The ‘oldest’ mummy and one ‘digitally unwrapped’ by science
Egyptian archaeologists and researchers have recently uncovered a trove of artifacts, including what may be the oldest intact mummy ever found.
A team of Egyptologists announced Thursday the discovery of several ancient tombs in a pharaonic necropolis on the outskirts of the capital Cairo. Among the finds: a mummy belonging to a man named Heka-shepes sealed in a large rectangular limestone sarcophagus about 4,300 years ago, Zahi Hawass, director of the excavation, said in a post on instagram.
The mummy, “found inside covered with gold leaf… may be the oldest and most complete mummy found in Egypt to date,” he said.
The find, which dates to around 2500 B.C. C. to 2100 B.C. C., in the fifth and sixth dynasties of the old kingdomit is part of a year-long excavation near the Saqqara pyramids.
The new discoveries were found beneath an ancient stone enclosure known as Gisr el-Mudir. “I stuck my head in to see what was inside the sarcophagus: a beautiful mummy of a man completely covered in layers of gold,” Hawass told The Associated Press.
It was also discovered: One tomb belonged to a fifth-dynasty priest known as Khnumdjedef, while the other tomb belonged to a palace official named Meri, who held the title of “the keeper of secrets,” the team said.
Other important finds from the excavation include statues, amulets, and a well-preserved sarcophagus.
Family plot found in ancient Egypt
Archaeologists also revealed several recent discoveries about 400 miles to the south, including a family burial ground dating back about 4,000 years.
The discovery of the burial place, found in the Dr. Abu el-Naga The necropolis (or cemetery) on the west bank of the Nile in the city of Luxor, is the earliest found from the ancient Egyptian 13th Dynasty, dating from beyond 1780 BC, according to Mostafa WaziriEgyptologist and Secretary General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities of the Egyptian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities.
“The discovery is the first of its kind,” Waziry said in a post on instagram.
Discoveries at the site included a pink granite sarcophagus weighing about 11 tons, inscribed with the name of a minister named Ankho, who lived during the reign of King Sobekhotep II during the 13th Dynasty, said Fathy Yaseen, director general of antiquities. from Upper Egypt. CBS News about the site
“We have discovered over a thousand burial sites before in Luxor, but this is the first time we have found one from the 13th Dynasty,” Yaseen said.
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Also discovered nearby: “The most important and ancient residential city” dating back to the Roman era, Waziry said in a post on instagram. He also posted videos of the findings on Facebook Y Twitter.
That city, which is believed to be part of the ancient city of Thebes, along the Nile and within Luxor, “is important because it shows us more about the life of ordinary Egyptians at this time,” Yaseen told CBS News. .
Researchers ‘digitally unwrap’ an ancient Egyptian mummy
Another archaeological breakthrough was announced Tuesday by researchers at Cairo University. They describe in the diary Frontiers of Medicine How they “digitally unwrapped” the mummy of a teenager from 300 B.C. C. by computed tomography.
The team of scientists was able to shed new light on the high social status of the boy by affirming the intricate details of the amulets inserted inside his mummified body and the type of burial he received.
Archaeological finds could help revive Egyptian tourism
Discoveries from ancient Egypt are often used to boost the nation’s tourism, which is a major source of income in the North African country. Tourism suffered a downturn after the political turmoil and violence that followed the 2011 Arab Spring revolution.
Tourism, which accounted for about 12% of the country’s economy, also took a big hit due to the coronavirus outbreak. Independent Egypt reported in February 2021. And tourism has also been hampered by the war in Ukraine, the outlet reported last year.
Contributing: The Associated Press
Delve Deeper: Mummies, Other Ancient and Archaeological Finds
Follow Mike Snider on Twitter: @mikesnider.
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