Skip to comments.EGYPT - NEW TOMBS DISCOVERED
Posted on 06/06/2002 8:10:29 AM PDT by NYer
SAQQARA, Egypt (AP) _ Archaeologists have unearthed six 3,500-year-old tombs they believe reveal important details about the structure of government in a period considered Egypt's golden age, the nation's top archaeologist said Thursday.
Zahi Hawass, head of Egypt's Supreme Council of the Antiquities, also discussed an exhibit of Egyptian treasures to tour the United States beginning June 30 at Washington's National Gallery of Art. The exhibit is bigger than the blockbuster King Tut show of the 1970s.
Earlier this week, archaeologists working on a dig supervised by Hawass just outside Cairo, found the six tombs at the foot of the famous third dynasty Step Pyramid, believed to be Egypt's first.
The tombs belonged to government officials who worked in northern Egypt at the end of the 18th dynasty and early 19th dynasty (1567-1200 BC), when the seat of power was in southern Egypt, not the northern area near Cairo.
One of the tombs was capped with a 15-inch block of limestone carved in the shape of a pyramid, a characteristic of New Kingdom burials that is unusual in northern Egypt. Hawass said the discovery is further proof of government decentralization during the New Kingdom. ``Those buried here were in charge of the Delta,'' he said.
The six buried in the tombs included at least one royal scribe and a temple scribe. Archaeologists were still trying to determine the roles of all those buried played, but believed they were administrators.
``It enlarges our knowledge of the government'' structure at the time, Hawass said, with its two branches, one in the north and another in the south.
CAIRO: Seven tombs believed to belong to dignitaries of the pharaonic dynasties that ruled Egypt more than 3000 years ago have been been found south of Cairo.
The discoveries were made during the excavation season that began last November in the Saqqarah cemetery complex, 20km south of the capital, said Zahi Hawass, the chairman of the Supreme Council of Antiquities.
Statues of the Egyptian god of the dead, the jackal-headed Anubis, as well as pottery remains were found in the tombs that belonged to scribes and priests of the 19th and 20th dynasties (1320-1085 BC), Mr Hawass said.
Thursday, June 6, 2002One belonged to a royal scribe called Djihouti-Mheb, whose name was inscribed on a stone tablet, and another belonged to Ptah-Mes, a priest to the god Ptah.
Archaeologists Uncover Ancient Egyptian Tombs
CAIRO (Reuters) - Archaeologists have discovered seven tombs of Pharaonic priests and officials dating back more than 3,000 years in the desert south of Cairo, the head of Egypt's Supreme Antiquities Council said on Thursday.
Zahi Hawass told reporters at the site that the tombs, made from mud brick and limestone and buried in the sand, were from the New Kingdom period, which lasted from 1567 BC to 1085 BC.
The tombs were found near the ancient Saqqara pyramids that date back to the Old Kingdom from 2613 BC to 2181 BC.
"The tombs all are for officials who were in the government in the north of Egypt," Hawass said at the site of the tombs, which were several meters (yard) long.
The tombs were designed with an entrance that led to a small court area, a burial chamber and a sanctuary or chapel area.
One belonged to a royal scribe called Djihouti-Mheb, whose name was inscribed on a stone tablet, and another belonged to Ptah-Mes, a priest to the god Ptah. The other tombs were for other court officials or priests. At one site, archaeologists discovered a pyramidian, a small pyramid-shaped block that would have been used to cap the tomb. A figure representing the man buried was carved into one side of the pyramidian, and his name was etched into another.
The archaeologists also uncovered part of the statue of a lion and other stone ornaments, as well as parts of an ancient wooden coffin.
Anybody ever read "River God" by the South African, Wilbur Smith? It's a good read and will transport you back to when these tombs were built and the politics and forces behind them.
Story Filed: Wednesday, June 05, 2002 8:26 AM EDT
WASHINGTON (AP) -- A replica of the 50-foot burial chamber that once housed the mummy of Pharaoh Thutmose III will be the main piece of an exhibit bigger than the blockbuster King Tut touring show of the 1970s.
It opens June 30 at the National Gallery of Art, the first stop on a five-year tour. The replica was made in Madrid of more than 100 wooden panels on an aluminum frame that took a week to install at the gallery. It will travel with the show to the other American sites: Boston, New Orleans, Denver, San Francisco and Houston.
``The Quest for Immortality'' will be on view at the National Gallery through Oct. 14.
Almost all the show's 115 objects, more than the Egyptian government has ever lent at once, relate to the ancient Egyptians' great concern with life after death. In one statue Osiris, god of the netherworld, lies on his stomach and raises his head at the moment of his resurrection.
Many people do not realize how closely Egyptian ideas of the afterlife resemble those of later religions, said Betsy Bryan, the show's curator. She chairs the department of Near Eastern Studies at the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore.
``The Egyptians believed they would be judged after their deaths,'' she told a news conference Tuesday, ``and they prepared lists of the bad things they had not done.''
Those who had done evil would be burned or roasted in the afterlife, she said.
They believed that the soul would be reunited with the body, so they mummified the body as elaborately as the family could afford. At the peak of the mummification art, in the New Kingdom, the bodies of pharaohs like Thutmose III and other royals underwent a complex 70-day ritual of drying, anointing and wrapping.
Thutmose III led 16 or 17 campaigns in southwest Asia over 20 years. His empire extended about 1,100 miles to the northeast, into what is now Iraq, and 900 miles to the south, now Sudan. His victories included the conquest of 350 cities, according to inscriptions on the sprawling temple of Karnak in Luxor, and brought much wealth and many slaves to Egypt.
Thutmose's burial chamber in the Valley of Kings was excavated more than a century ago. The walls, carefully reproduced in the gallery, were covered with the first full text of the Amduat, an hour-by-hour account of the perilous journey of the sun god through the night before his resurrection at dawn.
On the Net: National Gallery of Art: http://www.nga.gov/exhibitions/upcoming.htm
"Those buried here were in charge of the Delta,''
I think it would be neat if they built a small pyramid for Dr Hawass when he dies. He's a good showman and has kept up world interest in Egyptian antiquities.
"Got a condo made of stone-a..."
Tut was cool, but I really liked the Temple of Dendur. It seemed so massive, but I think I was just really little at the time. I'd like to catch this show as it travels, though.
Sabertooth: Thanks for the ping!
And today Egyptians are still worshipping that jackal-headed Anus, Osama Bin Laden.