Tuesday, February 10, 2009

More re newly discovered storeroom containing mummies

Sky News

Underneath the Meresamun story there's a 36-slide photograph viewer showing 7 photographs of Hawass with one of the mummies from the new discovery.

The other photographs concern other subjects.

Yahoo! News

A storeroom housing about two dozen ancient Egyptian mummies has been unearthed inside a 2,600-year-old tomb during the latest round of excavations at the vast necropolis of Saqqara south of Cairo, archaeologists said Monday.

The tomb was located at the bottom of a 36-foot deep shaft, said Egypt's top archaeologist, Zahi Hawass. Twenty-two mummies were found in niches along the tomb's walls, he said.

Eight sarcophagi were also found in the tomb. Archaeologists so far have opened only one of the sarcophagi — and found a mummy inside of it, said Hawass' assistant Abdel Hakim Karar. Mummies are believed to be inside the other seven, he said.

The "storeroom for mummies" dates back to 640 B.C. during the 26th Dynasty, which was Egypt's last independent kingdom before it was overthrown by a succession of foreign conquerors beginning with the Persians, Hawass said. But the tomb was discovered at an even older site in Saqqara that dates back to the 4,300-year-old 6th Dynasty, he said.

Most of the mummies are poorly preserved, and archeologists have yet to determine their identities or why so many were put in one room.

The name Badi N Huri was engraved into the opened sarcophagus, but the wooden coffin did not bear a title for the mummy.

"This one might have been an important figure, but I can't tell because there was no title," Karar said.

Karar also said it was unusual for mummies of this late period to be stored in rocky niches.

"Niches were known in the very early dynasties, so to find one for the 26th Dynasty is something rare," he said.

Irish Times

The mummies appear to vary in age. One dates from about 640 BC while the unopened sarcophagus, which is made of limestone and sealed with plaster, is probably much older.

"We think it is Old Kingdom, maybe Fifth Dynasty," archaeologist Abdel Hakim Karar said. The Fifth Dynasty ruled Egypt from about 2,494 BC to 2,345 BC.

It is unusual to find intact burials in well-known necropolises such as Saqqara, which served the nearby city of Memphis, because thieves scoured the area in ancient times.

The archaeologists expect to open it later this week and they may find amulets among the mummy wrappings.

The statement said another sarcophagus, made of wood, had not been opened since pharaohnic times but Mr Karar said ancient grave robbers probably reached it first.

Inside it , the archaeologists found the complete mummy of a man called Badi Enhery, according to the inscriptions on the sarcophagus, Mr Karar said.

BBC News

Egyptian archaeologists have found more than 20 mummies in a burial chamber dating back at least 2,600 years.

Eight wooden and stone sarcophagi were also discovered during the excavations at the Saqqara site, said Zahi Hawass, Egypt's chief archaeologist.

One limestone sarcophagus sealed with plaster is thought to be more than 4,000 years old.

Despite decades of excavations at the Saqqara necropolis south of Cairo, new finds are frequently made.

Correspondents say it is rare for such an intact burial site to be unearthed.

The mummies, 22 of which were found in niches along a wall, were in a tomb dating to 640BC, Mr Hawass said.

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Also on Chicago Tribune


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Always Hawass. What an ego. How about news not photos of him. Egypt needs to replace him.