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The navigation of Hathor
The discovery of a boat chapel in the temple of Hathor at Dendera brings to mind ancient festivals and religious rituals. In March, a Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA) mission restoring the temple at Dendera uncovered the main chapel of the temple where the sacred boat of the goddess Hathor once stood. The boat found by the archaeologists, who have been working in Dendera since the beginning of the year, was used during the goddess's annual festival, one of the most delightful celebrations in Ancient Egypt...


(Descubiertos restos de lo que podría haber sido la famosa Universidad de Alejandría)
Un equipo de arqueólogos descubre los restos de la Universidad de Alejandría

Alejandría. Fax Press/Los Angeles Times
Un equipo formado por arqueólogos polacos y egipcios ha descubierto los restos de la legendaria Universidad de Alejandría, en la que difundieron sus conocimientos Arquímedes, Euclides y un buen número de pensadores de la época en la que la ciudad egipcia dominaba todo el Mediterráneo. El equipo ha encontrado 13 estancias con capacidad para albergar a unos 5.000 alumnos, según afirmó el arqueólogo Nahi Hawass, presidente del Co sejo Supremo de Antiguedades de Egipto, quien manifestó que podría tratarse de la universidad más antigua del mundo. El descubrimiento es "impresionante", afirma Willeke Wendrich, arqueólogo de la Universidad de California. "Sabíamos que existía y que había sido un centro de enseñanza famoso en la antiguedad, pero sólo lo conocíamos por referencias", afirma. Alejandría era tan sólo un pequeño pueblo pesquero situado en el delta del Nilo y llamado Rhakotis hasta que Alejandro Magno lo escogio para construir la capital de su imperio en expansión. Pero su prematura muerte impidió que viera levantarse un sólo edificio. La tarea de construir la ciudad recayó en uno de sus tenientes, Ptolomeo, que sucedió a Alejandro como rey de Egipto y que encargó la empresa al arquitecto griego Dinocrates, con el mandato de convertir la ciudad en la envidia del resto del mundo. La nueva Alejandría se convirtió en capital de Egipto en el año 320 a.c y muy ponto pasó a ser la ciudad más importante y poderosa de la región. El Faro de Alejandría (una de las siete maravillas del mundo antiguo), la Biblioteca (que según se afirmaba entonces conten a todos los libros que se habían escrito) y la Universidad, polo de atracción para alumnos venidos de todas partes del mundo, se convirtieron en los tres símbolos de la ciudad. Fue en esta última donde Euclides ideó las reglas de la geometría o donde Eratosthenes calculó el diámetro de la tierra. Hace 30 años, los arqueólogos descubrieron lo que parecía ser un teatro. A comienzos de los años ochenta se descubrieron dos aulas, pero no ha sido hasta ahora cuando las trece salas han salido a la luz. "Hemos podido llegar a la conclusión de que son los restos de la institución académica que dió fama a Alejandría", afirma Hawass. Fuente: El Correo Gallego

- (Noticia original) University site at Alexandria is unearthed
Legendary Home of Euclid, Archimedes

A Polish-Egyptian team has unearthed the site of the fabled University of Alexandria, home of Archimedes, Euclid and a host of other scholars from the era when Alexandria dominated the Mediterranean. The team has found 13 individual lecture halls, or auditoria, that could have accommodated as many as 5,000 students, said archaeologist Zahi Hawass, president of Egypt's Supreme Council of Antiquities. The classrooms are on the eastern edge of a large public square in the Late Antique section of modern Alexandria and are adjacent to a previously discovered theater that is now believed to be part of the university complex, Hawass said. All 13 of the auditoria have similar dimensions and internal arrangements, he added. They feature rows of stepped benches running along the walls on three sides of the rooms, sometimes forming a joined ``U'' at one end. The most conspicuous feature of the rooms, he added, is an elevated seat placed in the middle of the ``U,'' most likely designed for the lecturer. ``It is the first time ever that such a complex of lecture halls has been uncovered on any Greco-Roman site in the whole Mediterranean area,'' Hawass said. This is ``perhaps the oldest university in the world.'' The discovery is ``incredibly impressive,'' said Willeke Wendrich, an archaeologist at the University of California-Los Angeles. ``We knew it existed and was an extremely famous center for learning, but we knew it only from textual accounts. . . . We never knew the site.'' Alexandria was a tiny fishing village on the northwestern delta of the Nile called Rhakotis when Alexander the Great of Macedon chose it as the site of the new capital of his burgeoning empire. But he never saw a single building rise there, dying before construction could begin. The task of building the city fell to one of his lieutenants, Ptolemy, who succeeded Alexander as the king of Egypt and aspired to ruling the entire Mediterranean. He commissioned the Greek architect Dinocrates to lay out a cultural and aesthetic showplace that would be the envy of not only other Macedonian factions, but of the rest of the world as well. The new city became Egypt's capital in 320 BC and soon became the most powerful and influential city in the region. Its rulers built a massive Pharos lighthouse (one of the Seven Wonders of the World), the Library of Alexandria, which was said to contain every book that had been written, and the university, which served as a teaching center for scholars from throughout the world. It was here that Archimedes invented the screw-shaped fluid pump still in use today, that Euclid invented the rules of geometry, that Hypsicles first divided the circle of the zodiac into 360 degrees, and the astronomer Eratosthenes calculated the diameter of Earth. Fuente: Los Angeles Times.


  - Añadido a la anterior noticia por el Salt Lake Tribune.

The rule of the Ptolemies lasted until 30, when Cleopatra killed herself to avoid capture by the Romans.
The fates of the library and university are largely unknown. Parts of both might have been destroyed in Julius Caesar's war against Pompey. They might even have been leveled when the Arabs took over the city in 641, their locations lost to posterity. About 30 years ago, archeologists unearthed what appeared to be a theater along the public square. This building has been restored and is usedfor theatrical presentations. In the early 1980s, a couple of what are now thought to be the classrooms were excavated. But it's only now that all of the 13 auditoriums have been dug up that, "We have been able to reach the conclusion that this entire complex represents remains of the academic institution for which Alexandria was renowned," Hawass said. The discovery of the classrooms also throws light onthe presumed theater, he added. "Apparently, it was part of the very samecomplex, serving the needs of larger groups of students."



Descubiertas viviendas cercanas a unas minas de oro de época faraónica en el Mar Rojo.

Pharaonic gold miners' housing compound discovered near Red Sea
CAIRO (AFP) - A Belgian archaeological mission to Egypt discovered a Pharaonic housing compound close to a gold mine in mountains along the Red Sea, the Egyptian Supreme Council for Antiquities said.  "The Belgian mission headed by Frank Vermeulen surveyed an area of three square kilometers (one square mile) and discovered numerous housing compounds for laborers in the gold mine," the council's head of Pharaonic Archaeology,  abri Abdulaziz, told AFP.  The new discovery is situated 120 kilometres (75 miles) from the city of Marsa Alam on the Red Sea, 700 kilometres southeast of Cairo.  "Egyptians in Pharaonic times used to build housing facilities for laborer near mines, as well as gold smelting furnaces", Abdulaziz said.  "This discovery is important because it revealed new housing compounds in the area of the Red Sea", he added. "Mineshafts and holes, with huts for laborers spread around them, were uncovered, in addition to a huge number of stone instruments used to cut the gold-bearing rocks", Vermeulen, from the University of Ghent, said.  "A container made of solid rocks used to grind stones containing  oldwas discovered", said the secretary general of the antiquities council, Zahi Hawwas.  The most important Pharaonic gold mines were in the Hamamat valley, in the same area. Egyptians extracted gold also from the mounta  s of Nuba and Sinai.  In addition to using it as a daily ornament, Egyptians sent their pharaohs into the afterlife bedecked with gold, such as the famous funerary mask of Tutankhamun. 

Fuente: Yahoo news


Ancient housing city for gold miners in Red Sea discovered 
Minister of Culture Dr. Farouk Hosni asserted that a whole housing area inside the gold mine in Bakerba Valley in the Red Sea has been found. 
The city is about 120 km.west of Marsa Alam City, added the minister, noting that this discovery came during a study by a Belgian University mission of the area of the gold mines in the Eastern Desert. The Supreme Council of Antiquities Secretary-General Zahi Hawas said that the mission found out a group of tools and instruments that were used in digging the mines and extracting gold.

Fuente: Egypt online.



Dos fortalezas descubiertas en el Norte del Sinaí
Two fortresses discovered in North Sinai
The Egyptian-American mission operating in Tal al-Borg area in north Sinai discovered remains of two fortresses from the Pharaonic l8th dynasty.Chief of Lower-Egypt Antiquities Department Dr. Mohamed Abdul Maksoud said the discovery shows the strategic importance of Tal al-Borg area.  On his part, chief of the American mission said the discovery includes bronze daggers and arrows that were used in the battles in addition to inscriptions tha  show the fortresses were used as headquarters of the Egyptian army during the Modern Kingdom.



Encuentran 50 momias en pozos en Egipto

momia_saqqara_calzada_unas03.jpg (37123 bytes) momia_saqqara_calzada_unas02.jpg (138366 bytes) momia_saqqara_calzada_unas06.jpg (28887 bytes) 

SAQQARA, Egipto (Reuters) - Arqueólogos franceses y egipcios informaron el lunes del hallazgo de más de 50 momias del primer milenio antes de Cristo, enterradas en profundos fosos al sur de El Cairo. Algunas de las momias, envueltas en lino y dentro de sarcófagos de piedra o madera, se encuentran en excelente estado de preservación teniendo en cuenta el período, según Zahi Hawass, jefe del Consejo Supremo e Antigüedades de Egipto. Hawass dijo que los egipcios habían usado la red de fosos y corredores durante varios siglos, a partir de la vigésimo sexta dinastía (del 664 al 525 AC) y hasta el período ptolemaico, que terminó con la muerte de Cleopatra en el año 30 AC. "Es un amasijo de corredores con momias en todas partes, a la derecha y a la izquierda, arriba y abajo. Cuando la gente vino, no había espacio, así que pusieron los ataúdes en el pared, o abrieron otrofoso, o pusieron una momia encima de otra," dijo a Reuters.
Los fosos están en Saqqara, 25 kilómetros al sur de El Cairo y del cementerio principal de la cercana ciudad de Menfis.
Guy Lecuyot, un egiptólogo del Centro Nacional para la Investigación Científica de Francia, dijo que una de las momias ptolemaicas está en un estado excepcional en cuanto a su estilo y preservación.
"Espero que la semana próxima tengamos la oportunidad de abrir otros sarcófagos y encontrar otras momias en este estado, así como elementos que nos ayuden a comprender mejor la civilización faraónica," agregó. Hawass dijo: "Nunca he visto (...) una momia del período ptolomaico tan singular, tan bien preservada. El lino la cubre de una manera hermosa."

  momia_saqqara_calzada_unas01.jpg (57453 bytes)



- Declaraciones de Hawass y Fotografía:
28.4.2004. 08:35:29
Archaeologists working in Egypt say they have uncovered more than 50 mummies dating back to the first millennium BC.Two sarcophagi, one wooden with a mummy inside, and the other stone, formed part of the discovery. Officials have hailed the wooden sarcophagus, which dates to the Ptolemaic period (323-30 BC), as the best preserved of its kind in the world."This type of discovery happens two or three times in a century," said  Jean-Pierre Adam, a French member of the archaeology team. "Here, the miracle is that, so close to the surface, we found areas that had already been dug, except these two tombs which remain intact," he said. French archaeologist Guy Lecuyot said he had spotted the coffins side by side while trying to remove other mummies. "It was when I was extricating the mummies, which had been looted, that I found the head of the wooden sarcophagus and a gilt head that seemed intact, from the Ptolemaic era," said Mr Lecuyot. The mummies were found in a newly-discovered network of deep shafts and corridors at Saqqara, 25 kilometres south of Cairo. Head of Egypt's Antiquities Council Zahi Hawass said Egyptians had used the shafts over several centuries, starting from the 26th dynasty (664-525 BC) through to the Ptolemaic period, which ended with the death of Cleopatra in 30 BC. "It's a maze of corridors with mummies everywhere, right and left, up and down," said Mr Hawass. "When people came, there was no more space so they put the coffins in the wall, or they cut another shaft, or they put a mummy above a mummy." Mr Lecuyot said at least one of the Ptolemaic mummies is in exceptional condition in terms of its state of preservation and style. "I hope that next week we will have a chance to open other sarcophaguses and find other mummies in this state, and the elements will enable us to understand Pharaonic civilisation better," said Mr Lecuyot. The mummy wrappings may contain hundreds of gold amulets, typical of the period, according to Mr Hawass. "I have never seen ... a mummy from the Ptolemaic period that is so unique, that is well preserved," he said."The linen is covering it in a beautiful way." Researchers are now trying to precisely date the sarcophagi.
-Pharaonic sarcophagus discovered near Sakkara Pyramid
The French mission of the Louvre Museum discovered a collection of rare wooden sarcophagus dating back to the 26th Dynasty 2500 years ago near the Sakkara Pyramid. Secretary-General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA), Dr. Zahi Hawwas said that a sarcophagi, which is human-shaped, will open today and is expected to contain a mummy in a good shape. He added that the new discovery will help to further understand the ancient Egyptian religion during this era, noting that reports on the discovery will be submitted for Culture Minister Dr. Farouq Hosni for allocating thenecessary financial sums to continue the excavation and repair the discovered pieces.
- Fotografía de uno de los sarcófagos ptolemaicos:
- Otras fotografías:
- Nigel Strudwick habla sobre el descubrimiento:


- Trois questions à Jean-Pierre Adam, architecte du Centre National des Recherches Scientifiques (CNRS) et de la mission archéologique du Louvre à Saqqara.
Al-Ahram Hebdo : Quel est l'intérêt de cette découverte ? 
Jean-Pierre Adam : C'est ce privilège extraordinaire non seulement d'avoir une architecture très bien conservée, mais aussi d'avoir un complexe funéraire familial et également cette chance inouïe d'avoir une tombe qui n'a jamais été pillée depuis l'Antiquité. Donc, on a un mobilier très riche préservé, des vases et des poteries et des informations très précieuses sur le rituel funéraire. C'est tout à fait exceptionnel parce qu'on a découvert non seulement les morts dans des sarcophages, mais aussi tout ce qui les accompagnait. D'habitude ces objets on les retrouvait au siècle dernier, ils étaient vendus par des paysans qui avaient trouvé des tombes par hasard. C'était morcelé et on n'avait jamais des séries complètes, hormis l'exception de Toutankamon qui n'est pas un personnage ordinaire et n'est donc pas représentatif de la société égyptienne. Là, ce sont des notables de grandes familles. Grâce à cette mise à jour on doit connaître beaucoup mieux le rituel funéraire. 

La mission du Louvre s'attendait-elle à une telle découverte ?
Le but initial de notre mission était de rechercher un grand mastaba, ce monument funéraire qui a été découvert en 1996 et dont ont avait entendu parler parce qu'il a été déjà vu en 1903. On a alors relevé les reliefs qui étaient dans la chapelle mais il n'y avait pas eu de travail topographique et on avait perdu son emplacement. Maintenant, nous avons retrouvé non seulement son emplacement, mais le mastaba tout entier. Et depuis, on connaît le nom du personnage qui s'appelle Akhethetep. Plus tard, on a trouvé un grand mur de clôture qui délimitait l'espace réservé à la famille. Il se trouve qu'un fils ou un petit-fils avait construit son propre mastaba de l'autre coté du mur en venant s'appuyer dessus. Puis, un autre fils est arrivé et a construit son propre mastaba en s'appuyant contre le précédent et contre le mur de clôture. En avant se trouve un autre espace, une cour où se trouvent les puits funéraires des serviteurs de la famille. Ceux-ci sont très modestes mais étaient inviolés et donc très intéressants. Enfin, un autre mastaba peut-être pas de la même famille dont on a trouvé le puits et par une chance extraordinaire ce puits donnait sur des tombes intermédiaires qui étaient toutes deux scellées et non violées. Nous les avons trouvées en octobre 2003. Cette année, les chercheurs ne fouillaient plus parce qu'il y avait un travail de classement, d'identification et de restauration. Et le miracle, c'était detomber sur ces momies et sarcophages.

Quelle sera donc la prochaine étape ? Comptez-vous poursuivre les fouilles ?
La mission s'arrête cette année, mais ce n'est pas fini bien entendu. On recommencera l'année prochaine. Cette fois-ci, nous allons tenter de dater les sarcophages de façon exacte mais nous allons notamment mener un énorme travail de traitement de mobilier, c'est-à-dire directement sur les objets, surtout ceux qui ont été pillés dès l'époque grecque puis recueillis par les prêtres. On va donc coller ces objets et les assembler et puis éventuellement les déposer dans le nouveau magasin du Conseil Suprême des Antiquités . L'idéal serait de tout laisser dans les tombes pour que d'autres scientifiques ou des visiteurs viennent voir ce qu'est une tombe avec son mobilier complet.

Fuente: Al Ahram Hebdo

Halladas dos fortalezas faraónicas de 3.200 años al noroeste de Egipto

Arqueólogos estadounidenses descubrieron las ruinas de dos fortalezas  militares faraónicas de hace más de 3.200 años, en la península del Sinai,  al noreste de Egipto, declaró ayer el ministro egipcio de Cultura, Faruq  Hosni. Lasfortificaciones fueron halladas en la localidad de Tel Al Burg, explicó  el ministro, y precisó que las dos fueron erigidas durante las XVIII y XIX  dinastías faraónicas del Imperio Nuevo, que gobernó Egipto entre los años  1554 y 1075 antes de Cristo. Uno de los fortines es de forma cuadrada con cien metros de largo y cien de  ancho, mientras que el segundo es rectangular con cien metros de largo y  ochenta de ancho, subrayó, por su parte, el secretariogeneral del Consejo  Supremo de Antigüedades (CSA), Zahy Hawas. 

En los relatos
Estas fortificaciones, construidas de adobe, figuran en los relatos de las inscripciones grabadas en las paredes del Templo de Karnak, del faraón Seti  I, situado en la ciudad monumental de Luxor, a unos 600 kilómetros al sur de  El Cairo. Ambos edificios forman parte de las once fortalezas que componían la línea  defensiva de Horus, erigida entre Egipto y Palestina por los faraones del  Imperio Nuevo para proteger el país de las invasiones de Oriente. Hawas afirmó que hasta el momento se han descubierto cuatro fortines y que  prosiguen los trabajos para hallar el resto. En los mismos lugares del hallazgo se encontraron puntas de flechas, lanzas  y puñales de bronce, además de estelas con inscripciones que indican que las  fortalezas acogieron al batallón del Dios Amon, uno de los cuatro del  Ejército faraónico.

Fuente: Hoy Digital


-Nuevos descubrimientos en el Monasterio Blanco de Sohag-
Discoveries at White Monastery in Sohag

Excavations maintained this season at the White Monastery in Sohag have led to the discovery of a church, a saints' tomb and a pottery furnace. The team excavating on the site had unearthed, last year, 2000 gold pieces dating back to the Roman age. The unearthed furnace, which takes a circular shape, lies in the north-eastern side of the housing units allocated for the workers of the industrial area. The church pertaining to the early 6th century followed a Pasilican style, which prevailed in the early Coptic era. It was noticed that the walls of the church bore botanic, animal and geometric drawings of symbolic connotations in Christianity. These symbols were actually used by early Christians in fear of the Roman oppressors. Excavations were conducted 75 meters from the White Monastery as the site includes low hills, 3.5 to 4 metres high of archaeological features. Excavations, however, covered an area of 30 x 30 metres. Skeletons were  found at the east side of the church in three semicirculartombs that bear fresco drawings of fish (which symbolizes Christ in Coptic art), geometric shapes with crosses within and small squares like a chest board. According to Farag Fada of the Islamic and Coptic Sector, it was customary to bury saints and martyrs under the alter whether in a tomb or a cavern in order to remind worshippers of the souls under the alter. The tomb discovered was covered by a the red-brick dome bearing pictures of winged eagles, which refer in Coptic art to resurrection, and pictures of peacocks which symbolize the church.  Fada said that on the same site the team of excavators found four rooms made of red brick and mortar, in addition to a table hall 4 x 13.5 in dimension extending to the end of the church. The site of the White Monastery in Sohag has proven to be one of the richest in Upper Egypt with respect to Coptic antiquities.



Arqueólogos alemanes hallan una nueva Piedra de Rosetta en Egipto
Arqueólogos alemanes han anunciado que habían encontrado una piedra del siglo II antes de Cristo con inscripciones en griego antiguo y con jeroglíficos, similar a la 'Piedra de Rosetta' que fue descubierta en 1799 y que permitió averiguar el significado de la escritura egipcia.
"Una piedra así no ha sido encontrada en 120 años", declaró Christian Tietze, profesor de la Universidad de Potsdam y director de las excavaciones realizadas en el delta del Nilo. Un equipo de arqueólogos alemanes y egipcios descubrió la piedra, que data del 238 antes de Cristo y tiene una inscripción con un decreto del rey Tolomeo III (246-221 antes de Cristo) en dos idiomas: griego antiguo y jeroglíficos del antiguo Egipto. 
El texto describe los méritos del rey Tolomeo -un gran conquistador que tenía el apodo de 'El Benefactor' y bajo cuyo reinado Egipto logró su mayor esplendor- y las medidas para luchar contra el hambre, como la importación de cereales de Siria y Chipre. 
"Es un documento sobre el poder y los méritos de Tolomeo III", explicó Tietze. La piedra, que mide 99 centímetros de alto, 84 de largo y 65 de grosor, fue descubierta cerca de una estatua que representa a la esposa de Ramsés IIde la antigua ciudad de Bubastis, situada 90 kilómetros al noreste de El Cairo. 
La Piedra de Rosetta, descubierta cerca de la ciudad de Rachid (Rosetta) en agosto de 1799 tiene grabada la copia de un decreto de Tolomeo V Epífanes en jeroglíficos, en demótico -antiguo tipo de escritura mixto, con signos jeroglíficos y consonánticos- y griego. Jean-Francois Champollion tradujo el texto, consiguiendo de este modo averiguar el significado de los jeroglíficos egipcios. 
Fuente: El Mundo


Descubren en Egipto una nueva 'piedra Rosetta' del siglo II antes de Cristo
Arqueólogos alemanes anunciaron ayer que han encontrado en Egipto una estela del siglo II antes de Cristo con inscripciones en griego antiguo y lenguaje jeroglífico, similar a la piedra Rosetta descubierta en 1799 y que permitió a Jean-Francois Champollion descifrar la escritura egipcia. «Algo así no ha sido encontrado en 120 años», declaró ayer Christian Tietze, profesor de la Universidad de Potsdam y director de las excavaciones realizadas en el delta del Nilo.
La estela data del 238 aC y tiene una inscripción con un decreto del rey Tolomeo III (246-221 aC) en dos idiomas: griego antiguo y jeroglífico. El texto describe los méritos del rey -un gran conquistador que tenía el apodo de 'El Benefactor'- y las medidas para luchar contra el hambre, como la importación de cereales de Siria y Chipre. La piedra, que mide 99 centímetros de alto, 84 de largo y 65 de grosor, fue descubierta cerca de una estatua que representa a la esposa de Ramsés II, en las ruinas de un templo de la antigua ciudad de Bubastis, situada 90 kilómetros al noreste de El Cairo.

Fuente: El Correo Digital
A stela was found in Tell Basta with an inscription in two languages and three scripts (Hieroglyphic, Demotic, and Greek)

Earlier reports about the expedition:
The find of a statue of one of the wives of Ramses II
The find of two furnaces (Xth Campaign)
Diary of the excavation in Tell Basta (XIIIth campaign)

Retrato frontal de un faraón descubierto por José Manuel Galán, Director del Proyecto Djehuty en Luxor, Egipto.31/03/04

Un experto español descubre primer retrato frontal de un faraón
Un investigador español ha descubierto en el sur de Egipto el que se considera el primer retrato frontal de un faraón egipcio, una imagen doble realizada probablemente por un maestro y su aprendiz hace unos 3.500 años, informó el miércoles el Centro Superior de Investigaciones Científicas. Bautizada como "La tabla del maestro", la obra se halló en la necrópolis Dra Abu el-Naga, en Luxor, dentro de un proyecto de restauración de las tumbas de dos  ltos dignatarios de la corte que vivieron a comienzos de la dinastía XVIII, según el CSIC. "La cara principal de 'La tabla del maestro' la componen dos figuras humanas representadas de frente, algo muy poco frecuente en e  arte egipcio, que sólo representa de ese modo a enemigos y a extranjeros. La importancia del hallazgo está en que la figura representada es un faraón", dijo el CSIC en una nota. La tabla, que data probablemente de la época del rey Tutmosis III, hacia el año 1.450 a. C., sirvió probablemente para escribir y dibujar en ella. Sus dimensiones son de 31x50x1 centímetros. Además, la tabla contiene un texto escrito en columnas que se leen de derecha a izquierda y que recoge el primer párrafo de El Libro de Kemit, utilizado en las escuelas de escribas para aprender a escribir. En el reverso aparece un dibujo de un faraón cazando patos en las marismas, algo no hallado en ninguna representación encontrada previamente, lo que permite suponer que se trata de la iconografía más antigua de este motivo. Los resultados de la investigación, encabezada por el equipo dirigido por el egiptólogo español José Manuel Galán, se publicarán próximamente en la revista National Geographic.

Fuente con fotografía:;:406be2dc:fd2cc6a01b2f5f30?ty


Ver más sobre la misma noticia y consecuencias



Kharga desvela sus secretos. Una misión egipto-americana acaba de descubrir las inscripciones en arenisca en Kharga que muestran un nuevo nombre de un rey de la época predinástica.

Kharga dévoile ses secrets.

Une mission égypto-américaine vient de découvrir des gravures sur un grès à Kharga portant un nouveau nom d'un roi de l'époque prédynastique. En plein désert, précisément à Aïn Amour au nord de l'oasis de Kharga, émerge un grand rocher de grès. C'est là qu'une mission égypto-américaine présidée par l'archéologue Salima Ekram a découvert des gravures remontant à l'époque prédynastique (4000 à 3300 av. J.-C.) ainsi que deux inscriptions du Moyen et Nouvel Empire. En même temps, des poteries de l'époque gréco-romaine et d'autres pièces de différentes époques islamiques ont été encore dévoilées. Les gravures trouvées se composent d'un caractère hiéroglyphique incisé dans un cartouche qui entoure le nom du roi surmonté du symbole du dieu Horus. « On l'a lu, et je pense que c'est un roi de l'époque prédynastique encore inconnu pour nous », explique Salima Ekram, directrice de la mission. D'après elle, c'est la première fois qu'une telle gravure remontant à 3 000 ans avant notre ère soit découverte dans le désert occidental, commente-t-elle. Par contre, ce genre d'inscriptions est répandu plutôt dans le désert oriental. Jusqu'à maintenant, les experts ne savent pas exactement pourquoi les gens allaient à cet endroit à cette époque lointaine surtout qu'il n'y avait pas de mines d'or, un des objectifs les plus précieux de telles expéditions. « Mais il paraît que c'était une expédition royale à la recherche de l'alun », suppose l'experte. Cette matière servait à la momification et à la stabilisation des couleurs sur la toile et le cuir des animaux ainsi que les tissus. Cette matière entrait de même dans la fabrication des médicaments. Sur ce rocher, ont été gravées également des images de girafes, éléphants, gazelles, oryx, ibex, taureaux, autruches et crocodiles. « Il est très rare de trouver un crocodile gravé sur un rocher, d'où un autre aspect du caractère unique du site », explique la professeure. La mission a découvert deux inscriptions gravées : la date de la première remonte au Moyen Empire, celle de la seconde du Nouvel Empire. Ces inscriptions ne sont pas encore étudiées. Mais il est évident qu'elles vont enrichir l'étude de l'histoire égyptienne. Ce rocher semblait être un relais essentiel pour habitants de la Vallée du Nil dans leur périple vers la Libye ou l'Afrique. L'importance de ce gîte d'étape a duré tout au long de l'histoire. comme le prouvent les poteries gréco-romaines. En effet, « la forme de ce rocher protégeait les voyageurs contre les courants d'air et la chaleur du soleil », affirme l'archéologue. Au fil des jours, le rocher est devenu un repère pour les voyageurs du désert occidental. Son importance a augmenté à la période islamique. Les pèlerins venant de l'Afrique Noire pour La Mecque devaient passer par ce rocher. Les poteries islamiques relevées d'en dessous l'argumentent bien. Pour les archéologues, malgré la richesse de ce site, il risque de se dégrader. « Les touristes, amateurs du désert, détachaient des morceaux de ce rocher », explique Salima Ekram. Quelques-uns parmi eux connaissent l'importance archéologique du site. Ils pillent les antiquités, déplore-t-elle. L'archéologue espère ainsi que les responsables fourniront des moyens de sécurité adéquats pour préserver ce patrimoine.

Fuente: Al-Ahram Hebdo.



Estatua de la madre de Ajenaton y de un gran hipopótamo halaldas en Kon el-Hettan

1st Akhenaton's mother, largest hippo statues unearthed
A rare statue of Queen Ti, mother of Akhenaton, the first in history to propagate monotheist calls, and the wife of King Amenhotep III, was unearthed in the Al-Bar El-Gharbi West Bank area in the ancient Egyptianarchaeological city of Luxor, said Minister of Culture Farouk Hosni. Touring Luxor Sunday accompanied by the People's Assembly Housing Committee under Mohamed Abul-Enein and Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA) Secretary General Dr. Zahi Hawas, the minister said the find was made by a German mission inside the Amenhotep III Temple. He added that the largest alabaster life-size headless statue of a hippopotamus was also unearthed in the floor of a temple basement in the Kom El-Hitan area. The Culture Minister Sunday inaugurated the tomb and sarcophagus of King Ramses VI (1156-1149 BC) of the 20th Dynasty after finishing restorationworks. The tomb is number nine amongst the tombs of the Valley of Kings, located over the tomb of Tutankhamen.
The project, accomplished by the SCA in tandem with the American Research Center and financed by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), involves restoration of the recently-found sarcophagus. The tomb was open for visits until the 1st and 2nd centuries (AD). This is the first time to rebuild and display a royal sarcophagus of the Modern Kingdom era inside the tomb.

Hosni also toured the King Seti I Temple, located in the Al-Qarana village, one of the religious shrines he had built during his 10 years in power (1314-1304 BC). The German Archaeological Institute in Cairo under Egyptologist Reiner Stadlemann conducted a comprehensive rejuvenation of the walls of the funerary temple after a series of efforts that started in 1971. Meanwhile, Prime Minister Dr. Atef Ebeid approved setting up an exhibition of Egyptian  antiquities in the Spanish province of Valencia from March 23 through July 31 under the title treasures of the Pharaohs.  Hosni said the exhibition comprises 86 pieces representing various Pharaonic periods, including a statue of Kin  Teti I, the founder of the 6th Dynasty, a pyramidion of the Modern Kingdom and statue of Seth, the god of evil.  On the other hand, the Culture Minister warned against building in the  antiquities-rich areas and urged the people of Luxor to preserve their  archaeological city. He said the Upper Egyptian city is a mecca of world tourists who seek enjoyment with the ancient Egyptians, calling for preventing anymore  encroachments.



Desenterradas en Abydos antigüedades de 5000 años de antigüedad 5000 year old antiques unearthed in Abydos
Culture Minister Farouk Hosni said the funerary fence of King Hor A-ha (Fighter Horus), the first of the early dynasties' kings (3000 BC), and the remains of 10 donkeys believed to have been used to carry sacred items to the underworld were unearthed. Hosni, in statements Sunday, said the discovery came at the end of the US mission's work in Abydos, Sohag governorate, supervised by archaeologist David O'Connor, a professor at the New York University. Secretary General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA), Zahi Hawas, said the find is the first funerary monument for King Hor A-ha since a British archaeologist first managed to unearth the king's tomb in 1900. He said a gallery of the king was also found in good condition, surrounded by six buried objects, most likely the king's servants and court men, who supposedly would serve the king in the underworld. Mathew Adams, a member of the mission, said that another fence of an unknown king of the 1st Dynasty was also found. Meanwhile, Hosni said he will open a project to restore and rejuvenate the incomplete Obelisk area in Aswan in mid-2004, to be the first outdoor museum to show monuments that were not completed by the ancient Egyptians.
Touring the area Sunday with Governor Samir Youssef, SCA chief Hawas and Upper Egypt Antiquities Department Director Helil Ghali, the minister said the project took 18 months of work and cost L.E. 15 million. He said Egypt will also retrieve two archaeological plaques of the ancient Egyptian ones stolen in Switzerland.

Fuente: EOL, State Information Service.

Complejo funerario del rey Aha en Abydos. Copyright: IFA,NYU14/03/04
Descubierta en Abidos una tumba de cortesanos del rey egipcio Aha
Grave of Egyptian king's courtiers uncovered

A grave believed to belong to courtiers or servants of King Aha, the first king of ancient Egypt's first dynasty, was uncovered by an American excavation mission in Abydos in Upper Egypt, a culture ministry statement said on Sunday. The enclosure found in Abydos contains "a very well-preserved chapel surrounded with six subsidiary graves belonging to courtiers servants intended to serve the king in the afterlife". The enclosure lies about 1,5km away from the tomb of KingAha, discovered in 1900 by British archaeologist Flinders Petrie. Judging from skeletons found in the grave, the archaeologists concluded that the servants were most likely sacrificed to be buried near King Aha. Expedition co-director David O'Conner said the discovery was significant because the reign of Aha is associated with major changes in royal architecture. "The form and plan of Aha's enclosure as well as the chapel within is set as  the model followed by all subsequent royal enclosures at Abydos," O'Conner said.  The archaeologists also uncovered another enclosure of an unknown first dynasty king that included three graves. "Unusually, these did not contain human burials but were packed  with bodies of ten donkeys which are intended to meet the king's transportation needs in  the afterlife," said Zahi Hawwas of the Supreme Council of Antiquities. The culture ministry statement said the discoveries were initially detected  by a "sub-surface magnetic survey". - Sapa-DPA

Fuente: IOL  


Descubrimiento arqueológico de una inscripción de un rey faraónico desconocido

Archaeological discovery of unknown pharaonic king inscription

The American archaeological expedition working in cooperation with the Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA) in Al-Kharga Oasis discovered a rocky inscription north of the oasis including a royal name dating back to pre-dynastic era (32nd century B.C). The SCA Secretary-General Dr Zahi Hawass said that the name was unknown and the rocky inscription discovery came during the survey actions by the archaeological teamwork in Al-Kharga oasis region. The chairman of the US archaeological expedition Dr Solima Al-Harram pointed out that the discovery would reveal new information about the Egyptian royal presence in the western desert in the pre-dynastic era. She added that the inscription showed a new royal name which read Hoor within a shape representing the old pharaonic palace on top of it a bird of Horus, common at the eras of 1st and 2nd dynasties. She asserted that the inscription indicated the trade activities with Africa through the western desert or to find out the different natural raw materials for buildings and industries during that early period of the Egyptian history preceding the era of the unified country.



Exciting find beneath the sea at Alexandria
A team from the Alexandrian Studies Centre has recently found pieces of rose granite that rep- resent the lower part of the famous statue of Isis found four years ago underwater in the vicinity of the Qaitbay Citadel in Alexandria. The pieces provide the statue's legs, and ankles. The team has also found part of a large I granite stele that bears the tax law enforced in the reign of Ptolemy L The bulk of the panel had been lifted from the sea bed a few years ago. However, the most important of recent finds are huge granite masses, one of which weighs 15 tons, found ten metres underwater. The pieces proved to be remains of the old Alexandria light- house one of the seven won ders of the world. The find is so important that it could revive the idea of rebuilding the lighthouse. Zahi Hawass, Secretary- General of the Supreme Council for Antiquities, said that the lighthouse was built by Sostratos in the age of Ptolemy p (285-246 BC). The king allowed him to inscribe his name on it in recognition of his effort. Dr. Hawass noted that the building cost of the light- house was about 2,000 pounds (Sterling) in modem terms. It was built of stone cut from the quarries of AL Max and was embellished by marble and bronze. It is said that the stones were not fixed to each other by mortar but by molten lead. As to the shape of the lighthouse Hawass said that it took the form of eight towers graded from the largest to the smallest. The ground floor, said Hawass was 60 metres high and had wide ornamented windows and 300 rooms allocated for machines and as a residence for workers.  Hawass went on to say that on top of the lighthouse there was a large room from where a fire pole remained burning all night long and then turned to smoke during the day time. The lighthouse used to have a huge minor, which according to myth, reflected the whole of the city. The mirror and the brazier at the top created the large amount of light ever produced by a lighthouse. As such the lighthouse of Alexandria influenced man's initial thinking about the uses of lenses. According to Hawass the lighthouse remained functioning until the Arab conquest in 641 AD. In 673 Hajira, King Bebars visited Alexandria and ordered its restoration. He built a mosque on its upper part. In 880 Hajira, Ibn Thlon also ordered its restoration. However, in 1100 a strong earthquake hit Alexandria and he lighthouse collapsed except for the ground square-shaped part. The earthquake that occurred later on in the 14th century destroyed the remaining part. In 1580, Sultan Qaitbay established the citadel named after him at the exact site of the lighthouse. The light house then disappeared for ever but there remained a miniature of it found at Abu Sir in Mariut and which exists at present at the Graeco- Roman museum.



Arqueólogos Descubren una antigua ruta marítima de especias entre India y Egipto.

(Archaeologists Uncover Ancient Maritime Spice Route Between India, Egypt)
Archaeologists from UCLA and the University of Delaware have unearthed the most extensive remains to date from sea trade between India and Egypt during the Roman Empire, adding to mounting evidence that spices and other exotic cargo traveled into Europe over sea as well as land. "These findings go a long way toward improving our understanding of the way in which a whole range of exotic cargo moved into Europe during antiquity," said Willeke Wendrich, an assistant professor of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures at UCLA and co-director of the project. "When cost and political conflict prevented overland transport, ancient mariners took to the Red Sea, and the route between India and Egypt appears to have been even more productive than we ever thought." "The Silk Road gets a lot of attention as a trade route, but we've found a wealth of evidence indicating that sea trade between Egypt and India was also important for transporting exotic cargo, and it may have even served as a link with the Far East," added fellow co-director Steven E. Sidebotham, a history professor at the University of Delaware. Wendrich and Sidebotham report their findings in the July issue of the scholarly journal Sahara.
For the past eight years, the researchers have led an international team of archaeologists who have excavated Berenike, a long-abandoned Egyptian port on the Red Sea near the border with Sudan. Among the buried ruins of buildings that date back to Roman rule, the team discovered vast quantities of teak, a wood indigenous to India and today's Myanmar, but not capable of growing in Egypt, Africa or Europe. Researchers believe the teak, which dates to the first century, came to the desert port as hulls of shipping vessels. When the ships became worn out or damaged beyond repair, Berenike residents recycled the wood for building materials, the researchers said. The team also found materials consistent with ship-patching activities, including copper nails and metal sheeting. "You'd expect to find woods native to Egypt like mangrove and acacia," Sidebotham said. "But the largest amount of wood we found at Berenike was teak."

In addition to this evidence of seafaring activities between India and Egypt, the archaeologists uncovered the largest array of ancient Indian goods ever found along the Red Sea, including the largest single cache of black pepper from antiquity - 16 pounds - ever excavated in the former Roman Empire. The team dates these peppercorns, which were grown only in South India during antiquity, to the first century. Peppercorns of the same vintage have been excavated as far away as Germany. "Spices used in Europe during antiquity may have passed through this port," Wendrich said. In some cases, Egypt's dry climate even preserved organic material from India that has never been found in the more humid subcontinent, including sailcloth dated to between A.D. 30 and 70, as well as basketry and matting from the first and second centuries.
In a dump that dates back to Roman times, the team also found Indian coconuts and batik cloth from the first century, as well as an array of exotic gems, including sapphires and glass beads that appear to come from Sri Lanka, and carnelian beads that appear to come from India. Three beads found on the surface of excavation sites in Berenike suggested even more exotic origins. One may have come from eastern Java, while the other two appear to have come either from Vietnam or Thailand, but the team has been unable to date any of them. While the researchers say it is unlikely that Berenike traded directly with eastern Java, Vietnam or Thailand, they say their discoveries raise the possibility that cargo was finding its way to the Egyptian port from the Far East, probably via India.
The team also found the remains of cereal and animals indigenous to sub-Saharan Africa, pointing to the possibility of a three-point trade route that took goods from southern Africa to India and then back across the Indian Ocean to Egypt. "We talk today about globalism as if it were the latest thing, but trade was going on in antiquity at a scale and scope that is truly impressive," said Wendrich, who made most of her contributions as a post-doctoral fellow at Leiden University in the Netherlands. "These people were taking incredible risks with their lives and fortune to make money." Along with the rest of Egypt, Berenike was controlled by the Roman Empire during the first and second centuries. During the same period, the overland route to Europe from India through Pakistan, Iran and Mesopotamia (today's Iraq) was controlled by adversaries of the Roman Empire, making overland roads difficult for Roman merchants. Meanwhile, Roman texts that address the relative costs of different shipping methods describe overland transport as at least 20 times more expensive than sea trade. "Overland transport was incredibly expensive, so whenever possible people in antiquity preferred shipping, which was vastly cheaper," Sidebotham said. With such obstacles to overland transport, the town at the southernmost tip of the Roman Empire flourished as a "transfer port," accepting cargo from India that was later moved overland and up the Nile to Alexandria, the researchers contend. Poised on the edge of the Mediterranean Sea, Alexandria has a well-documented history of trade with Europe going back to antiquity. Over the course of the grueling project, the researchers retraced a route that they believe would have moved cargo from Berenike into Europe. Wendrich and Sidebotham contend cargo was shipped across the Indian Ocean and north through the Red Sea to Berenike, which is located about 160 miles east of today's Aswan Dam. They believe the goods were then carried by camels or donkeys some 240 miles northeast to the Nile River, where smaller boats waited to transport the cargo north to Alexandria. Cargo is known to have moved during antiquity from Alexandria across the Mediterranean to a dozen major Roman ports and hundreds of minor ones. The team believes that Berenike was the biggest and most active of six ports in the Red Sea until some point after A.D. 500, when shipping activities mysteriously stopped. Shipping activities at Berenike were mentioned in ancient texts that were rediscovered in the Middle Ages, but the port's precise location eluded explorers until  the early 19th century. The former port's proximity to an Egyptian military base kept archaeologists at bay until 1994, when Wendrich and Sidebotham made the first successful appeal for a large-scale excavation. At the time, Egyptian  officials, eager to develop the Red Sea as a tourist destination, had started to relax prohibitions against foreign access to the region. But the area's isolation remains a challenge for the team, which has to truck in food and water, and to power computers and microscopes with solar panels.
"The logistics are really tough there," said Wendrich, who is affiliated with the Cotsen Institute of Archaeology at UCLA. The Berenike project received major funding from the Netherlands Foundation for Scientific Research. The National Geographic Foundation, National Endowment for the Humanities, Utopa Foundation, Gratama Foundation and the Kress Foundation also provided support, as did private donors.




La primera bolera del mundo.
(World's First Bowling Alley)

The Italian team excavating at Madi city in Fayoum has unearthed an open structure dating back to the Ptolemaic age.
The floor is composed of a single large block of limestone with a groove 10 cm deep and 20 cm wide. In the middle there is a 12 cm-square hole. The team found two balls of polished limestone, one of which fits the groove and the other the square hole. The structure is like no other found in the ancient world. After study it was proposed that it might be a first attempt at the practice of bowling.
The pre-summed bowling track was found next to the remains of a number of houses each made up of two rooms with a large hall. The team has recently found papyri scrolls dating back to the Ptolemaic period, pottery shards, glass utensils, copper tools and some pieces of faience in the area. The archaeological site of Medinet Madi is one of the most complete. The oldest of its monuments is a 12th Dynasty temple dedicated to the harvest goddess Renenutet and the crocodile-god Sobek. The temple is magnificently decorated with relieves showing the kings of the 12th Dynasty worshipping the gods. During the Ptolemaic period the temple was extended and dedicated to Isis who was equated with Renenutet by the Greek rulers. he housing agglomeration was inhabited until the 9th century AD and several churches have been unearthed over the past decade as it was an early centre Christianity.
Fuente: Travelvideo.TV
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Nuevos hallazgos arqueológicos en el yacimiento egipcio de Oxirrinco

La arqueóloga Esther Pons explica en la Fundación Gabarrón los trabajos de la misión española Las próximas investigaciones se centrarán en el estudio de dos sarcófagos y sus momias de la época saíta
El Proyecto Djehuty
El yacimiento arqueológico de Oxirrinco (El-Bahnasa, Egipto) sigue dando motivos de satisfacción a la misión española que lo excava desde 1992. El hallazgo durante la última campaña-concluida en diciembre del pasado año- de dos sarcófagos cerrados abrió un campo a una prometedora investigación. «No es habitual encontrar tumbas que no hayan sido violadas. El problema fue que los encontramos un día antes del fin de la campaña y que tuvimos que hacer una investigación 'in situ' de urgencia, pero todo se ha quedado en suspenso hasta la próxima campaña». Lo dice Esther Pons Mellado, conservadora del Museo Arqueológico Nacional y miembro de la misión mixta del Consejo Superior de Antigüedades y la Universidad de Barcelona que excavan el yacimiento situado en la población de El-Bahnasa, a 190 kilómetros al sur de El Cairo. Los últimos descubrimientos de este yacimiento fueron el tema de la conferencia que pronunció ayer la arqueóloga en la Fundación Cristóbal
Gabarrón de Valladolid.
Los dos sarcófagos pertenecen a un conjunto de entre 14 y 15 tumbas encontradas en la necrópolis alta de la ciudad greco-rromana fundada sobre una más antigua de época faraónica. Las más antiguas pertenecen a la época de la dinastía saíta (664 a. de C.-525 a. de C.). La investigación se centrará ahora en el análisis de las dos momias halladas en los sarcófagos cerrados. La que presenta un mejor estado de conservación pertenece a una mujer de unos 30 años y su estudio puede desvelar interesantes aspectos sobre la vida y las costumbres de los habitantes de la ciudad, conocida por la riqueza documental de sus restos, ya que en ella se han encontrado numerosos papiros griegos.
«En las tumbas se han encontrados numerosos ushebtis, figuras que se ponían en las tumbas para ayudar al difunto en las tareas agrícolas en el más allá. También se han encontrado numerosos vasos canopos de alabastro. Eran vasos en los que se introducían las entrañas del difunto que, en numerosos casos, se han encontrado momificadas. Todavía quedan muchos restos por analizar. Y, por último, se han hallado numerosas mesas de ofrenda en piedra».

Templo de Osiris
La otra joya de la misión es el templo dedicado a Osiris de época ptolemaica (dinastía que gobernó Egipto entre el 323 a. de C. hasta el 30 a. de C.). Se trata de un templo único en su género, según Esther Pons, ya que los hallados en la zona de Luxor, la más rica en yacimientos y la más conocida popularmente, son de adobe, mientras que éste está construido en piedra. En él se ha encontrado una estatua sedente del dios Osiris, de 3,40 metros, realizada en granito, y el ajuar típico de esta deidad egipcia. Los trabajos en Oxirrinco han sacado a la luz también un oratorio bizantino con pinturas cristianas. «Es muy singular-afirma Esther Pons-. Está realizado en adobe y ya hemos conseguido consolidar las pinturas en un soporte adecuado».
Fuente: El Norte de Castilla.

Arqueólogos españoles hallan en Egipto tres nuevos sarcófagos y momias con restos de ajuar
La Misión Arqueológica Mixta hispano-egipcia de Oxirrinco ha descubierto en el yacimiento de El-Bahnasa (Egipto) tres nuevos sarcófagos antropomorfos de época Saíta realizados en piedra de los cuales dos conservaban aún en su interior momias con restos de ajuar en buen estado de conservación. Según afirmó la conservadora del Museo Arqueológico Nacional y  miembro de la misión, Esther Pons, en declaraciones a Europa Press, hace dos años se encontró el inicio de una tumbaá derrumbada" y en esta ocasión hallaron parte de las paredes y del endosado del suelo, además de los dos sarcófagos. "Casi todos estaban ya abiertos excepto dos, que encontramos el día antes de nuestra vuelta a España, y en el interior de cada una de ellas había una momia", explicó la experta, quien añadió que pudieron hacer un estudio "in situ y rápido" que reveló que la que se encontraba en mejor estado puede ser de una mujer de unos 30 años. Las excavaciones comenzaron en octubre hasta el 24 y, pese a que tuvieron que hacer un receso ante el comienzo del Ramadán, posteriormente reanudaron los trabajos el 25 de noviembre hasta el 18 de diciembre, periodo en el que encontraron diversos objetos desconocidos hasta el momento.
La excavación se divide en tres partes: el oratorio bizantino --finales del siglo IV y comienzos del siglo VII d. C. --, que muestra criptas y pinturas "únicas en Egipto" que representan el repertorio paleocristiano; lanecrópolis alta, de época  Copto-Saíta con tumbas de adobe (época Copta), tumbas de piedra con sarcófagos (época Saíta) y numerosos restos de ajuar funerario como ushebtis, vasos canopos, mesas de ofrendas y, por último, el Osireion o Templo subterráneo descubierto hace dos años dedicado al dios Osiris, de época Ptolemaica, que cuenta con numerosos restos de cultura material relacionados con el culto a Osiris.

La necrópolis de Oxirrinco

"Los sarcófagos y la tumba que se han hallado demuestran que la necrópolis de la zona de Oxirrinco era muy importante ya que la tumba es grande, y además hemos encontrado otras tres estancias pero estamos seguros que hallaremos más", apuntó Pons, quien añadió que el descubrimiento de los sarcófagos y de los objetos de cultura material. La conservadora recordó que hace años se encontró otra tumba Saíta con uno de los sarcófagos de piedra que hablaba de un faraón Apies y nosotros hemos hallado un sarcófago que aún no se ha extraído que habla también de él.  "En el interior del templo, donde estamos empezando a estudiar y donde ya se han encontrado inscripciones, se halló una cámara muy grande con una escultura de granito de Osiris de 3, 5 metros de altura", apuntó la experta, quien añadió que el templo tiene un "serio problema de conservación", por lo que el Consejo Superior de Antigþedades Egipcias tiene que dar permiso para consolidar el lugar "sin que se nos caiga".

Estudiar in situ
Uno de los problemas que se plantean al trabajar en Egipto, según Pons, es que el estudio se tiene que realizar en el mismo lugar porque las piezas no pueden salir del país, aunque en la actualidad y "desde la distancia" se están estudiando los cuerpos hallados y los restos de la cultura material a través de planos y fotografías.
El equipo español, que lleva desde 1992 excavando en Egipto, trabajó hasta este año en colaboración con expertos egipcios aunque a partir de ahora la misión española podrá trabajar en solitario. "Allí existen misiones, como las de Francia, Inglaterra, Estados Unidos o Alemania, que permanecen de manera continúa en el país, pero en el caso de España hay sólo tres misiones, lo que responde muchas cosas a un problema de presupuesto", concluyó Esther Pons.
Fuente: ABC

Descubierta antigua ciudad que data de hace 3.500 años.

Una antigua ciudad administrativa de la Isla Elefantina, en Asuan, que data de finales de la IV Dinastía y principios de la V Dinastía, de hace unos 3.500 años, ha sido desenterrada, dijo el Ministro de Cultura, Farouk Hosni. La misión egipcio-germana hallaron habitaciones cuadradas de diferentes tamaños que albergaban improntas de sellos utilizados por los cuerpos oficiales de la ciudad, añadió Hosni. La misión también encontró parte de una puerta con inscripciones haciendo referencia a uno de los oficiales superiores de Tebas llamado "Horus" y datada a principios del siglo I, dijo Zahi Hawass, Secretario General del
Consejo Supremo de Antigüedades Egipcias.


Arqueólogos rescatan numerosos objetos del mar

Un equipo arqueológico francés ha recuperado más de 1000 objetos de bronce del fondo del mar Mediterráneo, en la costa norte de Egipto. El conjunto incluye estatuas y bustos de dioses y diosas faraónicos.  Los objetos hallados durante las expediciones del pasado mes del tercer a quinto siglos a.C., e incluyen herramientas y contenedores utilizados en rituales religiosos, dijo ayer, Mohamed Abdel Maqsoud, oficial superior del SCA.  La misión francesa, dirigida por Franck Goddio, ha salido hacia París, dijo Abdel Maqsoud, y sus miembros no han podido ser localizados para hacer comentarios. "El objeto más impresionante y bello es un busto de diorita perteneciente a una persona sin identificar con pelo largo, que se cree puede representar al dios Nilo, Hapy", dijo Zahi Hawass, jefe del Consejo Supremo de Antigüedades Egipcias. Todos los objetos han sido llevados a limpiar de salitre y ser restaurados. El equipo francés que trabaja en la Bahía de Abu-Qir, en el puerto de la ciudad de Alejandría, había hallado previamente las ruinas del palacio de Cleopatra de 2000 años de antigüedad.

Fuente: The Star.

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Confirman culto del león en el antiguo Egipto

El estudio del esqueleto de un león descubierto en 2001 en Saqqara en la tumba de Maia, nodriza real de Tutankhamón, confirma que en el angiguo Egipto había un culto de ese animal y su inhumación ritualera precedida de momificación, según un estudio publicado el jueves en la revista científica británica Nature. La Misión Arqueológica Francesa de Bubasteion (MAFB), dirigida por el egiptólogo Alain Zivie (del Centro Nacional francés de Investigaciones Científicas, CNRS), descubrió en 2001 un león enterrado, cuyo esqueleto estaba prácticamente completo, en el yacimiento arqueológico de Saqqara (35 km al suroeste de El Cairo). Varios indicios --posición de las pastas, restos de pigmentos-- permiten deducir que el animal había sido momificado. El descubrimiento tuvo lugar en catacumbas de gatos de la Epoca Helénica,asociadas al culto de la diosa gata Bastet, que fueron instaladas en el lugar de una tumba mucho más antigua, de la Dinastía XVIII, es decir quedata del siglo XIV AC. Se trata de la tumba de Maia, dama de la corte que fue nodriza del joven Tutankhamón. Esta sepultura había sido descubiertaen 1996, también por la MAFB. Algunos autores clásicos del Epoca Greco-Romana e inscripciones faraónicas atestiguan la existencia de leones (Panthera leo) entre los animalesconsiderados sagrados y que eran objeto de culto en el antiguo Egipto. Esos animales eran asociados a determinadas divinidades y, por ello, eran alimentados y cuidados en vida y momificados e inhumados en tumbas individuales o catacumbas al morir. "Pero hasta el presente, ninguna confirmación de ese hecho había podido establecerse puesto que ningún león fue descubierto nunca en Egipto, salvo los huesos dispersos de la Epoca Arcaica encontrados en Abydos", señala un comunicado  del CNRS.
La arqueozoóloga Cécile Callou analizó los restos del león encontrado y llegó a la conclusión de que se trata de un macho adulto, sin duda muerto de vejez. Patologías dentales (dientes gastados hasta la encía y flemones) y trazas de costillas rotas demuestran que el animal no podía vivir en libertad. Hay todavía incógnitas respecto a este león, entre otras cosas su procedencia y cómo situarlo en la Epoca Helénica, es decir entre los siglos VI y I AC. Según los científicos del CNRS, podría tratarse de un animal asociado al dios Mahes, hijo de la diosa leona Sekhmet. Pero, como esta diosa estaba a su vez emparentada con la diosa Bastet, objeto de culto en Saqqara, se comprende el hecho de que haya sido encontrado entre los restos de numerosos gatos momificados. Dado ese contexto, este león, el primer ejemplar completo de la época descubierto cuando la civilización faraónica otorgaba una gran importancia a este animal, confirma que los leones eran adorados e inhumados no sólo en la ciudad de Leontópolis, sino también en la gran ciudad de Memfis, de la cual Saqqara era la necrópolis.



Otras versiones de la misma noticia, en inglés:


Momia de león egipcio hallado en una antigua tumba (Tumba de Maya)

French archaeologists have unearthed the first mummified lion ever found in an Egyptian tomb. The spectacular discovery was made in the tomb of King Tutankhamen's wet-nurse, Maïa, at Saqqara, south of Cairo. Although the tomb dates from 1330 B.C., the researchers believe the lion was probably mummified and buried during a later Egyptian dynasty in the final centuries before Christ. French archaeologist Alain Zivie led a team that discovered the first mummified lion ever found in an Egyptian tomb. The animal was preserved and buried in the tomb of Maïa, the wet-nurse of King Tutankhamen.

The discovery confirms the lion's sacred status in ancient Egypt. The archaeologists say the lion itself may have been a dedication to Mahes, the son of the lion goddess Sekhmet. "This is very special," Alain Zivie, who led the team that made the discovery, said in a telephone interview from Paris. "We knew from pharaonic inscriptions that lions existed in ancient Egypt and were buried in these tombs, but we had never found one until now." The research is published in tomorrow's issue of the science journal Nature.

In Excellent Condition

Supported by the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs and working under the supervision of the Supreme Council of Egyptian Antiquities, which is headed by National Geographic Society Explorer-in-Residence Zahi Hawass, Zivie's team has been excavating Saqqara, the cemetery of the ancient city of Memphis, for 20 years. In 1996, they discovered the tomb of Maïa, the wet-nurse to the famous pharaoh Tutankhamen. In addition to a chapel, the tomb has a level of funerary apartments, which have been used for burials of both humans and later animals, mainly cats. While working in the main room of the funerary level in November 2001, Zivie and his team made their stunning discovery. Perched on a rock and surrounded by other animal bones lay a virtually complete skeleton of a feline creature. "It was quite a shock," said Zivie. "It was a big skeleton, something completely unusual, big bones. My colleague, Cècile Callou, who is a zoo-archaeologist, could see immediately that it was a lion." The skeleton was in excellent condition, except that the skull had been partly crushed. The large size indicated it was a male, and researchers believe it was probably kept in captivity before dying of old age. Although
no linen bandages were found, they believe the lion had been mummified.

Worshipping Lions
Pharaonic inscriptions have shown that lions were bred and buried in Egypt during the time of the pharaohs. But while archaeologists knew of cemeteries for baboons, ibis, fish, cats, dogs, and crocodiles, they had never found lions buried, though some bones were found in the city of Abydos. The lions were worshiped by the ancient Egyptians and associated with certain divine powers. There are numerous descriptions of lions in ancient Egyptian art. The lions are thought to have been bred in sanctuary precincts, where they were ritually fed and buried in a sacred animal necropolis. "The lion is full of symbolism," said Zivie. "It represents strength and fierceness. The lion is the king of the animals, but he's also the animal of the kings of Egypt and he's connected, in particular, to the goddesses, many of whom are depicted with lion faces." In fact, above the tomb where the lion was found is a sanctuary dedicated to the feline goddess Bastet. A beloved goddess, Bastet is depicted as having the body of a woman and the head of a lion and of a domestic cat. Bastet also has an alter ego, Sekhmet, a woman with the head of a lioness, who represents the darker side of the goddess. Together, they're believed to represent the two-faced nature of women. However, since the lion was a male, Zivie does not think it was dedicated to Bastet or Sekhmet, but instead could have been the incarnation of Sekhmet's son, the god Mahes. "This is logical," Zivie said. "Mahes was very much revered in the city of Leontopolis, which is known as the city of the lion. We know he bred lions in this city, near a farm there." The animal belongs to the later Bubasteion catacombs connected to the cult of animals that was particularly important in Late and Hellenistic Egypt. "This was not the time of Tutankhamen, and not the lion of Tutankhamen. It's much later," said Zivie. "We're sure the lion is connected to the late burials of cats. But the fact that the discovery is in the tomb of Maïa gives it a touch of beauty and excitement."

Full of Surprises

In the November 2003 issue of National Geographic magazine, Zivie wrote about his recent discovery of a 3,300-year-old tomb belonging to a guardianof temple treasures under the reign of radical Pharaoh Akhenaten. (See excerpt and photos.) Inscriptions on the tomb reveal the guardian owner had two names, Raiay and Hatiay, and that he built the tomb for himself and his wife, Maïa, though the two were never buried there. Zivie believes that Maïa may be the same woman who was the wet-nurse to Tutankhamen. Zivie is now heading back to Egypt to work on the Saqqara site. But he's not looking for more discoveries. "Our project now is to work more on the conservation of the tomb and the site," he said. "We have a great deal of discoveries, which we have to swallow before we move on. But I hope we will make new discoveries in the future. This is a fantastic site full of surprises."

Mummified lion unearthed in Egypt

Archaeologists have uncovered the first example of a lion mummified by the ancient Egyptians, in the tomb of the woman who helped rear King Tutankhamun. Although the breeding and burial of lions as sacred animals in Egypt is mentioned by ancient sources, to date no one had found a mummified specimen. The male lion is amongst the largest known to science and its bones show it lived to an old age in captivity. Details of the discovery are published in the scientific journal Nature. The lion was found in a tomb at Saqqara in northern Egypt belonging to Maia, wet nurse to Tutankhamun, who was buried in about 1430 BC. However, in the last centuries BC, the tomb was re-used for the burial of humans and then animals - mostly mummified cats. French archaeologists Alain Zivie, Cecile Callou and Anaick Samzun unearthed the remains of the big cat in November 2001. It comprises the virtually complete skeleton of a lion (Panthera leo) which was once mummified.

Bred for mummification
Analysis of the teeth, particularly the wear on them, show that the lion lived to be very old and must have been kept in captivity. Alan Lloyd, professor of classics and ancient history at the University of  Wales, Swansea, told BBC News Online: "The lion is a creature that has a long association with the king [of Egypt]. "The king was thought of as a lion and as having the qualities of a lion. The qualities the Egyptians were interested in, of course, were martial." In the last few centuries BC, Egypt was under invasion by waves of outsiders, from Iraq, Nubia (which today comprises parts of Sudan and Egypt) and Greece. The surge of interest in animal cults may be the ancient Egyptians' way of asserting their identity in the presence of these newcomers. "I think this should be regarded as an expression of Egyptian nationalism," said Professor Lloyd.

Cats and dogs
Inscriptions suggest lions were bred in special animal precincts and buried in sacred cemeteries. But so far none has been found. Professor Lloyd said he had heard rumours in the early 1970s of a mummified lion being found in Egypt. However, the person excavating the lion apparently was not interested in it and the location of the find was lost. During the last few centuries BC, the site at Saqqara where the lion was buried was dedicated to the feline goddess Bastet. The lion was found lying on a rock with its head turned north and its body orientated toward the east. Its bone measurements are amongst the largest ever recorded for a male lion. In addition to cats, the Egyptians also mummified dogs, birds, snakes and monkeys.
Fuente con fotografías:


Bones Confirm Lion's Sacred Place in Ancient Egypt

Scientists have found the first complete skeleton of a lion in a tomb in the Nile valley -- a discovery they say confirms its sacred status in ancient Egypt. The adult male skeleton that was buried about 2,000 years ago was unearthed at Saqqara near the entrance to the much older tomb of Maia, the wet nurse of King Tutankhamun. Researchers had been aware of the lion's importance in ancient Egypt from inscriptions and text but there had been no physical evidence to back it up. "This is the first," Alain Zivie, of the CNRS institute in Paris, told Reuters. "It is very interesting and important because we have a complete skeleton." The animal was mummified and buried among the cats' catacombs that were created in the last century BC at a site dedicated to the feline goddess Bastet. The undisturbed skeleton, found lying on a rock with its head facing northwards and with its body orientated to the east, confirms that lions were alive in Egypt in the last centuries BC, the researchers said. It was bred in captivity and probably died naturally. "The existence of lions during the time of the pharaohs has been frequently described, but to our knowledge this is the first complete skeleton to be found in Egypt," Zivie and his colleagues said in a report in the science journal Nature. Although the skeleton was found in a tomb dating back to about 1430 BC, it was buried much later when the tomb was reused. "It is not connected archaeologically to Tutankhamun's time. It is a late lion in this tomb," said Zivie, whose work was founded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in France under the supervision of the Supreme Council of Antiquities in Egypt.



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