Friday, March 16, 2012

Abydos finds include Hatshepsut in female form

With photo. This story was out and about a few weeks ago but I hadn't seen the photo before of the wooden statuette before (in the New Scientist article).   

Ahram Online (Nevine el-Aref)

With photos.

A team of archeologists from Toronto University has discovered a cache of animal mummies that reveal rituals carried out by ancient Egyptians for their god Osiris.

The team discovered the remains of three hall temples from the reign of King Seti I. One of them was filled with 83 mummified dogs, cats, sheep and goats over 2000-years-old.

Early ancient Egyptians buried their kings at the northern side of the Upper Egyptian town of Abydos because it was considered holy land. The god of the afterlife, Osiris, was buried there after being killed by his son Set, the god of the underworld. According to ancient Egyptian myth, his wife, the goddess Isis, reassembled his body and brought him back to life at Abydos and delivered their son Horus who killed his uncle Set. Osiris and his family were buried in Abydos where a huge temple dedicated to him was constructed as well as several chapels built by different ancient Egyptian kings.

New Scientist (Caroline Morley)  

Hatshepsut ruled Egypt in the 15th century BC in a relatively long and prosperous reign. Despite her success as a female pharaoh, she is often depicted as a man in statues because the belief that pharaohs were sons of the god Amon-Re. Hatshepsut also dressed as a man to meet this expectation.

A statue uncovered in Abydos, Egypt, is thought to show her more feminine side.

An expedition led by a team from the University of Toronto, Canada, found a wooden statue of a king, thought to represent this powerful woman because of its distinctly feminine features: a smaller waist and delicate jawline.

The find also included a private offering chapel, a monumental building and the remains of over 80 animal mummies. 

A team of Canadian archeologists has unearthed a rare wooden statue of a pharaoh at a dig site in southern Egypt, and clues suggest the figure may be an important new representation of Hatshepsut — the great female king who enjoyed a long and successful reign about 3,500 years ago, but was almost erased from history by a male successor trying to secure his own power.

Researchers led by University of Toronto archeologist Mary-Ann Pouls Wegner also exposed two previously unknown religious buildings and found dozens of animal mummies — including cats, sheep and dogs — during a hugely successful excavation last summer near the ancient city of Abydos.

Pouls Wegner told Postmedia News on Tuesday that the discoveries, made in the midst of modern Egypt's ongoing political revolution, led to some "tense moments" as the Canadian researchers negotiated with Egyptian antiquity experts and security officials about how best to unbury the statue and ensure its preservation during a period of national upheaval.

1 comment:

Judith Weingarten said...

More on this find and its context and the necessary question-mark at my blog: