Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Hawass - Current news on sites and objects

Hawass comments about findings at Dashur, Abusir, and five objects recovered from the looting at the Egyptian Museum in Cairo.

On Sunday I went to Dahshur to visit my excavations in an area south of Saqqara. We began this work when satellite images showed a pyramid hidden below the sand. We have found several unique 6th Dynasty tombs at this site, but the most important discoveries we have made is a large mud brick enclosure wall measuring three meters high. Inside this enclosure we expected to find tombs that reach down to bedrock; these tombs were built in this style to decrease the chances of tomb robberies. Tombs such as this have previously been found in the area.

Another interesting site that we have been working on is to the north of the pyramid of Khendjer, where we found the limestone enclosure wall of the pyramid. We know that this area had previously been excavated by Gustave Jéquier, but his work went unifinished.

The other site is the unknown pyramid, also found by Jéquier; satellite images show one pyramid with its superstructure above ground. Components that may reveal the name of the owner of the pyramid have been discovered and we are working on piecing them together. We have found the remains of a mud brick structure, and while at this time it is difficult know what purpose it served, this structure may have served as a funerary temple. Excavations have stopped due to revolution, but we hope to continue in the near future.

What shocked me the most during my visit to the area was the damage inflicted on the archaeological sites by modern people since the revolution started in late January.

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