Sunday, March 16, 2014

More Discoveries of Historic Egyptian Sites

New Kingdom tombs discovered in Egypt's Aswan

Nevine El-Aref, Monday 3 Mar 2014

Four rock-hewn New Kingdom tombs uncovered in Aswan may change the history of Elephantine Island

East Aswan inhabitants have accidentally stumbled upon what is believed to be a set of rock-hewn tombs on Elephantine Island, which displays a wide range of monuments from the prehistoric period to the Greco-Roman era.

Minister of Antiquities Mohamed Ibrahim told Ahram Online on Monday that early studies on the tombs' wall paintings reveal that they are dated to the New Kingdom era, which makes a very important discovery that may change the history of Elephantine Island.

Ali El-Asfar, head of the Ancient Egyptian Antiquities section, explains that the first tomb belongs to a top official in Elephantine named User who was a prince of Elephantine during the New Kingdom.

User’s tomb is well decorated with scenes depicting him in different positions with his family and deities. Among the distinguished wall paintings is a scene featuring the deceased wearing leopard fur along with five priests before an offering table, El-Asfar said.

Head of Aswan monuments Nasr Salama said that the second tomb belongs to Ba-Nefer, supervisor of the gods' priests of Elephantine. His tomb is also engraved with scenes depicting him in different positions with his family and deities.

The third tomb belongs to the holder of the stamps of upper Egypt and Elephantine ruler Amenhotep, while the fourth one belongs to Elephantine ruler User Wadjat.

Salama told Ahram Online that the tomb of Amenhotep has a distinguished façade decorated with hieroglyphic texts without any scenes. Its inner walls are decorated with scenes depicting the deceased with his wife, the purification priest and the field scribe.

Ibrahim said that these tombs are under restoration in order to open them to tourists.

Statue of Amenhotep III's daughter unearthed in Luxor

Nevine El-Aref, Monday 10 Mar 2014

Iset, the daughter of Amenhotep III, was the aunt of Tutankhamun

Archaeologists have discovered a new statue depicting the daughter of King Amenhotep III, Tutankhamun’s grandfather and ruler of Egypt over 3,000 years ago.

During routine excavation works at Amenhotep III's funerary temple in the Kom El-Hittan area on Luxor's west bank, a European archaeological mission uncovered the statue of the king's daughter Iset.

The statue, which is 1.7m tall and 52cm wide, forms part of a huge, 14m high alabaster statute of Amenhotep III.

Minister of Antiquities Mohamed Ibrahim told Ahram Online that several parts of the colossal Amenhotep statue had been unearthed during previous excavation seasons.

"It is a very important discovery because it is the first time to unearth a statue that shows the king with his daughter, alone without her mother, brothers or sister," Ibrahim said.

There are several extant statues that show Iset with all the members of her family.

Ali El-Asfar, head of the Ancient Egyptian antiquities sector at the Ministry of Antiquities, explains that the original colossus shows the king sitting on the throne with his hands on his legs, while between his leg stands Iset wearing a rounded wig and long tight garb.

The statue’s face has suffered serious damage due to erosion, and the statue’s legs are missing.

El-Asfar said that the Amenhotep III statue is being restored, and on completion the Iset statue will be installed in its original position between the king's legs. The colossus will be re-erected at its original position in the temple.

Tomb from 18th dynasty discovered in Luxor

Nevine El-Aref, Wednesday 5 Mar 2014

Tomb of 18th dynasty government official accidentally found by Spanish-Italian team on Luxor's west bank in the Sheikh Abdel-Gournah area

A Spanish-Italian team carrying out routine excavation work on Luxor's west bank has stumbled upon what is believed to be the tomb of Maayi, a top governmental official in the 18th dynasty.

Egypt's antiquities minister Mohamed Ibrahim told Ahram Online that the tomb was accidentally found by the excavation team via a hole in the wall of tomb number TT109, in the Sheikh Abdel-Gournah area.

Paintings on the tomb's walls show Maayi in different positions with family members, offering details on his daily life and family relations.

"The tomb is very well decorated, which reflects the luxurious life of its owner," Ibrahim said, adding that one wall painting depicts a feast with men and women gathered in front of a table filled with a variety of food.

Ibrahim said that the tomb is only partly discovered due to debris blocking the entrance. Excavation work is moving ahead to remove sand and rubble so that the rest of the tomb can be explored.

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