April 14, 2009
A team of researchers in the US has discovered traces of a medicinal alcoholic drink in bottles that are more than 5,000 years old. The scientists extracted wine compounds and plant-derived ingredients from a jar taken from the tomb of one of the first pharaohs of Egypt, Scorpion I. This is the earliest sample of a human-made medicine.
Dozens of Mummies Found in Rock Tombs National Geographic - April 15, 2009
Egypt unveils pharaonic 'brain drain' bed PhysOrg - March 20, 2009
Egyptian antiquities authorities on Thursday revealed an ancient pharaonic embalming bed unearthed from a mysterious tomb near Luxor used to prepare bodies for mummification more than 3,000 years ago. The wooden bed was painstakingly restored after being discovered in pieces in the KV-63 tomb in southern Egypt's famous Valley of the Kings, next to Tutankhamun's tomb, the Supreme Council of Antiquities said in a statement. The bed, featuring carved heads of a lion and a lioness at its foot, slopes downwards five centimetres (two inches) from head to toe to help drain bodies being prepared for mummification. Bodies had their organs removed as soon as possible after death, including the brain which was thrown away as it was thought to serve no purpose in the afterlife. The heart was left in the body, with other organs cleaned, perfumed and preserved in jars to be buried with the mummy. Afterwards, the corpse spent 40 days on the bed for draining of fluids, and another 15 days being bandaged.
Ancient Cult Chapels, Egyptian Noblewoman's Tomb Found National Geographic - March 6, 2009
A 3,000-year-old noblewoman's tomb complex has been uncovered in Egypt, archaeologists. The tomb has been identified as belonging to a woman named Isisnofret - possibly the granddaughter of Pharaoh Ramses II, who reigned during the 13th century B.C.
Saqqara: Ancient Mummy Warehouse Found Deep Beneath Egypt National Geographic - February 9, 2009
Mummy storeroom found in Egyptian tomb MSNBC - February 9, 2009
A storeroom housing about two dozen ancient Egyptian mummies has been unearthed inside a 2,600-year-old tomb during the latest round of excavations at the vast necropolis of Saqqara south of Cairo,. The tomb was located at the bottom of a 36-foot-deep (11-meter-deep) shaft. Twenty-two mummies were found in niches along the tomb's walls, he said. Eight sarcophagi were also found in the tomb. Archaeologists so far have opened only one of the sarcophagi and found a mummy inside of it.
Saqqara: Pair of 4300 year old tombs discovered in Egypt BBC - December 23, 2008
Egyptian archaeologists say they have discovered a pair of 4,300-year-old tombs that indicate a burial site south of Cairo is bigger than expected. The tombs at the Saqqara necropolis belong to two officials from the court of the Pharaoh Unas, Egypt's antiquities chief said. One was for the official in charge of quarries used for building pyramids, the other for the head of music. Hieroglyphics decorate the entrances of both the newly discovered tombs.
Sesheshet - Seshat and Thoth
Great Pyramid Mystery to Be Solved by Hidden Room? National Geographic - November 15, 2008
A sealed space in Egypt's Great Pyramid may help solve a centuries-old mystery: How did the ancient Egyptians move two million 2.5-ton blocks to build the ancient wonder? The little-known cavity may support the theory that the 4,500-year-old monument to Pharaoh Khufu was constructed inside out, via a spiraling, inclined interior tunnel an idea that contradicts the prevailing wisdom that the monuments were built using an external ramp.
4,300-year-old pyramid discovered in Egypt MSNBC - November 11, 2008
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4,300-year-old pyramid discovered in Egypt MSNBC - November 11, 2008
Tomb thought to house remains of Queen Sesheshet the mother of King Teti founder of the 6th Dynasty of Egypt's Old Kingdom. The pyramid is the 118th found in Egypt and was uncovered near the world's oldest pyramid at Saqqara, a burial ground for the rulers of ancient Egypt.
Rare Egyptian Mud-Brick Settlement Uncovered National Geographic - July 3, 2008
A remarkably intact mud-brick settlement has been partially excavated near the ancient Egyptian temple (upper left) at Edfu.
Ancient Egypt Settlement Sheds Light on Everyday Life National Geographic - July 3, 2008
A well-preserved mud-brick settlement in southern Egypt is providing a rare glimpse into nearly 3,000 years of ancient Egyptian daily life, archaeologists announced Tuesday. The Tell Edfu site includes a public town center that was used for collecting taxes, conducting business, recording accounting, and writing documents.
Video: "Lost" Pyramid Found Buried in Egypt National Geographic - June 6, 2008
Mystery of Headless Pyramid solved MSNBC - June 5, 2008
Egypt's chief archaeologist said on Thursday he had identified a badly eroded pyramid south of Cairo as that of the 5th Dynasty Pharaoh Menkauhor, who ruled Egypt in the 24th century B.C. - 5th Dynasty
Archaeologists find ancient fortified city MSNBC - May 28, 2008
Archaeologists have unearthed 3,000-year-old remains of the largest ancient Egyptian fortified city while exploring an old military road in Sinai that once connected Egypt to Palestine, the antiquities. Archaeologists unearthed a relief of King Thutmose II (1516-1504 B.C.), thought to be the first such royal monument found in Sinai. It indicates that Thutmose II may have built a fort in the area. A 500-by-250 yard mud brick fort with several four-yard-high towers dating to King Ramses II (1304-1237 B.C.) were unearthed in the same area, he said. Hawass said early studies suggested this fort had been Egypt's military headquarters from the New Kingdom (1569-1081 B.C.) until the Ptolemaic era, which ran for about 300 years before 30 B.C. The ancient military road known as "Way of Horus" is close to present-day Rafah, which borders the Palestinian territory of Gaza.
Partying in Ancient Times in Egypt MSNBC - May 27, 2008
Not only did they drink beer to excess, they had an annual "festival of drunkenness" dedicated to the cause. Summertime fun isn't a modern invention: Ancient cultures liked to let the good times roll as well. Some celebrated with a few drinks. Others partied hard through the night. There were days at the spa, nights at the theater and time to play a little ball. The evidence for the good times in past eras comes from archaeologists who painstakingly dig through ancient remains. The fruits of their efforts help piece together tales showing how today's leisurely shenanigans are just the latest incarnation of cultural customs quite old. Take the ancient Egyptians, for example. Not only did they drink beer to excess, they had an annual "festival of drunkenness" dedicated to the cause. Participants got wasted, had gratuitous sex and woke the next day to blaring music, according to an Egyptologist excavating a temple in Luxor where the festivities occurred. The debauchery even had a point: re-enactment of a myth about an evil goddess who became a savior after being tricked into drinking mass quantities of beer. This drawing is based on a wall painting that depicts the festivities.
Pyramids packed with fossil shells ABC - April 28, 2008
Many of Egypt's most famous monuments, such as the Sphinx and Cheops pyramid at Giza, contain hundreds of thousands of marine fossils, according to a new study. Most of the fossils are intact and preserved in the monument walls, giving clues to how the monuments were built. The authors suggest the stones that make up the Giza plateau, Fayum and Abydos monuments must have been carved out of natural stone as they reveal what chunks of the sea floor must have looked like over 4000 years ago, when the buildings were erected. "The observed random emplacement and strictly homogenous distribution of the fossil shells within the whole rock is in harmony with their initial in situ setting in a fluidal sea bottom environment," write Professor Ioannis Liritzis and his colleagues from the University of the Aegean and the University of Athens. Nummulites that lived during the Eocene period around 55.8-33.9 million years ago are most commonly found in Egyptian limestone.
Fossils have also been unearthed at other sites, such as in Turkey and throughout the Mediterranean. When nummulites are bisected horizontally they appears as a perfect spiral. Since they were common in ancient Egypt, it's believed the shells were used as coins, perhaps explaining their name. Fossils of their ancient marine relatives - sand dollars, starfish and sea urchins - were also detected in the Egyptian limestone.
Intact fossils throughout the stone -- The fossils are largely undamaged and are distributed in a random manner within the stone, in accordance with their typical distribution at sea floors. So, Liritzis and his team argue that the large building stones used to construct the monuments must have been carved out of natural stone instead of cast in moulds. To further their argument, the scientists say the x-ray patterns detect no presence of lime, which would be expected along with the salt natron, which would indicate cast materials. They also point out there are no references of moulds, buckets or other casting tools in early Egyptian paintings, sculptures or texts.
Carved or cast? - Joseph Davidovits, professor and director of France's Geopolymer Institute, formulated the theory that natural limestone was cast like concrete to build the pyramids. Davidovits says that Liritzis and his team "should have taken into account the scientific analysis" he and other researchers conducted before backing the carved-not-cast hypothesis.
Robert Temple, co-director of the Project for Historical Dating and a visiting research fellow at universities in the US, Egypt and Greece, has also studied Egypt's monuments. He agrees with Davidovits about the casting. "There is no evidence known that suggests the ancient Egyptians had cranes," he says. "Without cranes, it is difficult to imagine how they could have lifted giant stones, some as heavy as 200 tonnes." Temple, however, agrees about the importance of the fossils. "Egyptian pyramid blocks of limestone tend to contain fossil shells and nummulites, often huge quantities of them, many of them intact, and many of them of surprisingly large size," he says. "Frankly, not many people pay attention to the shells, which I have always thought was a shame. 'Seashells in the desert' - a good story."
Pharaoh Seti I's Tomb Bigger Than Thought National Geographic - April 17, 2008
Egyptian archaeologists have discovered that the tomb of the powerful pharaoh Seti I the largest tomb in the Valley of the Kings is bigger than originally believed. During a recent excavation, the team found that the crypt is actually 446 feet (136 meters) in length. Giovanni Battista Belzoni, who discovered the tomb in 1817, had noted the tomb at 328 feet (100 meters).
A Potted View of Ancient Geometric Imagery Thunderbolts.com - April 17, 2008
Karnak: The largest temple on Earth Philip Coppens - April 3, 2008
The word “amen” is at the end of many Christian prayers. Yet few Christians are aware that the word itself is a direct reference to the Egyptian god Amen, or Amun, the chief deity of Karnak. Karnak is the largest ancient religious site in the world and was “the Vatican” of Egyptian religion for two millennia - hence longer than the timeframe in which the Vatican has been the centre of Christianity so far. The area of the sacred enclosure of Amun alone - there are three other sacred enclosures at Karnak, not open to the public - is 61 acres and would hold ten average European cathedrals. The great temple at the heart of Karnak is so big that St Peter's, Milan's and Paris' Notre Dame Cathedrals could be lost within its walls. It literally dwarfs everything else. The Hypostyle hall, at 54,000 square feet with 134 columns, is still the largest room of any religious building in the world. In addition to the main sanctuary, there are several smaller temples and a vast sacred lake, portraying on any visitor a sense of respect and vastness no single pyramid can ever offer. Pyramids leave the visitor with the impression why and how they did this; Karnak shows the raw power, wealth and prestige this temple possessed.
Intact Colossus of Egypt's Queen Tiye Found National Geographic - April 1, 2008
Archaeologists have uncovered a pristinely preserved statue of a powerful Egyptian queen at the sprawling mortuary temple of Amenhotep III on Luxor's West Bank. A joint European-Egyptian team found the 12-foot-tall (3.6-meter-tall) quartzite figure attached to the broken-off leg of a much larger colossus of Amenhotep III, who ruled from about 1390 to 1350 B.C. Experts say the newfound statue is of Queen Tiye - Amenhotep III's favorite wife and the most influential woman of his 38-year reign - bolstering theories that female royalty were gaining in prominence and influence during the time period.
City of the Dead Thrives National Geographic - March 29, 2008
Egypt's City of the Dead is one of the country's largest cemeteries, dating back to the 14th century. As Cairo's population swells, the graveyard provides cheap and even free housing.
Wild ass tamed, buried with Egyptian king MSNBC - March 10, 2008
Beasts of burden found nestled in graves dating back 5,000 years. One of the earliest Egyptian kings carried his "beasts of burden" into the afterlife. Paleoscientists discovered the skeletons of 10 donkeys nestled in three mud graves dating back 5,000 years ago when Egypt was just forming a state. The donkey skeletons were discovered in 2003 lying on their sides in graves at a burial complex of one of the first pharaohs at Abydos, Egypt, which is about 300 miles south of Cairo.
Six New Prehistoric Bat Species Dating 35 Million Years Discovered in Egypt National Geographic - March 7, 2008
Six new species of ancient bat dating back 35 million years have been discovered in Egypt, researchers say. The new species were found by experts who analyzed 33 fossils including teeth and jawbones that had been unearthed over a period of decades in El Faiyum, an oasis region 50 miles southwest of Cairo
False Doors for the Dead Among New Egypt Tomb Finds National Geographic - February 26, 2008
New excavations at the tombs yielded three false doors, including one inscribed with the royal name Khety (right), that served as portals for communicating with the dead.
Rare Egyptian "Warrior" Tomb Found National Geographic - February 17, 2008
An unusual, well-preserved burial chamber that may contain the mummy of an ancient warrior has been discovered in a necropolis in Luxor. Scientists opened the tomb found in Dra Abul Naga, an ancient cemetery on Luxor's west bank. Inside the burial shaft—a recess crudely carved from bedrock experts found a closed wooden coffin inscribed with the name "Iker," which translates to "excellent one" in ancient Egyptian. Near the coffin they also found five arrows made of reeds, three of them still feathered. A team of Spanish archaeologists made the surprise find during routine excavations in a courtyard of the tomb of Djehuty, a high-ranking official under Queen Hatshepsut whose burial site was built on top of graves dating to the Middle Kingdom, 2055 to 1650 B.C.
Egypt's Earliest Farming Village Found National Geographic - February 12, 2008
Archaeologists have uncovered the earliest known agricultural settlement from ancient Egypt, a new study says. The 7,000-year-old farming-village site includes evidence of domesticated animals and crops—providing a major breakthrough in understanding the enigmatic people of the Neolithic, or late Stone Age, period and their lives long before the appearance of the Egyptian pharaohs.
Surprise Egypt Tombs Yield Ornate Coffins, Dog Mummies National Geographic - January 30, 2008
Four ancient tombs containing well-preserved mummies and ornate painted coffins have been unearthed in El Faiyum, an oasis about 50 miles (80 kilometers) southwest of Cairo. One female mummy was found wearing a gilded mask, a rare treasure at the site known as the necropolis of Deir el-Banat. The burial complex is a frequent target for modern-day grave robbers and was thought to have been looted of its riches. n a separate tomb, the excavators discovered the first completely intact mummy ever found at the necropolis.
"Beautiful" Mummies, Gilded Caskets Found in Egypt National Geographic - January 30, 2008
Four ancient tombs containing well-preserved mummies and ornate painted coffins have been unearthed at El Faiyum, an oasis about 50 miles (80 kilometers) southwest of Cairo. This gold-painted maskphotographed November 21, 2007 was found on a female mummy, a rare treasure for a site known to be a frequent target for modern-day grave robbers. The mask was the first of its kind found at the El Faiyum site, an ancient "city of the dead" known as Deir el-Banat, offering hope to archaeologists that more valuable antiquities await discovery there. In ancient times, gold symbolized eternity and was thought to preserve the remains of the dead forever.
Video: Treasure Beneath My Home National Geographic - January 30, 2008
Egyptian homeowners who find ancient artifacts buried on their land sometimes sell them to smugglers. Lisa Ling goes undercover to show how it's done.
Video: Egypt's Curse National Geographic - January 30, 2008
Some of Egypt's greatest treasures have ended up in foreign countries, including the Rosetta Stone, which unlocked the secrets of Egyptian hieroglyphs. Now Egypt wants the artifact back if only for a visit.
Rare Middle-Class Tomb Found From Ancient Egypt National Geographic - January 19, 2008
Archaeologists have unsealed the intact burial chamber of an ancient Egyptian official, providing a rare glimpse into the burial customs of the Old Kingdom's middle class. The relatively modest tomb, belonging to a fifth dynasty priest and politician named Neferinpu, was discovered in 2006 at Abusir, the ancient necropolis of the fifth and 26th dynasties, located near modern-day Cairo. Only recently, however, did a Czech team open the tomb's burial chamber, a tiny room about 33 feet (10 meters) below ground packed with offerings and personal effects that had remained undisturbed for nearly 4,500 years.
A Case for Mistaken Identity Thunderbolts - December 26, 2007
Ra was often lauded as "Lord of the Circles" and as "he who entereth [or liveth] in the circle." He was described as "the sender forth of light into his circle" and as the "Governor of [his] circle."
Surprise Finds at Egypt's Temple of Amun "Change Everything" National Geographic - December 17, 2007
A series of surprising discoveries has been made at the foot of Egypt's famous Temple of Amun at Karnak, archaeologists say.
Canal Linking Ancient Egypt Quarry to Nile Found National Geographic - October 24, 2007
Experts have discovered a canal at an Aswan rock quarry that they believe was used to help float some of ancient Egypt's largest stone monuments to the Nile River. It has long been suspected that ancient workers moved the massive artifacts directly to their final destinations over waterways. Ancient artwork shows Egyptians using boats or barges to move large monuments like obelisks and statues, and canals have also been discovered at the Giza pyramids and the Luxor Temple.
King Tut Died in Hunting Accident, Expert Says National Geographic - October 23, 2007
King Tutankhamun likely died after falling from his chariot while hunting ...
Snake-bird gods fascinated both Aztecs and Ancient Egyptians Reuters - September 24, 2007
Ancient Mexicans and Egyptians who never met and lived centuries and thousands of miles apart both worshiped feathered-serpent deities, built pyramids and developed a 365-day calendar, a new exhibition shows. Billed as the world's largest temporary archeological showcase, Mexican archeologists have brought treasures from ancient Egypt to display alongside the great indigenous civilizations of Mexico for the first time.
The exhibition, which boasts a five-tonne, 3,000-year-old sculpture of Egyptian pharaoh Ramses II and stone carvings from Mexican pyramid at Chichen Itza, aims to show many of the similarities of two complex worlds both conquered by Europeans in invasions 1,500 years apart. "There are huge cultural parallels between ancient Egypt and Mexico in religion, astronomy, architecture and the arts. They deserve to be appreciated together," said exhibition organizer Gina Ulloa, who spent almost three years preparing the 35,520 square-feet (3,300 meter-square) display.
The exhibition, which opened at the weekend in the northern Mexican city of Monterrey, shows how Mexican civilizations worshiped the feathered snake god Quetzalcoatl from about 1,200 BC to 1521, when the Spanish conquered the Aztecs.
From 3,000 BC onward Egyptians often portrayed their gods, including the Goddess of the Pharaohs Isis, in art and sculpture as serpents with wings or feathers. The feathered serpent and the serpent alongside a deity signifies the duality of human existence, at once in touch with water and earth, the serpent, and the heavens, the feathers of a bird," said Ulloa. Egyptian sculptures at the exhibition -- flown to Mexico from ancient temples along the Nile and from museums in Cairo, Luxor and Alexandria - show how Isis' son Horus was often represented with winged arms and accompanied by serpents. Cleopatra, the last Egyptian queen before the Roman conquest of Egypt in 30 BC, saw herself as Isis and wore a gold serpent in her headpiece.
In the arts, Mexico's earliest civilization, the Olmecs, echo Egypt's finest sculptures. Olmec artists carved large man-jaguar warriors that are similar to the Egyptian sphinxes on display showing lions with the heads of gods or kings. The seated statue of an Egyptian scribe carved between 2465 and 2323 BC shows stonework and attention to detail that parallels a seated stone sculpture of an Olmec lord. There is no evidence the Olmecs and Egyptians ever met.
Shared traits run to architecture, with Egyptians building pyramids as royal tombs and the Mayans and Aztecs following suit with pyramids as places of sacrifice to the gods. While there is no room for pyramids at the exhibition -- part of the Universal Forum of Cultures, an international cultural festival held in Barcelona in 2004 -- organizers say it is the first time many of pieces have left Egypt. They include entire archways from Nile temples, a bracelet worn by Ramses II and sarcophagi used by the pharaohs. Mexico has also brought together Aztec, Mayan and Olmec pieces from across the country.
Ancient Pharaoh Temple Discovered Inside Egypt Mosque National Geographic - September 27, 2007
Egyptian Tomb of Noblewoman Found National Geographic - August 16, 2007
An ancient Egyptian noblewoman's large stone coffin has been found in a tomb near the pyramid of Unas, experts announced yesterday Archaeologists were digging near the crumbling pyramid in Saqqara, 15 miles (25 kilometers) south of Cairo, when they discovered the tomb, which had been built more than 600 years before the noblewoman's death. The coffin of the noblewoman, named Sekhemet Nefret, was the first from Egypt's 27th dynasty (525 to 402 B.C.) to be found in this part of Saqqara, an ancient royal burial ground. The walls of the burial shaft were made in part with carved stone slabs, known as stelae. The stone dates from the even earlier reign of the pharaoh Djoser, who was buried in Saqqara's distinctive step pyramid.
Mummy Birds Recovered From Egypt Factory National Geographic - August 9, 2007
Three ibises and five falcons had apparently been kept in glass display cases since 1927 at the sprawling Mahalla factory, located about 75 miles (120 kilometers) north of Cairo.
French architect offers a new theory on how the Egyptians built the Great Pyramid at Giza Smithsonian - August 6, 2007
In 1999, Henri Houdin, a retired French civil engineer, was watching a television documentary on the construction of Egypt's ancient pyramids. He had supervised many dam and bridge projects, and much of what he saw on the show struck him as impractical. "It was the usual pyramid-building theories, but he wasn't satisfied as an engineer," says his son, Jean-Pierre, an independent architect. "He had a sparkle in the brain. 'If I had to build one now, I would do it from the inside out.' " Jean-Pierre Houdin realized he could test the feasibility of his father's idea through computer-based 3-D modeling. That's what he set out to do, taking for his model the Great Pyramid at Giza. His inquiry grew into a passionate quest to solve a puzzle that has baffled humankind for ages: how exactly was the Great Pyramid built? Houdin thinks he's figured it out, and that his father was onto something.
The Great Pyramid rose 4,500 years ago on the Giza plateau, just outside Cairo, to house the tomb of the pharaoh Khufu (called Cheops by the Greeks). Covering 13 acres and originally 481 feet high, it survives as the last of the "seven wonders" of the ancient world. Its technical precision amazes modern architects and engineers, especially in light of the available resources. The pyramid's 2.3 million limestone blocks, most weighing more than two tons, were cut and hauled into place without the benefit of wheels, pulleys and iron tools.
"Gentrified" Egyptian Burial Chamber Discovered National Geographic - August 2, 2007
A recycled burial chamber with unusual decorations has been discovered just south of Cairo, archaeologists announced today. The chamber may offer further proof of how the nobles of Egypt's 26th dynasty (664 to 525 B.C.) "gentrified" the 2,000-year-old necropolis, or vast burial grounds, of their 5th-dynasty predecessors. The necropolis had fallen into disrepair in the intervening millenia. The find occurred near the three weathered pyramids of Abu Sir remnants of an original seven located 22 miles (35 kilometers) south of Cairo. nThe monuments were part of a complex built about 4,500 years ago during the 5th dynasty's brief reign, from 2498 to 2345 B.C. The necropolis then served the nobles of Memphis, Egypt's ancient capital. Twenty centuries later, the site was revived by a new generation of Egyptian nobles, who wanted to be buried near the temples of Saqqara, said Miroslav Verner of the Czech Institute of Egyptology in Prague.
Ancient "Lost" City's Remains Found Under Alexandria's Waters National Geographic - July 31, 2007
The first physical clues to a long-rumored town that existed on the site of present-day Alexandria have been uncovered by accident. While searching under the waves of Alexandria's East Bay for Greek and Roman ruins, archaeologists discovered signs of building construction 700 years older than Alexander the Great's invasion of Egypt. The new find is "the first hard evidence" of Rhakotis, a town mentioned in several histories of the region but whose existence had never been substantiated, said geoarchaeologist Jean-Daniel Stanley of the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of Natural History.
Egypt's Largest Pharaoh-Era Fortress Discovered, Experts Announce National Geographic - July 29, 2007
The largest known fortress from ancient Egypt's days of the pharaohs has been unearthed near the Suez Canal, archaeologists announced on Sunday. The massive fortress, discovered at a site called Tell-Huba, includes the graves of soldiers and horses and once featured a giant water-filled moat, scientists said. The discovery dates back to ancient Egypt's struggle to reconquer the northern Sinai Peninsula from an occupying force known as the Hyksos. The campaign against the Hyksos was depicted in etchings on the ancient walls of the Karnak Temple, 450 miles (720 kilometers) south of Cairo. Archaeologists said the new find shows those stone-chiseled tales to be surprisingly accurate.
Mummies' Fake Toes Could Be First Prosthetics National Geographic - July 29, 2007
When this mummy lived, she was able to walk like an Egyptian thanks to a false toe. The toe, made of wood and leather, may be the world's earliest known functional prosthetic, experts say. The current earliest known prosthesis is an artificial leg found in Italy that dates back to 300 B.C. That's several hundred years younger than the Egyptian toe, which dates to between 1000 and 600 B.C. A woman between 50 and 60 used the well-worn prosthetic, and the amputation site of her toe seems to have healed successfully, Jacky Finch, of the University of Manchester in the United Kingdom, said in a statement. To see if the toe really works, Finch is gathering a group of volunteers who have lost their right big toes to wear a replica of the Egyptian toe. Finch will also test a second Egyptian prosthetic toe from the same time period. That toe, made of a sort of papier mache, is on display at the British Museum.
Egypt's Oldest Known Art Identified, Is 15,000 Years Old National Geographic - July 11, 2007
Palaeolithic rock art, like Lascaux caves in France, discovered in Upper Egypt Al-Ahram - June 19, 2007
The discovery of huge rocks decorated with Palaeolithic illustrations at the village of Qurta on the northern edge of Kom Ombo has caused excitement among the scientific community. The art was found by a team of Belgian archaeologists and restorers and features groups of cattle similar to those drawn on the walls of the French Lascaux caves. They are drawn and painted in a naturalistic style which is quite different from those shown in cattle representations of the well-known classical, pre-dynastic iconography of the fourth millennium BC. Illustrations of hippopotami, fish, birds and human figures can also be seen on the surface of some of the rocks.
The first examination of the patination and weathering suggests that these bovid representations are extremely old, most probably predating the fish-trap representations and associated rock scenes previously found at several locations in the Al-Hosh area. They are also similar to cattle representations discovered in 1962-63 by a Canadian archaeological mission as part of an attempt to reserve land for habitation and cultivation by Nubians who had been displaced from their homes by the construction of the Aswan High Dam. The Belgian mission relocated the rock in 2004 to the area near the modern village of Qurta. This newly-discovered site is still in pristine condition since they have not been visited by archaeologists since the Canadian team in 1963.
Ancient Gold Center Discovered on the Nile National Geographic - June 18, 2007
Evidence of large-scale gold extraction in the ancient Nubian kingdom of Kush has been found along the Nile River, archaeologists will announce today. The discovery is part of a race to save as many antiquities as possible before a dam inundates a hundred-mile (160-kilometer) stretch of the Nile in northern Sudan.
Ancient Egyptian City Spotted From Space Live Science - June 6, 2007
Images captured from space pinpoint telltale signs of previous habitation in the swatch of land 200 miles south of Cairo, which digging recently confirmed as an ancient settlement dating from about 400 A.D.
Ancient Egypt Cities Leveled by Massive Volcano, Ash Find Suggests National Geographic - April 2, 2007
Egyptian archaeologists today announced that they have unearthed traces of solidified lava on the northern coast of Sinai that date to around 1500 B.C. supporting accounts that ancient Egyptian settlements were buried by a massive volcanic eruption in the Mediterranean, they say. The archaeological team found houses, military structures, and tombs encased in ash, along with fragments of pumice, near the ancient Egyptian fortress of Tharo, on the Horus military road. Tharo is located close to El Qantara, where the Nile Delta meets the Sinai peninsula
Great Pyramid Built Inside Out, French Architect Says National Geographic - April 2, 2007
Ancient Egyptians built the 480-foot-high (146-meter-high) Great Pyramid of Giza from the inside out, according to a French architect. Based on eight years of study, Jean-Pierre Houdin has created a novel three-dimensional computer simulation to present his hypothesis. He says his findings solve the mystery of how the massive monument just outside Cairo was constructed.
Archaeologists have been unveiling the latest discoveries from the Saqqara necropolis, or city of the dead, south of Egypt's capital, Cairo. BBC - February 21, 2007
Archaeologists have been unveiling the latest discoveries from the Saqqara necropolis, or city of the dead, south of Egypt's capital, Cairo. Two tombs dating from between 3,000 and 4,200 years ago are of a royal scribe and a butler. Another find is of the sarcophagi of a priest and his female companion from the 12th dynasty (1991-1786 BC). Saqqara holds a number of temples and tombs. Officials say perhaps only 30% of its treasures have been discovered. The tomb of the royal scribe dates to the period of the pharaoh Akhenaten, who was known for discarding Egypt's old gods.
Alexander's Afghan gold Al-Ahram - February 7, 2007
While not drawing quite the crowds making their way to the Grand Palais for Tresors engloutis d'Egypte, an exhibition of mostly Ptolemaic artifacts -- "submerged treasures" -- discovered off the coast of Alexandria and reviewed in Al-Ahram Weekly on 14 December, Afghanistan, les trésors retrouvés across Paris at the Musée Guimet should nevertheless be on the itinerary of every visitor to the French capital.
This exhibition features discoveries of international importance made by French archaeological missions in Afghanistan over the course of the last century, most of which have never been seen before outside the country. In what is being seen as quite a coup both for the Musée Guimet, an institution specialising in south and south-east Asian art, and for the French capital, the exhibition allows visitors to gain their first glimpses of material that not only has never been lent before by the Afghan National Museum in Kabul, but that was also considered lost during the decade of civil war that wracked Afghanistan following the withdrawal of Soviet forces in 1989, destroying much of the country as it did so.
Ancient Semitic Snake Spells Deciphered in Egyptian Pyramid National Geographic - February 6, 2007
The ancient Egyptians believed themselves superior to their neighboring nations in almost every aspect. But newly interpreted symbols the oldest Semitic passages ever deciphered reveal that the Egyptians turned to outside help for magic. The passages, inscribed on the subterranean walls of the pyramid of King Unas at Saqqara, reveal that the Egyptians enlisted the magical assistance of Semitic Canaanites from the ancient city of Byblos, located in what is now Lebanon. The Canaanite spells were invoked to help protect mummified kings against poisonous snakes, one of ancient Egypt's most dreaded nemeses. According to the incantations, female snakes—acting as mediators for Canaanite magicians used their multiple mouths and sexual organs to prevent other snakes from entering the mummified rulers' remains. The passages date from between 2400 to 3000 B.C. and appear to be written in Proto-Canaanite, a direct ancestor of biblical Hebrew
A sandstone lintel painted with gilded solar child deities was unearthed yesterday at the Temple of Mut in Luxor Al-Ahram - February 6, 2007
A sandstone lintel painted with gilded solar child deities was unearthed yesterday at the Temple of Mut in Luxor'
Excavators from the Brooklyn Museum stumbled upon the unique lintel painted with five gilded deities during routine cleaning of the precinct enclosure wall of the temple. Topped with a cavetto cornice embellished with painted stripes, the lintel is well preserved. It is framed by rounded moulding and the decoration includes raised relief figures. The five gilded solar deities appear sitting on lotus blossoms against a blue backdrop, representing the sky, each with a finger in its mouth. The first and last are crowned with the sun disk, the second wears a double crown, the third a hem-hem crown and the fourth a two-plumed crown. The golden child gods sit before an offering table to the right of which are two figures, the first an ape, whose face still bears some gilding, wearing a modius and feather with his arms raised in a gesture of worship. Apes are often shown in connection with the sun. The second figure is of the goddess Taweret, crowned with cow's horns, a sun disk and two feathers.
Sex and booze figured in Egyptian rites - Drinking Festival MSNBC - October 31, 2006
Back in 1470 B.C., this was the agenda for one of ancient Egypt's most raucous rituals, the "festival of drunkenness," which celebrated nothing less than the salvation of humanity. Archaeologists say they have found evidence amid the ruins of a temple in Luxor that the annual rite featured sex, drugs and the ancient equivalent of rock 'n' roll.
Thieves lead to discovery of Egypt tombs - Pharaoh's Dentists BBC - October 23, 2006
Grave robbers in Egypt have unwittingly helped archaeologists discover the tombs of three royal dentists. The thieves were arrested after they began digging by the Step Pyramid at Saqqara, near Cairo, believed to be Egypt's oldest pyramid. Their excavations led archaeologists to the 4,200-year-old tombs, one of which has an inscription warning of a curse. Two hieroglyphs - showing an eye over a tusk - identified the men as dentists to the pharaohs, experts said. Zahi Hawass, Egypt's chief of antiquities, said the location of the men's burial near the Step Pyramid indicated the respect accorded dentists by the ancient Egyptian kings. However, the fact the tombs were made of mud brick as well as more expensive limestone suggested they were not wealthy men.
Mummy DNA Reveals Birth of Ancient Scourge Scientific American - October 9, 2006
Centuries of silence cannot keep ancient Egyptian mummies from sharing their secrets with scientists. From archaeologists determining cultural practices to chemists studying embalming, mummies have revealed libraries of information. Now such mummies are also yielding evidence about the diseases of the past by giving up the facts encoded in their preserved DNA, and new research may have pinned down the ancient homeland of a modern scourge.
Ancient humans 'followed rains' BCC - July 21, 2006
Prehistoric humans roamed the world's largest desert for some 5,000 years, archaeologists have revealed. The Eastern Sahara of Egypt, Sudan, Libya and Chad was home to nomadic people who followed rains that turned the desert into grassland. When the landscape dried up about 7,000 years ago, there was a mass exodus to the Nile and other parts of Africa.
Exodus From Drying Sahara Gave Rise to Pharaohs, Study Says National Geographic - July 20, 2006
The pharaohs of ancient Egypt owed their existence to prehistoric climate change in the eastern Sahara, according to an exhaustive study of archaeological data that bolsters this theory. Starting at about 8500 B.C., researchers say, broad swaths of what are now Egypt, Chad, Libya, and Sudan experienced a "sudden onset of humid conditions."
For centuries the region supported savannahs full of wildlife, lush acacia forests, and areas so swampy they were uninhabitable. During this time the prehistoric peoples of the eastern Sahara followed the rains to keep pace with the most hospitable ecosystems. But around 5300 B.C. this climate-driven environmental abundance started to decline, and most humans began leaving the increasingly arid region. Around 5,500 to 6,000 years ago the Egyptian Sahara became so dry that nobody could survive there. Without rain, rivers, or the ephemeral desert streams known as waddis, vegetation became sparse, and people had to leave the desert or die. Members of this skilled human population settled near the Nile River, giving rise to the first pharaonic cultures in Egypt
Satellite Captures Creation of New Continental Crust Scientific American - July 20, 2006
A new sea is forming in the desert of northeastern Ethiopia. Millions of years from now, the pulling apart of the Arabian and Nubian tectonic plates will allow waters to rush in and widen the Red Sea. And thanks to the availability of satellite imagery, scientists have been able to get an unprecedented glimpse of the workings of stretching plates, the rock crust moving across Earthņs surface at up to 12 centimeters per year.
Tim Wright of the University of Leeds and his international team of colleagues collected ground- and space-based observations of a widening rift in the Afar Desert of Ethiopia. Between September and October last year, a 60-kilometer-long stretch of rock spread by as much as eight meters. Magma from adjacent volcanoes filled in the bottom part of the rift, creating new continental crust and a dyke of roughly 2.5 cubic kilometers--twice as much material as erupted from Mount St. Helens--more than two kilometers below the surface.
Secrets of ocean birth laid bare BBC - July 20, 2006
The largest tear in the Earth's crust seen in decades, if not centuries, could carve out a new ocean in Africa, according to satellite data. Geologists say a crack that opened up last year may eventually reach the Red Sea, isolating much of Ethiopia and Eritrea from the rest of Africa. The 60km-long rift was initially sparked by an earthquake in September. Follow-up observations reported in the journal Nature suggest the split is growing at an unprecedented rate. It betrays events deep beneath the ground, where some of the tectonic plates that form Africa are gradually moving apart from the Arabian plate, causing the crust to stretch and thin. As rifts appear, molten rock bubbles up from beneath the surface, hardening to form a new strip of ocean floor.
Satellite Captures Creation of New Continental Crust News in Science - July 20, 2006
A new sea is forming in the desert of northeastern Ethiopia. Millions of years from now, the pulling apart of the Arabian and Nubian tectonic plates will allow waters to rush in and widen the Red Sea.
Scientists: Earthquakes causing Red Sea to part MSNBC - July 19, 2006
Aerial photo of the cracks and faults that formed along the East African rift in Afar, Ethiopia, following a series of earthquakes. These cracks formed above the zone where molten rock rose into the plate, reaching to within approximately 1.2 miles of the surface.
The Red Sea is parting again, but this time Moses doesn't have a hand in it. Satellite images show that the Arabian tectonic plate and the African plate are moving away from each other, stretching the Earth's crust and widening the southern end of the Red Sea, scientists reported in this week's issue of journal Nature. Last September, a series of earthquakes started splitting the planet's surface along a 37-mile section of the East African Rift in Afar, Ethiopia. Using the images gathered by the European Space Agency's Envisat radar satellite, researchers looked at satellite data before and after these activities.
Egyptian Temple Yields 17 Statues of Lion-Headed Goddess' National Geographic - March 14, 2006
Archaeologists working in Luxor, Egypt, have unearthed 17 statues of an ancient Egyptian goddess with the head of a lion and the body of a woman. The Egyptian-German team made the discovery while doing restoration work at the temple of Pharaoh Amenhotep III on the Nile's west bank in southern Egypt. Six additional statues of the goddess, called Sekhmet, had been found at the same site shortly before this latest discovery. In ancient Egypt, Sekhmet was considered the goddess of both war and healing. Why there are so many similar statues at the site remains a matter of speculation.
Huge impact crater found in Egypt BBC - March 6, 2006
A giant crater made by a meteorite impact millions of years ago has been discovered in Egypt's western desert. Boston University experts found the 31km (19 mile) wide crater while studying satellite images of the area. It is more than twice the size of the next largest Saharan impact depression and more than 25 times the size of Arizona's famous Meteor Crater. The American team that found it says its sheer size may have helped it escape detection all these years. The structure, which has an outer rim surrounding an inner ring, has been named "Kebira", which means "large" in Arabic and also relates to the crater's physical location on the northern tip of the Gilf Kebir region in southwest Egypt.
Giant Ancient Egyptian Sun Temple Discovered in Cairo National Geographic - March 2, 2006
Archaeologists discovered a pharaonic sun temple with large statues believed to be of King Ramses II under an outdoor marketplace in Cairo
Ancient Flowers Found in Egypt Coffin in Egypt's Valley of the Kings "KV 63" National Geographic - June 29, 2006
The last of eight sarcophagi from a recently discovered burial chamber in Egypt's Valley of the Kings revealed ancient garlands of flowers. A gaggle of researchers and media had gathered for the opening of the 3,000-year-old coffin, which archaeologists had hoped would contain the famous boy king Tutankhamun's mother. But instead the coffin contained strips of fabric and woven laurels of delicate dehydrated flowers.
Pharaonic tomb find stuns Egypt BBC - February 10, 2006
Archaeologists have discovered an intact, ancient Egyptian tomb in the Valley of the Kings, the first since King Tutankhamun's was found in 1922. A University of Memphis-led team found the previously unknown tomb complete with sarcophagi and five mummies. The archaeologists have not yet been able to identify them.
Egypt offers first look at newly discovered tombs MSNBC - February 10, 2006
Archaeologists have discovered an intact, ancient Egyptian tomb in the Valley of the Kings, the first since King Tutankhamun's Tomb was found in 1922. The tomb contains five sarcophagi with mummies, breaking the nearly century long belief that there's nothing more to find in the valley where some of Egypt's greatest pharaohs were buried. Found in the tomb was the red granite head of King Amenhotep III - father of the Pharaoh Akhenaten.
Researchers discover 3,400-year-old artifact depicting Queen Ti MSNBC - February 10, 2006
Egyptologists have discovered a statue of Queen Ti, wife of one of Egypt's greatest pharaohs and grandmother to the boy-king Tutankhamun, at an ancient temple in Luxor, an Egyptian antiquities official said. The roughly 3,400-year-old statue was well-preserved. Ti's husband, Amenhotep III, presided over an era which saw a renaissance in Egyptian art. A number of cartouches, or royal name signs, of Amenhotep III were found on the statue, and the statue's design and features allowed researchers to identify it as a New Kingdom, 18th Dynasty statue of Queen Ti.
Akhenaten was the son of Amenhotep III and
Queen Tiy, a descendent of a Hebrew tribe.
Queen Tiy wearing a double feathered crown
Ancient Egypt 'respected dwarfs' BBC - December 27, 2005
The ancient Egyptians respected dwarfs, and did not see them as having a physical handicap. A team from Georgetown University Hospital looked at biological remains and artistic evidence of dwarfism in ancient Egypt. Ancient Egyptians worshipped dwarf gods, and many dwarfs held positions of authority in households.
Glassmakers key to Egypt's status BBC - June 17, 2005
Ancient Egypt was mass-producing its own glass objects more than 3,000 years ago, according to evidence from digs in the country's eastern Nile delta. The finding rejects a theory that the Egyptians simply got their glass from the Mesopotamians and reworked it. A UK team identified the first known site from Egypt with direct evidence of "primary" glass production, meaning the Egyptians made the glass from scratch.
In pictures: Egypt's most beautiful mummy ever discovered BBC - May 4, 2005
Egyptian archaeologists have uncovered a fabulously-decorated 2,300-year-old mummy in the Saqqara burial complex. - 7 Photos
Papyrus Reveals New Clues to Ancient World National Geographic - April 25, 2005
The Oxyrhynchus Papyri
Classical Greek and Roman literature is being read for the first time in 2,000 years thanks to new technology. The previously illegible texts are among a hoard of papyrus manuscripts. Scholars say the rediscovered writings will provide a fascinating new window into the ancient world. Salvaged from an ancient garbage dump in Egypt, the collection is kept at Oxford University in England. Known as the Oxyrhynchus Papyri, the collection includes writings by great classical Greek authors such as Homer, Sophocles, and Euripides.
Ancient necropolis found in Egypt BBC - April 21, 2005
Archaeologists say they have found the largest funerary complex yet dating from the earliest era of ancient Egypt, more than 5,000 years ago. The necropolis was discovered by a joint US and Egyptian team in the Kom al-Ahmar region, around 600km (370 miles) south of the capital, Cairo. Inside the tombs, the archaeologists found a cow's head carved from flint and the remains of seven people. They believe four of them were buried alive as human sacrifices. The remains survived despite the fact that the tombs were plundered in ancient times.
40 million year old whale found in Egyptian desert News in Science - April 2005
An American palaeontologist says he and a team of Egyptians have found what could be the most complete fossilized skeleton of the 40 million year old whale Basilosaurus isis in Egypt's Western Desert. The skeleton, which is 18 metres long, could throw light on why there are so many fossilized remains of whales and other ancient sea animals in Wadi Hitan and possibly how the extinct animal swam
King Tut Liked Red Wine Science Daily - April 3, 2005
Ancient Egyptians believed in properly equipping a body for the afterlife, and not just through mummification. A new study reveals that King Tutankhamun eased his arduous journey with a stash of red wine. Spanish scientists have developed the first technique that can determine the color of wine used in ancient jars. They analyzed residues from a jar found in the tomb of King Tut and found that it contained wine made with red grapes. This is the only extensive chemical analysis that has been done on a jar from King Tut's tomb, and it is the first time scientists have provided evidence of the color of wine in an archaeological sample. The report appears in the March 15 edition of Analytical Chemistry, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Chemical Society, the world's largest scientific society.
The earliest scientific evidence of grapes is from 60-million-year-old fossil vines, while the first written record of winemaking comes from a much more recent source, the Bible, which says Noah planted a vineyard after exiting the ark. Scientists have detected wine in a jar from as far back as 5400 B.C., found at the site of Hajji Firuz Tepe in the northern Zagros Mountains of present-day Iran. But the earliest knowledge about wine cultivation comes from ancient Egypt, where the winemaking process was represented on tomb walls dating to 2600 B.C.
King Tut Not Murdered Died from a Broken Leg Injury National Geographic - March 2005
Detailed CT scans of King Tutankhamun's mummy found no physical evidence of murder. But the scans did reveal unusual features, including a broken leg, which some experts think may have led to the boy king's death. The scans cannot rule out "nonviolent" murder, such as poisoning. They have disproved the oft-repeated theory that King Tutankhamun was murdered by a blow to the head.
Archaeologists Uncover Bead-Covered Mummy in Saqqara China Daily - March 3, 2005
Archaeologists uncovered three coffins and a remarkably well-preserved mummy in a 2,500-year old tomb discovered by accident after opening a secret door hidden behind a statue in a separate burial chamber. The Australian team was exploring a much older tomb dating back 4,200 years belonging to a man believed to have been a tutor to the 6th Dynasty King Pepi II, when they moved a pair of statues and discovered the door, said Zahi Hawass, Egypt's top antiquities official. Inside, they found a tomb from the 26th Dynasty with three intricate coffins, each with a mummy.
"Inside one coffin was maybe one of the best mummies ever preserved," Hawass told reporters at the excavation site in the cemetery of Saqqara, a barren hillside pocked with ancient graves about 15 miles south of Cairo. "The chest of the mummy is covered with beads. Most of the mummies of this period about 500 B.C. - the beads are completely gone, but this mummy has them all," he said, standing over one of the mummies that was swathed in turquoise blue beads and bound in strips of black linen. The names of the mummies have not been determined, but the tomb is thought to be that of a middle-class official. Hawass said the wooden coffins, called anthropoids because they were in the shape of human beings, bore inscriptions dating to the 26th Dynasty, together with a statue of a deity called Petah Sakar. Petah was the god of artisans, Hawass said, while Sakar was the god of the cemetery. The door was hidden behind 4,200-year-old statues of a man believed to have been Meri, the tutor of Pepi II, and Meri's wife, whose name was not revealed.
Meri also was believed to oversee four sacred boats found in the pyramids, which were buried with Egypt's kings to help them in the afterlife, Hawass said. "I believe this discovery can enrich us about two important periods in our history, the Old Kingdom, which dates back to 4,200 years, and the 26th Dynasty, that was 2,500 years ago," Hawass said. According to tradition, Pepi II - the last ruler of the 6th Dynasty - ruled from 2278-2184 B.C., one of the longest reigns in ancient Egyptian history. Naguib Kanawati, the head of the Australian team from Sydney's Macquarie University, said the site had fallen into neglect after Pepi II's rule and was covered by 50 feet of sand, until it was used again as a cemetery 2,600 years later. "By that time the art of mummification was perfected to the extreme," Kanawati said.
Archaeologists have uncovered the real life site of the fabled ancient university of Alexandria Al Ahram - June 2, 2004
A Polish-Egyptian archaeological team has recently discovered a limestone complex of 13 auditoria along the northern side of the Roman theatre portico in downtown Alexandria's Kom Al-Dikka area. The explorers are confident that they have found the site of the city's fabled ancient university, which is thought to have schooled some 5,000 students at a time. Most of the auditoria feature three rows of 3.5 metres high benches running along the walls on three sides and forming a semicircle at the end. Lecturers most probably used an elevated seat in the centre.
Hundreds of Mummies Found in Egyptian Caves at Saqqara - 26th Dynasty National Geographic - May 19, 2004
An underground maze found packed with mummies was most likely an ancient multifamily cemetery, Egypt's top archaeologist said. A French team made the recent discovery of hundreds of mummies crammed into deep shafts and corridors at Saqqara, 15 miles (25 kilometers) south of Cairo. Zahi Hawass, Secretary General of Egypt's Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA), said the burial site was used for many centuries, from the 26th dynasty (664-525 B.C.) through the end of the Ptolemaic period in 30 B.C.
Ancient Egyptian Love Poems Reveal a Lust for Life National Geographic - April 20, 2004
Pyramids, mummies, tombs, and other icons of aristocracy and the afterlife dominate our images of ancient Egypt. But love poems composed thousands of years ago may provide a more intimate glimpse of the lives of everyday ancient Egyptians. "Poetry is perhaps the greatest forgotten treasure of ancient Egypt," said Richard Parkinson, an expert on ancient Egyptian poetry at London's British Museum, home to the largest collection of Egyptian artifacts outside of Cairo. While historical accounts and biographies inscribed on the insides of tombs often give idealized accounts of ancient Egyptian life, poetry gives real insight into human nature and its imperfections, he said. A group of love poems have been found in an excavated workers' village on the outskirts of the Valley of Kings, where many pharaohs are entombed. The verses allow poetry lovers and Egyptophiles alike to tap into the emotional side of Egyptian daily life. "People tend to assume all ancient Egyptian writing is religious, so the secular nature of these songs and of much other poetry continue to surprise readers," Parkinson said.
Bubonic Plague Traced to Ancient Egypt National Geographic - March 10, 2004
The bubonic plague, or Black Death, may have originated in ancient Egypt, according to a new study. While most researchers consider central Asia as the birthplace of the deadly epidemic. The bacteria-caused plague is more than a grim historical footnote today. The African island of Madagascar experienced outbreaks in the late 1990s, and some worry about the plague's potential use as an agent of bioterrorism. Information about past epidemics could help scientists predict where new outbreaks would occur and better understand how the disease spreads,.
Mummified lion unearthed in Egypt BBC - January 14, 2004
Archaeologists have uncovered the first example of a lion mummified by the ancient Egyptians, in the tomb of the woman who helped rear King Tutankhamun. Although the breeding and burial of lions as sacred animals in Egypt is mentioned by ancient sources, to date no one had found a mummified specimen.
The Ibis - "Bird of the Pharaohs" Stages Comeback National Geographic - October 3, 2003
A few years ago it looked like the only northern bald ibises that would last until the new century were the ones mummified by the ancient Egyptians. But ornithologists say the bird the pharaohs so revered has staged a spectacular comeback thanks to a last-ditch conservation effort in northern Africa. One of the world's most endangered birds, by 1997 less than 100 adult northern bald ibises (Geronticus eremita) remained in the wild. Almost wiped out by human pressures, the species clung on at the Souss-Massa National Park in Morocco.
Strange Egyptian mummy with four feet Science Daily - September 17, 2003
Archaeologists at the Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture had no idea what they would learn when they sent Nellie, the museum's Egyptian mummy, to the University of Washington Medical Center to undergo a CT scan three years ago as the first step in a conservation process. As it turns out, they learned a lot. For one thing, Nellie, who dates back to the Ptolemaic period between 305 and 34 B.C., has four feet. The pair that had been displayed with Nellie for years did not belong to her, according to Peter Lape, the Burke's curator of archaeology and a UW acting assistant professor of anthropology, and Laura Phillips, the Burke's archaeology collections manager. They also found that most of the bones from the mummy's body, including her original feet had been removed sometime in the 20th century, and her chest cavity had been filled with chicken wire and polyurethane foam. Scans of the skull also revealed Nellie's lips faintly curled, enigmatically, like some Egyptian Mona Lisa.
Baseball invented by the ancient Egyptians Sports Illustrated - April 30, 2003
Forget Abner Doubleday, Alexander Cartwright and that rounders theory -- the seeds of our national pastime were planted four millennia ago on the banks of the Nile. Academics have long batted around theories of baseball's origins. Our national pastime has been traced to age-old games played in England, France, Germany, Libya and Spain. One 10th-century Norse variation, knatteleik, was a dawn-to-dusk affair in which Viking batters swung at balls of leather or wood. (No, the batting helmets weren't horned.) "The Abner Doubleday myth dies hard," says Tim Wiles, director of research at the Hall of Fame. "But we no longer think the sport had a single inventor. It has evolved over many, many years."
Opening Gatenbrink's Door National Geographic - April 4, 2003
One of the mysteries of Egypt's Great Pyramid deepened early last September when archaeologists penetrated a 4,500-year-old blocked shaft only to find another stone blocking their way. Gantenbrink's Door
Rare Greek Scroll Found With Egyptian Mummy October 28, 2002 - National Geographic
More than 2,000 years ago, a roll of papyrus with extensive writings was enshrouded with a body that was mummified for preservation. The scroll is the oldest surviving example of a Greek poetry book, according to scholars who have been studying it. They say the document's content and unusually fine condition make it the most significant discovery in Greek literature in several decades.
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