Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Digging in the Delta

Bib Arch Seminary blog

This is an odd post on the above blog. It says that the article has been used with the permission of Diggings Online, but when you go to the Diggings Online website there is a subscription page but no details of the magazine, the current issue or back issues. I would assume that it is connected to the magazine Archaeological Diggings (for which current issue details are mentioned above) but the look and feel of the two sites are both completely different. There is an article mentioned on the Archaeological Diggings page dating back to 2006 entitled "Massacre at Mendes". Any ideas, anyone? It would be nice to credit the article to the right magazine and the right author, and to know how old the article is!

Anyway, the above blog post talks about the excavations at Mendes. Here's a sample:

Excavations in the central delta region of Egypt are turning up a series of exciting finds in a newly discovered Old Kingdom cemetery near Tel el-Rabee, ancient Mendes. This was the place mentioned in our December 1999 issue of Diggings that was the perfume trading centre of ancient Egypt. Mendes was the capital of Egypt during the 29th Dynasty (399-380 BC) but the earliest mastabas in the necropolis go back to the First and Second Dynasties.

As is usual when excavating a cemetery, the objects found depend upon the tomb: a pharaoh or a nobleman might be buried with hordes of ushabtis and complete sets of furniture and household goods, whereas a poor man might only have a couple of pots and a pair of sandals. Nonetheless, these simple everyday objects can provide a wealth of information on the daily life of their erstwhile owners.

An example of this is the decoration on the fine pottery vessels that are being discovered. Some pots bear the symbol of the fish god Hat Meheit, a major deity in this delta region where fishing was one of the important "industries" of the area.

More exciting is the discovery of a fine slate palette 31 cm long, which bears echoes of the more famous Narmer Palette now in the Cairo Museum.

See the above page for more.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This seems to be a description not of finds from Mendes, but of the other nearby East Delta site of Minshat Ezzat, and both the knife and palette are now in the Cairo museum, but also on the web, this is very old if so, c. 1999/2000.


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