Posts Tagged ‘Ancient Egypt’

MessageToEagle.com – There is a secret tomb in Egypt that contains the bodies of three priest kings – Heridor, Piankh and Menkheperre.

There are also several precious ancient untouched treasures inside the tomb.

The site has remained intact since 1085 B.C. and it is crucial to save the priceless relics that will outshine even that of Tutankhamun’s.

These are the words of British archaeologist John Romer, 72, believes he has discovered the site where three ancient Egyptian priest kings – Herihor, Piankh and Menkheperre – were buried in Luxor, Egypt, almost 3,000 years ago.

 

A scene from the joint Funerary papyrus, a Book of the Dead, of Herihor.
Image credit: touregypt.net

According to an interesting article published by Daily Mail “an archaeology race is on to secure the ancient burial site.”

The project is the culmination of 40 years’ work for Romer. But he may be beaten to the prize as he needs to secure a permit from Egypt’s Supreme Council of Antiquities to continue his search.

 

Romer “claims the burial ground will yield such magnificent treasures that those discovered in the nearby tomb of Tutankhamun in the Valley of the Kings will seem like a ‘display in Woolworths’ in comparison.Like a plot out of an Indiana Jones movie, experts are now racing to secure the site called Wadi el-Gharbi, located in the cliffs on Luxor’s west bank, before the arrival of so-called treasure hunters and tomb-raiders.

It is feared that ancient rock inscriptions surrounding the site, which has remained largely untouched since 1085BC, could be damaged by their quad bikes, rope ladders and other equipment.

Romer told the Sunday Times: ‘Last week, three people were arrested by the army security services at Luxor for entering it.'”

 

Archaeologist John Romer Credit: egyptology-uk.com

A very interesting aspect of the whole issue is that the site has remained intact for a very long time.

 

Temple of Karnak in Luzor, Egypt. How many more ancient secrets are hidden in this region? Image credit: getintravel.com

“The only person known to have excavated at the site was Howard Carter – the man who first scratched a hole through the sealed doorway of Tutankhamun’s burial chamber in 1922.

Carter had previously cut trenches across the valley floor at the Wadi el-Gharbi site over the course of two weeks in 1916.

 

The tomb of Tutankhamun, buried in 1325 B.C., was discovered by Howard Carter in 1922

He discovered huge mounds of limestone chippings on the wadi floor, identical to those found in the royal tombs in the Valley of the Kings.

 

Inside the first tomb to be discovered in the Valley of the Kings since King Tut’s in 1922. The tomb discovered in 2006 in Luxor, Egypt, is thought to date from roughly the same period and contain six sarcophogi Credit: Daily Mail

 

But Carter gave up on his excavations, possibly because he had little idea of what may be buried at the site.

Romer has since focused on deciphering inscriptions left behind in the area by the royal workmen who laboured there.

 

If Romer is correct, the Egyptian site may contain treasure that rivals Tutankhamun’s.

 

Romer and his colleague, Alex Peden, have found the name of Herihor among 150 rock inscriptions.

Romer believes Carter was mistaken to restrict his search to the valley floor and claims the tomb is instead located higher up in the limestone cliffs which soar to around 1,000ft.”

Will Romer manage to secure the tomb on time? It’s a race against time as there is a rival expedition already excavating in the area.

“I still hope to explore it but the only important thing in my life now is that it is done properly,” Romer says.

MessageToEagle.com

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World`s oldest harbour, hieroglyphic papyri found Cairo: A team of archaeologists in Egypt has unearthed what are believed to be the world’s most ancient harbour and a set of hieroglyphic papyri dating to the third millennium B.C..

“The port of Wadi el-Jarf located on the Red Sea, 180 km south of Suez, dates to around 2,600 B.C. and the reign of King Khufu,” Minister for Antiquities Mohammed Ibrahim said.

It is considered one of the most important ancient Egyptian ports because it was used to transport copper and other minerals from the Sinai Peninsula, Ibrahim said.

“The papyri, which provide detailed accounts of daily life and traditions at the time of the Old Kindgom, are considered the oldest ever found,” he said.

The papyri are currently being studied by experts at the Suez Museum.

The team of French and Egyptian archaeologists also discovered stone anchors at Wadi el-Jarf that were marked with ropes used to tie the ships inside the port.

A collection of stone tools used for cutting ropes, some wooden remains and ropes as well as remains of ancient houses for port workers and 30 caves whose entrances were closed with stone blocks bearing inscriptions of King Khufu were also discovered at the site.

The pharoah King Khufu is credited with building the Great Pyramid of Giza, one of the Seven Wonders of the ancient world.

IANS

For all the popularity Tutankhamun enjoys today, key details about the ancient Egyptian pharaoh’s life, such as his parentage, have remained somewhat mysterious. While Akhenaten was known to be Tut’s dad, the identity of the boy king’s mother has remained elusive. But at least one archaeologist believes she was Nefertiti.

Recent DNA analyses from the mummies of Tut and his kin revealed that the boy king’s parents were siblings. Those results, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) in February 2010, pointed to the “heretic” king Akhenaten and one of his sisters as the mom and dad of Tut.

But researcher Marc Gabolde said in a talk at Harvard University last week that he believes King Tut’s mom was Akhenaten’s cousin Nefertiti, who was Akhenaten’s chief wife and the mother of six of his daughters.

Gabolde said the genetic closeness of Tut’s parents does not necessarily point to a brother-sister pairing. Rather, it could be due to three successive generations of marriage between first cousins, he said.

“The consequence of that is that the DNA of the third generation between cousins looks like the DNA between a brother and sister,” Gabolde said, according to the Harvard Gazette. “I believe that Tutankhamun is the son of Akhenaten and Nefertiti, but that Akhenaten and Nefertiti were cousins.”

Zahi Hawass, head of Egypt’s Supreme Council of Antiquities, disputed Gabolde’s claim. Hawass, who led the 2010 JAMA study, told LiveScience in an email Friday (Feb. 15) that his team’s research showed that Tut’s mother was, like Akhenaten, the daughter of Amenhotep III and Queen Tiye. Hawass added that there is “no evidence” in archaeology or philology to indicate that Nefertiti was the daughter of Amenhotep III.

Gabolde is the director of the archaeological expedition of Université Paul Valery-Montpellier III in the Royal Necropolis at el-Amarna, a city built on the banks of the Nile by Akhenaten, the son of Amenhotep III and Queen Tiye who ushered in a brief period of monotheism in Egypt through worship of the sun disk, Aten.

King Tut was part of the 18th dynasty of the Egyptian New Kingdom, which lasted from about 1550 B.C. to 1295 B.C. He died in the ninth year of his reign, circa 1324 B.C., at the age of 19, leaving no heirs. Several ideas have popped up about possible diseases that may have wreaked havoc on his family as well as the cause of Tut’s early demise, with some evidence suggesting he died in part from malaria and bone abnormalities.

Megan Gannon, News Editor

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 The fate of Ramesses III has long been the subject of debate among Egyptologists.

Recently, a team of researchers, led by Dr Albert Zink from the Institute for Mummies and the Iceman of the European Academy of Bolzano/Bozen in Italy, analyzed the mummies of Ramesses III the second ruler of Egypt’s 20th Dynasty, and the last of great pharaohs on the throne and unknown man E, the suspected son of the king.

Ramesses III’s reign (probably from 1186 to 1155 BC) was a time of considerable turmoil throughout the Mediterranean that saw the Trojan War, the fall of Mycenae and a great surge of displaced people from all over the region that was to wreak havoc; even toppling some empires.


Ancient papyrus trial documents mention an attempt on the pharaoh’s life in 1155 BC.

Apparently, members of his harem and several people in high positions in the pharaoh’s government were involved a palace coup.


The conspiracy was led by Tiye, one of his two known wives, and her son Prince Pentawere, over who would inherit the throne, but it is not clear whether the plot was successful or not.

Recent CT scans of Ramesses III revealed a wide and deep wound in the throat of the king’s mummy.

According to researchers, the deadly wound caused by a sharp blade and hidden by the bandages, probably caused immediate death of the king.

The neck was covered by a collar of thick linen layers.

Analysis of unknown man E revealed an age of 18-20 years, while an inflated thorax and compressed skinfolds around the neck of the mummy suggests violent actions that led to death, such as strangulation.

 

Additionally, the body was not mummified in the usual way – and was covered with a “ritually impure” goatskin – which the authors say could be interpreted as evidence for a punishment in the form of a non-royal burial procedure.

A Horus eye amulet was also found inside the wound, most probably inserted by the ancient Egyptian embalmers during the mummification process to promote healing.


Another mummy that belongs to unknown man E, has unusual marks around the neck, and could be Prince Pentawere, that may have been forced to kill himself as a punishment for the conspiracy.

The cause of death “has to remain a matter of speculation.”

Finally, DNA analysis revealed that the mummies share the same parental lineage, “strongly suggesting that they were father and son,” researchers say.

“Before now we knew more or less nothing about the destiny of Ramesses III. People had examined his body before and had done radiographs but they didn’t notice any trauma. They did not have access to the CT scans that we do,” Dr Albert Zink, palaeopathologist of the EURAC Institute for Mummies and the Iceman in Italy, said.

“We were very surprised by what we found. We still cannot be sure that the cut killed him, but we think it did.

“It might have been made by the embalmers but this is very unlikely. I’m not aware of any other examples of this.”

The body was not mummified in the usual way – and was covered with a “ritually impure” goatskin – which might have been an ancient punishment in the form of a non-royal burial procedure.

“He was badly treated for a mummy,” said Dr Zink.

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Brett Smith for redOrbit.com – Your Universe Online

Based on an in-depth analysis of two ancient Egyptian mummies, an international team of Egyptologists have uncovered a series of clues that may have solved a 3,000-year-old murder mystery.

According to the team’s report in the British Medical Journal, Pharaoh Ramesses III was likely killed by conspirators during an attempted coup around 1155 B.C., confirming reports found in an ancient text known as the Judicial Papyrus of Turin.

“This study gives clues to the authenticity of the historically described harem conspiracy surrounding Ramesses III, and finally reveals its tragic outcome,” the researchers wrote in their report.

In their investigation, the scientists performed a detailed inspection of the two mummies’ morphology to assess preservation of the specimens and to record signs of either injuries or postmortem damage. Their analysis was based on information gathered using computed tomography (CT) scans and both an anthropological and forensic analysis.

The Egyptologists also took bone samples from different sections of the mummies and transferred them into sterile tubes. A genetic analysis was then performed in a laboratory in the Egyptian Museum in Cairo and also in a second laboratory at Cairo University to investigate a possible family relationship between Ramesses III and a mummy recovered alongside the pharaoh, referred to as “unknown man E.”

The CT analysis of Ramesses III showed a wide and deep cut to the throat of the mummy. The scientists speculated it was caused by a sharp blade and might have spelled immediate death for the recipient.

The scan also revealed the presence of a Horus eye amulet just inside the wound. This was most likely inserted by the ancient embalmers as a ceremonial part of the mummification process, the research team said. They also noted the neck was unusually wrapped by a collar of thick linens.

The forensic analysis of unknown man E showed him to be between 18-20 years old. An inflated thorax and compacted layers of skin around the neck of the mummy pointed to a violent action, like strangulation, which probably led to his death, the authors wrote.

The experts also noticed the unknown man’s mummy was covered with a “ritually impure” goatskin—a signifier that he could have been punished via a non-royal burial procedure.

The genetic analysis of the mummies showed that Ramesses III and unknown man E shared a paternal lineage and certain genetic markers strongly suggested they were father and son. The analysis was unable to differentiate among the several sons of Ramesses III.

Being able to identify the unknown man’s mummy as Ramesses’ son, Pentawere, would have been crucial to unlocking the ancient mystery as he was the only son who revolted against his father during the coup, according to the papyrus text. The documents said Pentawere was found guilty at trial, and then took his own life.

Unfortunately, the Egyptologists were unable to close the book on the so-called ‘harem conspiracy’ that attempted to remove Ramesses from power. The Judicial Papyrus refers to Ramesses III as “the Great God,” and suggests he died before or during the trials. However, the texts also say the court received direct orders from the god-king, who would have had to survive the original attack.

sarcophagus of ancient egyptian pharaoh
The mummy of Merneptah was encased in a series of four sarcophagi, set one within the other. After his tomb was robbed, more than 3,000 years ago, he was reburied elsewhere and his two outer sarcophagi boxes were broken up.
CREDIT: General Antiquites Egyptiennes du Musee du Caire: The Royal Mummies Le Caire, 1912, public domain

The largest ancient Egyptian sarcophagus has been identified in a tomb in Egypt’s Valley of the Kings, say archaeologists who are re-assembling the giant box that was reduced to fragments more than 3,000 years ago.

Made of red granite, the royal sarcophagus was built for Merneptah, an Egyptian pharaoh who lived more than 3,200 years ago. A warrior king, he defeated the Libyans and a group called the “Sea Peoples” in a great battle.

He also waged a campaign in the Levant attacking, among others, a group he called “Israel” (the first mention of the people). When he died, his mummy was enclosed in a series of four stone sarcophagi, one nestled within the other.

Archaeologists are re-assembling the outermost of these nested sarcophagi, its size dwarfing the researchers working on it. It is more than 13 feet (4 meters) long, 7 feet (2.3 m) wide and towers more than 8 feet (2.5 m) above the ground. It was originally quite colorful and has a lid that is still intact. [See Photos of Pharaoh’s Sarcophagus]

sarcophagus of ancient egyptian pharaoh
The lid of the second sarcophagus bearing an image of Merneptah. This would have been completely enclosed by the outer sarcophagus box and lid.
CREDIT: Photo courtesy Wikimedia

“This as far as I know is about the largest of any of the royal sarcophagi,” said project director Edwin Brock, a research associate at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto, in an interview with LiveScience.

Brock explained the four sarcophagi would probably have been brought inside the tomb already nested together, with the king’s mummy inside.

Holes in the entrance shaft to the tomb indicate a pulley system of sorts, with ropes and wooden beams, used to bring the sarcophagi in. When the workers got to the burial chamber they found they couldn’t get the sarcophagi box through the door. Ultimately, they had to destroy the chamber’s door jams and build new ones.

“I always like to wonder about the conversation that might have taken place between the tomb builders and the people from the quarry,” said Brock in a presentation he gave recently at an Egyptology symposium in Toronto. “This study has shown a lot of interesting little human aspects about ancient Egypt [that] perhaps makes them look less godlike.”

sarcophagus of ancient egyptian pharaoh
Archaeologist Lyla Pinch Brock at work reconstructing a giant outer sarcophagus box belonging to Egyptian pharaoh Merneptah.
CREDIT: Photo courtesy Edwin Brock

When he first examined fragments from Merneptah’s tomb in the 1980s, they were “piled up in no particular order” in a side chamber. Even when put together, the fragments made up just one-third of the box, meaning researchers had to reconstruct the rest.

Brock’s efforts got a boost with the launch of a full reconstruction project (affiliated with the Royal Ontario Museum) that started in March 2011.  (Merneptah’s tomb has been recently re-opened to the public.)

The four sarcophagi

Not only was the pharaoh’s outer sarcophagus huge but the fact that he used four of them, made of stone, is unusual. “Merneptah’s unique in having been provided with four stone sarcophagi to enclose his mummified coffined remains,” said Brock in his presentation. [The 10 Weirdest Ways We Deal With the Dead]

Within the outer sarcophagus was a second granite sarcophagus box with a cartouche-shaped oval lid that depicts Merneptah. Within that was a third sarcophagus that was taken out and reused in antiquity by another ruler named Psusennes I. Within this was a fourth sarcophagus, made of travertine (a form of limestone), that originally held the mummy of Merneptah.

Only a few fragments of this last box survive today; the mummy itself was reburied in antiquity after the tomb was robbed more than 3,000 years ago. It was after this robbery that the outer sarcophagus box, and the second box within it, were broken apart (the lids for both boxes being kept intact). They were destroyed not only for their parts but also to help get at the third box (that was reused by Psusennes).

Fire was used in breaking apart the outer sarcophagus box.

“Scorch marks, spalling [splinters] and circular cracking on various locations of the interior and exterior of the box attest to the use of fire to heat parts of the box, followed by rapid cooling with water to weaken the granite,” writes Brock in his symposium abstract, adding that dolerite hammer stones also appear to have been used.

Why so big?

Why Merneptah built himself such a giant sarcophagus is unknown. Other pharaohs used multiple sarcophagi, although none, it appears, with an outer box as big as this.

Brock points out that Merneptah’s father, Ramesses II, and grandfather, Seti I, both great builders, were apparently each buried in one travertine sarcophagus.

The decorations on Merneptah’s different sarcophagi offer a clue as to why he built four of them. They contain illustrations “from two compositions that describe the sun god’s journey at night, one is called the ‘Book of Gates’ and one is called the ‘Amduat,'” Brock said. These books are divided into 12 sections, or “hours.”

sarcophagus of ancient egyptian pharaoh
This scene depicts hour five of the “Amduat,” a book that also chronicles the sun god’s journey at night. In this section he passes through the cavern of a god named Sokar. When re-assembling the box archaeologists had to temporarily leave an opening that allowed them to work on the interior.
CREDIT: Photo courtesy Edwin Brock

He notes that the same hours tend to be repeated on the box and lids of Merneptah’s sarcophagi. One motif the king appears particularly fond of is the opening scenes of the “Book of Gates,” including one depicting a realm that exists before the sun god enters the netherworld, according to Egyptologist Erik Hornung’s book “The Ancient Egyptian Books of the Afterlife” (Cornell University Press, 1999, translation from German). “Upon his entry into the realm of the dead, the sun god is greeted not by individual deities but by the collective of the dead, who are designated the ‘gods of the west’ and located in the western mountain range,” Hornung writes.

For the king repeating scenes like this over and over may have been important, it’s “as though they’re trying to enclose the [king’s] body with these magical shells that have power of resurrection,” Brock said.

The research was presented at a Toronto symposium that ran from Nov. 30 to Dec. 2 and was organized by the Society for the Study of Egyptian Antiquities and the Royal Ontario Museum’s Friends of Ancient Egypt.

LiveScience

Owen Jarus

 

The Lost Kingdom of Cleopatra

Posted: September 1, 2012 by phaedrap1 in News
Tags: ,

Buried beneath the deep waters lie ruins of fascinating and marvelous ancient kingdoms that today are nothing than lost memories of the past.

Many advanced ancient civilizations ended due to earthquakes, tsunamis or other natural disasters. Precious objects and ruins of ancient cities are lost in the depths of lakes, seas and oceans worldwide.

Archaeologists are aware of that there are many ancient secrets at the bottom of the oceans and we can learn more about our ancestors with help of emerging technologies that provide us with an opportunity to explore the depths as never before.

Lost for 1,600 years, the kingdom of Cleopatra was discovered off the shores of Alexandria, Egypt.

Cleopatra VII Philopator, known to history as Cleopatra, was the last pharaoh of Ancient Egypt. She was a member of the Ptolemaic dynasty, a family of Greek origin that ruled Egypt after Alexander the Great’s death during the Hellenistic period

It is commonly believed that the Cleopatra’s empire was destroyed by an earthquake and tidal waves. Scientists think that the entire city was completely submerged, along with all the artifacts, statues, columns and other beauties of the palace of Cleopatra.


Source : Shift Frequency