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Archaeology News Egypt 2017 A.
February 2017 : Archaeology News Egypt
Two more ancient Egyptian artifacts recovered from London 2/2/2017:
The first one was stolen from the storehouses of Al-Qantara East city, after being damaged and looted amid the security vacuum following the January 2011 Revolution.The second, was stolen from the El-Sheikh Ebada site in the Upper Egyptian city of Minya.the first was a limestone relief that was stolen from Queen Hatshepsut’s temple in El-Deir El-Bahari in Luxor. It was chopped off a wall and illegally smuggled out of the country.The relief was stolen from the temple in 1975 and resurfaced earlier this month at a small auction hall in Spain, where it was bought by a British antiquities dealer.Two months ago the relief was recovered.The second was an ushabti figurine from Qubet Al-Hawa necropolis store gallery in Aswan and was handed over to the Egyptian embassy in London two days ago. Archaeology News Egypt 2017 A.
Giza Plateau development project will be partly inaugurated end February:2/2/2017
Progress on at the site includes the completion of the administration building and the visitor centre. The foundation, pillars and ceiling of the students’ building have also been installed. The purpose of the students’ building,would be to educate youth on archaeological work, and especially the excavation process. It is also intended to raise visitors’ awareness and understanding of Egyptian heritage. The plateau development project aims to improve security measures to make the site more tourist friendly.The project started in 2009 but was put on hold in the aftermath of the 2011 revolution for lack of funding. Work on the project resumed late last year. state-of-the-art security system with monitoring cameras have been installed at the site. A new lighting system to illuminate the Giza Pyramids and the plateau at night is scheduled to be installed soon.
January 2017: Archaeology News Egypt:
Egypt’s ministries of antiquities and tourism signed for Giza plateau development to promote tourism: 4/01/2017
They have signed a cooperation protocol to co-manage tourist services at archaeological sites all over the country in an attempt to promote tourism. The areas to be managed at the Giza Plateau are to include the Giza pyramids, the visitor’s centre, bazaars, cafeterias, sports area, as well as musical performances. The first phase of the Giza Plateau Development Project, which started in 2010, is about to be completed. and is financed by the Ministry of Tourism and includes the construction of several edifices including the visitor’s centre, administrative offices, and tourism and antiquities police centres. Paving all the roads around the plateau and those connecting the entrance gate to the exit is also part of the first phase. Second phase, will begin immediately after the completion of the first one and includes the development of the services area.
Five ancient Egyptian artefacts smuggled to US repatriated 9/01/2017:
The objects recovered include a wizened mummified hand, a painted child’s sarcophagus, a gilded mummy mask, the lid of a wooden sarcophagus decorated with religious scenes and a painted linen burial shroud. In early December, Egypt signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the United States to impose tighter restrictions on the illicit importation of antiquities from Egypt. According to the MoU, the US government must return to Egypt any material on a designated list of antiquities which are recovered and forwarded to Washington.
New tombs discovered at Gebel Al-Silsila area in Aswan continue to change perceptions of the nature and role of this ancient Egyptian quarry:11/01/2017:
“On the northern side of Gebel Al-Silsila in Aswan, the Egyptian-Swedish archaeological mission from Lund University has stumbled upon another group of rock-hewn tombs from the reign of New Kingdom pharoahs Amenhotep II and Thutmose III.12 rock cut tombs as well as three crypts cut into the rock, two niches possibly used for offerings, one tomb containing multiple animal burials, and three individual infant burials, along with other associated material.The majority of the tombs excavated so far – with the main exception of two infant burials – had been plundered in antiquity and left neglected without further disturbance, covered by up to three metres of Nile silt, blown in sand, and fallen quarry spoil and debris. These readily identifiable stratifications have given a wealth of information with regards not only to the manner in which the spoil and silt have been deposited, but also provided a rudimentary chronological overview for the area.The individual tombs excavated so far this season reveal multiple burials within the same chamber or crypt. A fact that suggests the tombs could belong to a complete family, and individuals of varying ages and sex.
In addition, the newly discovered infant burials present another aspect to the cemetery, clearly indicating family life at Al-Silsila,“Three different styles of burials have been documented so far, including a rock-hewn crypt, a shallow grave covered with stone, and one infant wrapped in textile placed within a wooden coffin. Two of the three children were placed secreted within the overhangs of the natural sandstone bluffs. They were placed on their side, oriented in either a north-south direction, face towards the east, or alternatively a east-west direction, and facing north. Amulets depicting the figure of the god Bes, necklaces, ceramic vessels, worked flint and coloured pebbles were also found within the graves. In addition to the tombs themselves,the excavation revealed finely dressed sandstone sarcophagi, sculptured and occasionally painted pottery coffins, painted cartonnage, textile and organic wrapping, ceramic vessels and plates, as well as an array of jewellery, amulets and scarabs. The vast amount of human remains so far recovered from the necropolis indicates that the individuals were generally healthy. At this time, very little evidence of malnutrition or infection have been noticed. Fractures of the long bones and increased muscle attachments amongst the skeletal remains indicate occupational hazards and an extremely labour intensive environment. Furthermore, many of the injuries appear to be in an advanced stage of healing, suggesting effective medical care.
Ministry of Antiquities denies claims on social media about the disappearance of a royal golden ring stored in the Egyptian Museum: 15/01/2017
The ring was among items selected to be on display in a special temporary exhibition in 2002 inside the museum, along with other objects from the museum’s collection and artefacts from the store galleries of Saqqara and the Giza Plateau. Regretfully the ring was not put on show and returned to the store galleries. Rumours apparently started on social media saying that the ring had disappeared having been stolen. An archaeological committee was then formed to open the box and photograph the ring in order to prove that the ring is safe in the museum’s galleries and is not stolen as claimed.
Ushabti figurine stolen in Aswan in 2013 to be recovered from London*** 30/1/2017:
The Ushabti was uncovered in 2009 by a Spanish archaeological mission in Qubet Al Hawa necropolis in Aswan and was stored among other artefacts in the storehouses.In 2013, following the departure of the mission, the Aswan storehouse was subjected to looting and the Ushabti figurine was stolen, along with other artefacts.The statuette is 16.5 cm tall and carved in wood with golden decorative elements.
Discovered: Royal scribe tomb, Ramesside era in West bank of Nile at Khokha, Luxor 31/1/2017:
Early inspection of the tomb suggests that it belonged to a royal scribe named Khonsu,the tomb was discovered while excavators were cleaning the area to the east of the forecourt of the tomb of Userhat, a high official under king Amenhotep III. The tomb is built on a T-shape on an east-west axis, with the main entrance, currently covered in debris, facing the east.The tomb measures approximately 4.6m in length from the entrance to the rear wall of the inner chamber, while the transverse hall measures approximately 5.5 m in width.on the north wall of the entrance doorway, a scene shows the solar boat of the god Ra-Atum being worshipped by four baboons in a pose of adoration.On the adjacent wall, hieroglyphic texts are inscribed vertically describing Khonsu as a “true renowned scribe.”On the southern part of the eastern wall in the transverse hall, Khonsu and his wife worship the gods Osiris and Isis in a kiosk, behind which is a depiction of the two ram-headed deity, likely Khnum or Khnum-Ra.
On the upper register of the northern part of the tomb, there are carved seated figures of Osiris and Isis, though the upper parts of their bodies are broken.On the lower register, a portion of the paintings shows the followers of the tomb owners.The ceiling decorations are better preserved than the wall paintings, while more images may be discovered in the inner chamber once the debris are cleared.
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This post is also available in: French