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Archeologists to Unearth Ancient Egyptian City
Reuters ^ | August 28, 2002 | Heba Kandil

Posted on 08/28/2002 12:10:31 PM PDT by Tancred

Archeologists to Unearth Ancient Egyptian City Wed Aug 28,10:25 AM ET

By Heba Kandil

CAIRO, Egypt (Reuters) - In a squalid suburb of northeast Cairo, a red granite obelisk towering above ramshackle homes is the last visible vestige of a nearly 7,000-year-old city where ancient Egyptians believed life began.

Archeologists say they soon expect to unearth other artifacts and unlock the secrets of the sun-cult city of On buried beneath today's suburbs of Ain Shams, which means "eye of the sun" in Arabic, and the adjacent area of Matariya.

"It's a matter of a few months and the supreme council of antiquities will be awarded a plot of former prison farmland in west Ain Shams, where the temples of On were located," said Mohamed Abdel Geleel, Cairo antiquities inspector.

Archeologists hope the 2.44 million-square-foot plot -- the largest designated for excavation in the area to date -- will boast extensive remains of temples and libraries of philosophy, astronomy and mathematics said to have been frequented by scholars such as Aristotle, Plato and Pythagoras.

According to the oldest ancient Egyptian religious beliefs, the dusty suburb stands on the site where life itself started. Historians suggest the site probably dates back 7,000 years.

"The temples would tell us the role of Heliopolis (city of the sun), as the Greeks named it, its position during the different dynasties and the kings who left their marks there," said Tarek Sayid Tawfik, assistant lecturer of archeology at Cairo University.

Tawfik said temples, which Egyptologists believe are buried beneath western Ain Shams, record the times of several dynasties and give a fuller picture of On than tombs uncovered in eastern Ain Shams and which depict only the life of a single owner.

RESIDENTS VS MONUMENTS

It's not always easy for excavators to dig amid shantytowns for fear their hoes would undermine the rickety houses and shops, which are occupied by the city's poor.

Excavators rely on an Egyptian law that requires antiquities inspectors to survey all private land for potential artifacts before construction starts. The law has placed the inhabitants of Matariya and Ain Shams on a perpetual collision course with the antiquities council.

Hassan Aboul Fetouh said he had to suspend plans to build a family house on his land after inspectors found four Pharaonic tombs underneath his plot in November.

"I'm very concerned about preserving Egypt's antiquities and I like to do things legally. But it's been a long time now since inspectors found the tombs and look where I'm still at," Fetouh remarked.

He said he didn't regret informing the council of his plans, but added the wait and hassle he has faced from the government has driven many of his neighbors to risk punishment by ignoring the law and building without permits.

The antiquities council is planning to relocate the tombs found on Fetouh's land to a nearby 107,600-square-foot expanse in Matariya, which the council seized in the late 1980s from the Lawyers' Syndicate after the discovery of a tomb.

Since then, excavation work there has uncovered several treasures, which are either being restored, such as the tomb of a 26th dynasty (664-525 B.C) priest, or being demolished if found in a state beyond repair, such as the mud-brick remains of another tomb.

Standing amid the uneven sandy terrain dotted with cracked sarcophagi and a trail of jutting stones, Mohsen Ismail, the land's site inspector, explained the future of the area.

"The land still needs to be fully excavated and explored and some artifacts stored in warehouses need to be relocated here, before the entire area is launched as an open-air museum," he said.

FAMOUS TREASURES

Troublesome as it may be for the residents, archeologists have not been dissuaded from continuing their quest in an area that was home to some of Egypt's most spectacular finds.

"Cleopatra's needles, the two Obelisks that lie on the London embankment and in Central Park in New York City, had been erected in On during the 18th dynasty (1539-1295 B.C.) and taken to Alexandria during the Greco-Roman period," said Cairo-based Egyptologist Edwin Brok.

Other famous fortunes include Miriam's tree, the place where according to a Christian tradition, Jesus's mother Mary rested on her way from Israel to Egypt.

For years, urbanization confined archeological digs to relatively small areas in Ain Shams and Matariya, producing only fragments of temples or tombs that gave an incomplete account of the city's former glory as the spiritual capital of ancient Egypt.

Archeologists now say that the current work in east Ain Shams and the promise of future projects in the west of the suburb, would help draw the complete picture of On's past while respecting the city's present.


TOPICS: Culture/Society
KEYWORDS: archaeology; egypt; ggg; godsgravesglyphs; history; pythagoras; velikovsky

1 posted on 08/28/2002 12:10:32 PM PDT by Tancred
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To: Tancred; blam
56 ACRES bump
2 posted on 08/28/2002 12:19:08 PM PDT by RightWhale
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To: Tancred
"A year after the pharoah returned to Egypt, the city of Tanis was consumed by a sandstorm which lasted a whole year... wiped clean, by the wrath of God." -- Marcus Brody, Raiders Of The Lost Ark
3 posted on 08/28/2002 12:32:17 PM PDT by Darth Sidious
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To: Tancred
Cool. Thanks for posting this.
4 posted on 08/28/2002 12:35:49 PM PDT by Dog Gone
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To: Tancred
Thanks for the interesting article
5 posted on 08/28/2002 12:37:29 PM PDT by ruoflaw
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To: Tancred
Geez, With all these antiquities and tourist attractions do the Egyptians really need US foreign aid? NO!!!
6 posted on 08/28/2002 12:42:29 PM PDT by Militiaman7
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To: Militiaman7
Good point! They need money they can put some of the stuff on ebay.
7 posted on 08/28/2002 2:11:22 PM PDT by Allrightnow
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To: Allrightnow
Great Idea! I never would have thought of that.
8 posted on 08/28/2002 2:16:26 PM PDT by Militiaman7
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To: RightWhale
"In a squalid suburb of northeast Cairo, a red granite obelisk towering above ramshackle homes is the last visible vestige of a nearly 7,000-year-old city where ancient Egyptians believed life began.

When I see things like this I have to post this link:

Lost Civilisation From 7,500BC Discovered Off Indian Coast That's 9,500 years ago.

9 posted on 08/28/2002 3:30:08 PM PDT by blam
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To: blam
Isn't that where the fish man came up out of the sea and taught reading and writing? Not the beginning of life, but the beginning of civilization.
10 posted on 08/28/2002 3:36:57 PM PDT by RightWhale
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To: blam; FairOpinion; Ernest_at_the_Beach; StayAt HomeMother; 24Karet; 3AngelaD; asp1; ...
Empire of the sun
by Nevine El-Aref
Al-Ahram Weekly
During a routine excavation to inspect the site of Souk El-Khamis in Matariya, an Egyptian- German team uncovered the remains of a sun temple dating back to the reign of King Ramses II... Zahi Hawass, secretary-general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, told Al-Ahram Weekly that further excavations revealed a number of talatat (small painted stones) bearing the name of Queen Nefertiti. "This suggests that the monotheistic King Akhenaten once built a temple or a shrine in this area," he said, adding that archaeological evidence of massive constructions of sun temples had been carried out much earlier that the 19th Dynasty... Matariya also contains the remains of the 20.4-metre-high granite obelisk erected by Middle Kingdom Pharaoh Senusert I, along with a modest collection of tables and statues, as well as the ruins of an obelisk belonging to Thutmose II, superimposed with inscriptions of Ramses II, and objects bearing the names of Amenhotep II, Thutmose IV and Amenhotep III. Older monuments include the ruins of a Third Dynasty shrine built under King Djoser, part of a Sixth Dynasty obelisk of King Teti, several Old Kingdom tombs of high priests and a stela of Tuthmosis III. Excavations have also revealed several Ramesside constructions, including temples, a cemetery for Mnevis bulls -- which were sacred to Re -- and a 12th Dynasty donation list from the time of Ramses III, indicating that the temples at Heliopolis were second only to those of Amun at Thebes.
Updating the GGG information, and the topic never got pinged.

To all -- please ping me to other topics which are appropriate for the GGG list. Thanks.
Please FREEPMAIL me if you want on or off the
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-- Archaeology/Anthropology/Ancient Cultures/Artifacts/Antiquities, etc.
Gods, Graves, Glyphs (alpha order)

11 posted on 03/25/2006 7:16:25 PM PST by SunkenCiv (Yes indeed, Civ updated his profile and links pages again, on Monday, March 6, 2006.)
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To: Tancred

Often I think a certain percentage of these sites should remain unexcavated or mothballed.

The reason being, in another 50 years or so, we might have some totally different investigative techniques that would tell us something new, but if all the sites are gone it's no good.


12 posted on 03/25/2006 7:24:42 PM PST by djf (I-pod? We don't need no steenkin I-pod!!)
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To: SunkenCiv

Looks like you unearthed an ancient Free Republic thread! That's in keeping with the original topic.


13 posted on 03/25/2006 7:26:11 PM PST by AndrewC (Darwinian logic -- It is just-so if it is just-so)
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To: AndrewC

Hey, it's only four years old. ;') Kinda like Ted Kennedy's persona.


14 posted on 03/25/2006 7:34:03 PM PST by SunkenCiv (Yes indeed, Civ updated his profile and links pages again, on Monday, March 6, 2006.)
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To: Tancred

Looking forward to what they discover and seeing some pictures.


15 posted on 03/25/2006 8:01:38 PM PST by Dustbunny (The only good terrorist is a dead terrorist)
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To: SunkenCiv

Oldies but goodies.


16 posted on 03/25/2006 8:15:50 PM PST by blam
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To: RightWhale

No, Oannes the fish-man came ashore at Eridu, in Iraq, though I suspect he was from India originally.


17 posted on 03/26/2006 2:52:57 AM PST by Berosus ("There is no beauty like Jerusalem, no wealth like Rome, no depravity like Arabia."--the Talmud)
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To: SunkenCiv
This suggests that the monotheistic King Akhenaten once built a temple or a shrine in this area," he said,...

...and objects bearing the names of Amenhotep II, Thutmose IV and Amenhotep III.

Confusing... I have noticed many stories written about such topics are so convoluted in chronology...

“In this connection it is interesting that Oedipus, whose parentage is regularly ascribed to Laius, is also called in some ancient sources the son of Helios (sun)1 Oedipus’ descent from Laius is a vital element in the legend; such an unmotivated change in the parentage of the legendary hero seems strange but is understandable if the prototype of the legendary hero was Akhnaton.

A royal son and descendent of the god Ra, like other pharaohs before him, his claim to divinity soon demanded an equality with his father, Aton, the sun.

"Thou art an eternity like the Aten, beautiful like the Aten who gave him being, Nefer-kheperu-ra (Akhnaton), who fashions mankind and gives existence to generations. He is fixed as the heaven in which Aten is." 2

So wrote his foreign minister in a panegyric to the king. Next Akhnaton insisted that he had created himself, like Ra. Of Ra-Amon it was said he was the "husband of his mother." The "favorite concrete expression for a self-existent or self created being (was) ‘husband of his mother.’" 3

He claimed to be Ra-Aton, and in this spirit he also took over his father’s name, Nebmare (Neb maatre), as if he himself was his own father.

1. "Auch ein Helios wurde als Vater des Oedipus genannt." L.W. Daly’ in Pauly-Wissowa, Real- Encyclopädie der classichen Altertumswissenschaft, article "Oedipus," Vol. XVII, Col. 2108. Cf.

Also W.H. Roscher, Ausführliches Lexikon der griechischen und römischen Mythologie, article "Oedipus" by O. Höfer, Vol. III, Cols. 703, 708.

2. The Tomb of Tutu (Davies, the Rock Tombs of el-Amarna, VI, 13).

3. W.M. Flinders Petrie, "Egyptian Tales" (XVIII-XIX Dynasties) (1895), pp. 125-126. More properly translated "bull of his mother."

He claimed to be Ra-Aton, and in this spirit he also took over his father’s name, Nebmare (Neb maatre), as if he himself was his own father.”

_

(Velikovsky, Immanuel. Oedipus and Akhnaton; Myth and History. New York: Doubleday, 1960., p 71-72)

Wasn't Akhenaten also Amenhotep IV, and had his father's name (Amenhotep III) effaced from all the temples (which was akin to murdering his soul)???

“Behold, I am Set, the creator of confusion, who creates both the tempest and the storm throughout the length and breadth of the heavens.”

(Naville, Edouard, trans. Egyptian Book of the Dead of the XVIII to XX Dynasties, Berlin, 1886, p. 39.)


18 posted on 03/26/2006 4:20:03 AM PST by Sir Francis Dashwood (LET'S ROLL!)
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To: Sir Francis Dashwood

Thanks. The initial posting had an interesting tidbit about earlier finds in the area, which is of interest within the context of your thoughtful reply, in particular, convoluted chronology.


19 posted on 03/26/2006 7:21:38 PM PST by SunkenCiv (Yes indeed, Civ updated his profile and links pages again, on Monday, March 6, 2006.)
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Just updating the GGG info, not sending a general distribution.

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20 posted on 04/20/2009 11:43:45 AM PDT by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/____________________ Profile updated Monday, January 12, 2009)
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