Skip to comments."Breathtaking" Mummy Coffin Covers Seized in Israel
Posted on 04/21/2012 8:39:42 AM PDT by SunkenCiv
Two decorated covers of coffins that once contained mummies have been seized by Israeli authorities, authenticated and dated to thousands of years ago in ancient Egypt.
Inspectors of the Unit for Prevention of Antiquities Robbery found the artifacts while checking shops in a marketplace in the Old City of Jerusalem. The inspectors confiscated the items under suspicion of being stolen property.
The ancient covers are made of wood and adorned with "breathtaking decorations and paintings of ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics," says the Israel Antiquities Authority.
Researchers examined the covers with carbon dating -- which looks at a radioactive form of carbon in a sample to determine its age -- and other tools, finding the artifacts are authentic. They dated one of the covers to the period between the 10th and eighth centuries B.C., considered the Iron Age, and the other to between the 16th and 14th centuries B.C. (Late Bronze Age).
The researchers aren't sure exactly how the wooden covers made their way to Israel. However, the covers had been sawed into two parts (causing irreparable damage), suggesting smugglers needed to conceal the items in a standard-size suitcase, according to the IAA. Robbers may have plundered the ancient tombs in the Western Desert in Egypt; afterward, individuals may have smuggled the wooden covers from Egypt to Dubai, and then through another European country before ending up in Israel.
The confiscated antiquities highlight what is a seemingly vast black market for mummies and other antiquities. Though exact numbers are not known, some have suggested the market reaches the billions of dollars. In fact, smuggling mummies dates back to medieval times, when Egyptian mummies were ground up into a powder that was thought to have medicinal properties.
(Excerpt) Read more at scientificamerican.com ...
The wooden cover, which would have held a mummy in the past, had been cut in half, likely by smugglers who needed to fit the artifacts into a suitcase. Image: Clara Amit, courtesy of the Israel Antiquities Authority.
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Sometimes you wonder how even half this stuff could have survived until the present age. I guess even the evil treasure hunters have done us a favor once and a while.
amazing. i feel gipped somehow at the quality of our coffins now. just dang. beautiful.
I still wonder how many storage facilities for the Egyptian Antiquities Bureau were looted in the chaos.
If something is a valuable marketable item, there is an incentive to the owner to spend resources to ensure its preservation. Third world antiquities bureaucrat -- not so much.
I saw a brochure once upon a time, at the funeral home, of custom-painted caskets. One had some airbrushed golf course scenes, including the green with the flag sticking up, and the name of that design was, of course, “The Last Hole”. Probably not in the greatest taste.
On still another hand:
I met a nice guy in Paris in 1971 who was quite rich. I asked him what he did. He said “I smuggle antiquities from Egypt.” Isn’t that illegal? “They aren’t using them anymore.”
Great post/links! Thanks. lol on the first comment and last link.
He has a point. Those who doubt can look at how ancient sites are treated not just in Egypt, but in Muzzie countries the world over.
Steve Martin was right. Don’t want no fancy funeral, just one like old King Tut.
Don’t return them to Egypt. Muslims have absolutely no appreciation other than disdain for anything of antiquity.
And I wonder what happened to the “lawyer” who was trying to sue Israel for the return of goods an gold “stolen” in the Exodus, which could certainly be construed as an admission that it happened. Is he still amongst the living?
had been cut in half, likely by smugglers who needed to fit the artifacts into a suitcase.
Or by a bad magician.