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Nuevos hallazgos arqueológicos en Egipto

 

12/12/04

Mummies on Show
The tomb of a member of a powerful family that governed a swathe of western Egypt about 2,500 years ago was unveiled today, along with a dozen recently discovered mummies from Roman times.

The mummies are among 400 to 500 located in what Egypt has dubbed the Valley of the Golden Mummies – grounds where thousands were believed entombed. The rare limestone sarcophagus that covered Badi-Herkhib – the elder brother of a governor of Bahariya who lived around 500 B.C. – was discovered last week, allowing archaeologists to more closely study a family that ruled this part of Egypt. “This family was so powerful, so wealthy, that they could import the limestone from about 62 miles away,” said Mansour Boraik, a senior archaeologist who oversees the Bahariya site. The large sarcophagus was several inches thick and estimated to weigh 15 tons. Zahi Hawass, Egypt’s chief archaeologist, said the discovery of Badi-Herkhib’s tomb was unexpected.“As a matter of fact, the family tree did not mention the person we found,” said Hawass. He said the tomb was robbed during the Roman era. A dozen mummies from middle-class backgrounds were also displayed in their family tomb in a different part of the burial grounds. The mummies, most in a deteriorated condition lying in neat rows, were found in three burial chambers. The mummies were part of a group of about 20 that were found last week. Boraik estimates that 400-500 mummies of 15,000 total have been found so far in the cemetery. The mummies discovered last week were not gilded, according to Boraik. The Egyptian antiquities council had said otherwise last week. Greek goldcoins found with the mummies were believed to be left to bribe the ferryman in the afterlife. X-rays have been taken of over 50 mummies to allow scientists to examine the causes of death and other details, Hawass said. The Bahariya site, the largest excavation in Egypt, is known for its relics from the Greco-Roman period. The cemetery, 2.3sq miles, is located 235 miles southwest of Cairo 

Fuente: Scotsman.com

 

11/12/04

- La Gran Esfinge podría haber sido construida por Dyedefra -

'Answer' found to riddle of Sphinx
The riddle of the Sphinx has confounded generations of tourists and experts alike. Who built it, why, and what does it mean? Now a leading Egyptologist believes that he has pieced together the puzzle. After researching the pyramids of the Giza Plateau and their imposing half-human, half-animal guardian for 20 years, Vassil Dobrev of the French Archaeological Institute in Cairo has concluded that the Sphinx was the work of a forgotten pharaoh. For many years, it has been held that Khafre,a king of the Fourth Dynasty whose pyramid sits behind the Sphinx, built the monument in his own likeness. But Mr Dobrev believes the Sphinx was in fact created more than four and a half thousand years ago by Djedefre, Khafre's half brother and the son of Khufu, the builder of the Great Pyramid at Giza. When Khufu died, the people of ancient Egypt were weary, having spent decades building pyramids, says Mr Dobrev. He argues that Djedefre, who succeeded Khufu as pharaoh, built the monument in the image of his father, identifying him with the sun god Ra, as a piece of propaganda to restore respect for the dynasty. In a documentary for television channel Five, Secrets of the Sphinx, to be shown next Tuesday, Mr Dobrev challenges the accepted version of the origins of the Sphinx and the reign of Djedefre, who came close to being written out of ancient history. "This is the first time it has been proposed that the Sphinx has been built after the death of Khufu by his son Djedefre," said Mr Dobrev. While Khufu and Khafre constructed towering pyramids at Giza, Djedefre built a smaller pyramid several kilometres away at Abu Roash. This led the American archaeologist, George Reisner, who excavated the Giza Plateau in the 1930s and wrote the definitive book about the site, to portray Djedefre as an outcast who murdered his elder brother, the heir to the throne. "We have absolutely no evidence to support this, but it was written in a very famous book - and slowly it became the rule," Mr Dobrev said. Unlike modern-day tourists, who approach the Giza Plateau from the east, from Cairo, ancient Egyptians would have come to the site from the south from Memphis, the capital of the old kingdom, Mr Dobrev argues. From this direction, it is seen in profile, with Khufu's Great Pyramid behind it. Djedefre was the first pharaoh to insert the name of the sun god Ra in his own cartouche, supporting the theory that he built the Sphinx to represent his father as the deity. Mr Dobrev also believes that the discovery in 1955 of two dismantled wooden boats, buried beside the Great Pyramid beneath stones bearing Djedefre's name, show that he was an important and long-lived ruler who wished to ease his father's passage through the afterlife. "I think some scholars will have mixed reactions," Mr Dobrev said. "People will be surprised that we can still have something new to say about Djedefre. His reign has to be completely reviewed. It was a longer reign and a more important reign than we thought." Robert Partridge, the editor of Ancient Egypt magazine and a lecturer at Manchester University, believes that while Mr Dobrev puts forward a logical argument, there is insufficient evidence to prove his theory. "The fact that Djedefre's name is found at Giza is not surprising. It was the duty of a son to complete the burial of his father," Mr Partridge said. He favours a theory published in the latest edition of Ancient Egypt by the geologist Colin Reader, who argues that the Sphinx was built before the Great Pyramid and therefore could not be the work of Khufu, Khafre or Djedefre.

Fuente: The Independent online.

   

09/12/04

Huge statue for wife of Ramses II unearthed 
Culture Minister Farouk Hosni decided to carry out an urgent plan for developing and restoring the archaeological area of Tel Basta, Sharkia governorate, to be turned into an open museum as it is one of the most important capitals of Ancient Egypt.  Meantime, the Supreme Council for Antiquities SCA Secretary- General Zahi Hawas said that the area would be put at the top of the monumental map, especially after the unearthing of the huge statue of the Princess Merit Amoun, the daughter and wife of king Ramses II that was restored and established at the entrance of the area. Mohamad Abdel Maqsoud, Lower Egypt and Sinai antiquities manager said that the project of setting up the statue in Tel Basta is considered a completion for the open Museum project and will cost around L.E. 10 million.  

   

08/12/04
Egyptian mission unearths 20 golden Mummies

Culture Minister Farouq Hosni announced yesterday that the Egyptian archaeological mission operating in Bahreya Oases in Giza governorate unearthed 20 golden mummies similar to those discovered before in the golden mummies valley in the area. This brings to 234 the number of discovered mummies so far, the minister said in press statements. Hosni said that the mission, headed by Supreme Council of Antiquities ,(SCA) Secretary General Zahi Hawas, also found with the mummies 50 bronze coins the deceased had kept to pay for his crossing to the other world via special boats for that purpose. Hawas said another mission working in Sheikh Sobi area, located inside Al-Baweiti city in Bahreya Oases, unearthed a new tomb belonging to a member of the family of High Priest Badi Isis. He added that inside the tomb there was a five-meter-deep burial well which houses a limestone sarcophagus and a set of potteries. Hawas said that initial examination of the sarcophagus indicates it has been opened before, expecting to find no mummy inside.
Fuente: EOL

 

07/12/04

Ancient Egyptian man lived in Toshka eight thousand years ago 
The US- Egyptian excavation committee unearthed an archaeological monument in the Western Desert. The committee asserted that the ancient Egyptians in the Pre-Historic Age lived in Toshka.  Culture Minister Farouk Hosni said that the excavation committee discovered some paintings which date back to eight thousand years ago. Dr. Zahi Hawas, Secretary of the Supreme Council for Antiquities said that the excavation committee also found some animal skeletons and cereal warehouses which confirm this historical fact. 

 
07/12/04
Egipto.- Una misión arqueológica egipcia descubre veinte momias cubiertas de
oro en el oasis de Bahariya

EL CAIRO, 7 Dic. (EUROPA PRESS)
Una misión arqueológica egipcia descubrió veinte momias cubiertas de oro en el oasis de Bahariya (400 kilómetros al suroeste de El Cairo), con lo que ya son 234 las momias de ese tipo halladas en el "Valle de las Momias de Oro", anunció hoy el ministro egipcio de Cultura."Las viente momias están cubiertas con una lámina de oro como las que se habían descubierto en el pasado en el "Valle de las Momias de Oro", afirmó Faruk Hosni en un comunicado enviado a la AFP. "Cerca de las momias se hallaron cincuenta monedas de bronce", agregó. "Esas piezas eran para que el difunto pudiera pagar la barca funeraria que lo trasladaba al otro mundo", precisó el Ministerio. Los antiguos egipcios creían en una vida más allá de la muerte y por ello momificaban los cadáveres para que el alma del difunto hallase su cuerpo en el mundo de las tinieblas. También ponían alimentos y diversos objetos de la vida cotidiana junto al cadáver para que la persona los utilizase en su otra vida.

  

01/12/04

Descubren los mismos restos de escarabajos en una momia del Museo Egipcio de Barcelona que en la de Ramsés II.
Los resultados de la autopsia de la momia Dama de Kemet del Museo Egipcio de Barcelona han desvelado la presencia de restos de escarabajos conocidos como 'escuadrones de la muerte', también hallados en la momia del faraón Ramsés II, según anunció hoy el director del estudio, Albert Isidro. El descubrimiento permite afirmar que la Dama de Kemet, datada entre los 150 y 200 años D.C., sufrió un proceso de momificación considerado de primera categoría y similar a la de un miembro de la familia real, como es el caso del faraón Ramsés II, 1.500 años anterior a la Dama de Kemet. Isidro destacó la aplicación de "última tecnología analítica en los restos de la momia" utilizados en "centros de referencia" como el Museo Británico, el Museo del Louvre y el Museo Egipcio de Turín, entre otros. En el examen endoscópico, iniciado en febrero, participaron especialistas del Hospital Clínic de Barcelona, de la Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona, del Museo Textil y de la Indumentaria de Terrassa (Barcelona) y del Museo de Zoología de Barcelona. La endoscopia, que se efectuó a través de dos orificios de ocho milímetros de la parte inferior de la momia, permitió la obtención de muestras de hueso y de tejido blando. Los resultados constataron la presencia de insectos necrófagos como el 'escarabajo del jamón' y 'carcoma del tabaco' que actúan en la fase seca del cadáver, entre los ocho y dieciocho meses después de la muerte, explicó el director. Isidro afirmó que por el momento se desconocen las causas de la muerte de la dama, al tiempo que añadió que se están efectuando investigaciones para obtener ADN de la momia y descubrirlas. Además, señaló que también se están llevando a cabo análisis espectofotométricos para ver si se encuentran sustancias como nicotina, cannabis, o bien, opio. La Dama de Kemet, momia egipcia de época tardía, llegó a la colección de arqueología egipcia de Jordi Clos en 1998 "con un estado de conservación precario" y en 1999 fue sometida a una primera autopsia, explicó Isidro.
Fuente: EuropaPress

 

18/11/04
- Más sobre el sarcófago hallado en Dra Abu el Naga -
A unique discovery

EARLIER this month, at Luxor's Dra'a Abul-Naga necropolis, next to the remains of King Nub-Kheper-Re Intef's brick pyramid, German archaeologists discovered a 13th dynasty sarcophagus while excavating in an unknown tomb- shaft, reports Nevine El-Aref.

While brushing the sand off the bottom of the shaft, an antechamber appeared. A second, smaller one soon became visible. Deeper excavation revealed a third chamber, along with a huge decorated wooden sarcophagus that nearly blocked its entrance. "It is really one of the largest sarcophagi of its kind," said Culture Minister Farouk Hosni, who said tomb robbers had been unable to enter the burial chamber, and had instead broken through it at the bottom and emptied it out.
Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA) Secretary-General Zahi Hawass said the outer part of the sarcophagus bears carved horizontal inscriptions featuring its owner's name, Imeny, while its entire interior is decorated with colourful, beautifully preserved depictions and coffin text inscriptions. Hawass said another part of the sarcophagus featured a vertical column inscribed with the name of Imeny's wife, Gehset. Interestingly, the inscriptions on the inner wooden coffin are also dedicated to her. This, Hawass suggested, probably meant the sarcophagus was originally prepared for Imeny, but was then, for reasons unknown, used to bury his wife. Upper Egypt antiquities director Holayel Ghali said preliminary studies of both the sarcophagus and the pottery found nearby (including beer ontainers, and the skull and foreleg of a calf), suggest that the sarcophagus dates back to the late 13 dynasty, making it the first coffin of its type to be found in the Theban necropolis since the 1820s, when a similar sarcophagus, belonging to a lady named Mentohotep, was found.
"It is an absolutely unique piece," said Daniel Polz, head of the German excavation mission. Polz said that once the sarcophagus was removed from the shaft and carefully studied, it should be put on display at the Luxor Museum, which only houses a few objects from the earlier part of the Second Theban Intermediate Period -- the period that ultimately paved the ground for the expulsion of the Hyksos from the Delta, and the establishment of subsequent New Kingdom dynasties.

Fuente: Al Ahram Weekly

 

21/11/04
- Misión canadiense desentierra una fortaleza en el desierto del Sinaí -
Canadian dig unearths Sinai desert fortress

TORONTO - A Canadian archeological expedition in Egypt has uncovered the remains of a 4,200-year-old fortress near the Red Sea coast in the Sinai Desert, a discovery that sheds some light on life at the time when the Great Pyramids were built. Details of the discovery will be published soon in the Bulletin of the American School of Oriental Research, and archeologists say it offers important clues on what was going on during the last years of the period in Egypt called the Old Kingdom (2700-2200 BC).
The team first learned of the site two years ago -- and returned this past summer -- while mapping archeological sites in the Sinai Desert. Led by a brief report of ruins in the area of Ras Budran and information from local Bedouin, they went south along the Red Sea coast to the remains of the fort. Project director Gregory Mumford recalls shrieking: "Wow, this is massive!'' when the team first surveyed what was on the surface. They did not have time to conduct a formal excavation and left after doing a survey of the surface remains with the belief that the ruins dated from no earlier than 1500 BC. But this past summer, the team returned to Ras Budran and excavated the site. They found that the fortress walls were seven metres thick and had an unusual circular shape that gave the fort a diameter of 44 metres. And the walls were not built with the more commonly used mud brick but with limestone blocks.
Geo-archeologist Dr. Lawrence Pavlish, who was part of the survey team in the summer of 2003, said it made a "good checkpoint'' for anyone travelling down the Red Sea coast of the Sinai Peninsula in the ancient world. The pottery found at the site  indicated that it was older than originally thought, dating to around 2250 BC, in the sixth dynasty of Old Kingdom Egypt. Mumford believes that the construction of the fort was likely an act of desperation by ancient Egypt, which was in a state of war with people who lived in the Sinai at the time called the Bedwin -- direct ancestors of the modern Bedouin. Egypt was "going on the defensive,'' he said. Archeological evidence reveals that the fort was occupied for "perhaps a year'' before it was abandoned, Mumford added. He said surveys of the Sinai Peninsula has found evidence of numerous ancient campsites made by the Bedwin.
The existence of the fort, and its short-term occupation, supports a theory popular among Egyptologists that ancient Egypt's war in the Sinai as well as with the Nubians in the modern Sudan was an important factor in the collapse of Egyptian civilization by 2200 BC. Egypt didn't recover for more than 200 years, and even then never built pyramids or undertook building projects as large as those in the Old Kingdom. The team that excavated the site is one of only two active Canadian archeological expeditions in Egypt. Canada has only a handful of Egyptologists employed in universities across the country. The Sinai expedition was staffed almost entirely by Canadians with support from the Egyptian Supreme Council of Antiquities. It was funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, the American Research Centre in Egypt and private donors.

Fuente: CTV.ca

Fotografías de la Fortaleza descubierta en la web de la Misión arqueológica.

 

12/11/04
- Más sobre el sarcófago hallado en Luxor y nueva fotografía -
First wooden coffin of 13th dynasty unearthed in Luxor

Culture Minister Farouk Hosni said the first wooden sarcophagus that dates back to the 13th Dynasty in ancient Egypt was unearthed inside an unmarked tomb in the area of Dra'a Abul- Naga, near the pyramid of King Nob-Khebar Ra-antaf. In statements yesterday Hosni said that the discovered coffin is the first of its kind in the Thebes cemetery since 1820, when a similar one of a womancalled Mentohotep was unearthed. Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA) Secretary General Zahi Hawas said that the find was made by a mission from the German Archaeological Institute in Cairo during excavation works inside a burial chamber in an unmarked tomb inUpper Egypt. He said that the wooden sarcophagus was found in good condition but is broken at one side, the one prised open by thieves to steal contents inside, on which hieroglyphic inscriptions were encarved, showing the tomb inhabitant's name, Emni.
  

09/11/04
- Sarcófago hallado en Luxor -
Rare wooden sarcophagus found in Egypt

Cairo - German archaeologists have discovered a rare wooden Pharaonic sarcophagus in the southern city of Luxor, the first such find in nearly two centuries, the Egyptian Supreme Council of Antiquities said on Tuesday. Halil Ghali, a senior antiquities official for southern Egypt, said the empty sarcophagus, from the 13th Dynasty (1785-1680 BC), "is believed to be the biggest of its type". It is 2,7m long, 1,5m high and one metre wide. A hieroglyphic inscription on its face revealed that it belonged to an official called "Amni", said the council. But a member of the team said an inscription found inside indicated it was originally made for a woman, Jehset, believed to be Amni's wife. "We have not yet determined why it was redone and assigned to her husband," said the German expert. No body was found inside the sarcophagus, which was believed to have been pillaged by robbers. Other inscriptions were found on the inside surface, as well as drawings, one of which depicted a funerary scene. The sarcophagus was found in a chamber with three rooms. Two of the rooms were built facing west. The third and smaller room, in which the sarcophagus had been laid, was facing the north, the council said. The sarcophagus was more or less intact, with only minor damage. Many items that should have been in the sarcophagus were not, including several pieces of gold amulets, according to the council. Only a few pieces of pottery were left. "A similar but smaller sarcophagus was discovered in 1820," said Zahi Hawas, secretary general of the council. "It belonged to the same period and a woman called 'Mentohetip'." - Sapa-AFP
Fuente: IOL
Más Información:
http://tinyurl.com/3jk79
http://tinyurl.com/6mo9t
 

 

31/10/04

Ancient tomb containing 6 mummies unearthed in new valley

- Desenterrada una antigua tumba que contenía 6 momias en Al-Deir, en el Oasis de Kharga -
The French archaeological mission operating in the Al-Deir area in the Kharga oasis unearthed a Ptolemaic-era tomb containing six complete mummies and two limestone sarcophagi.  A source from the Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA) Saturday said that large parts of a funerary bed emblazoned with numerous painted shapes with palm-fibre rug beside it were found for the first time inside this discovered tomb.  The six mummies include a 155-CM-long elderly man, he said adding examinations on the mummy showed a diseased pelvis and decayed teeth with arms closed to the chest in god Osiris fashion.  Another mummy is of decapitated four-year-old and six-year- old boys. Another mummy is of a decapitated 137-centimeters-long girl with six toes in each foot and another of an aged woman measuring 150 centimeters long.  Meanwhile, SCA Secretary General Zahi Hawas delivered a series of lectures in the Italian capital Rome on recent archaeological finds at the Great pyramid with a host of archaeologists from Italian universities and Egyptomaniacs attending. 

 

21/10/04

SCA resumes excavations at Mummies Valley in Bahreya Oases 

- El SCA hace un resumen d las excavaciones en el Valle de las Momais de Oro -
Minister of Culture Farouq Hosni gave the green light to the Egyptian mission to resume excavation works in an area known as the Valley of Mummies in the Bahreya Oases in Giza governorate. 
Dr. Zahi Hawas, Secretary-General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA), said in statements on Wednesday that the Egyptian mission would not use foreign help during unearthing operations which were suspended three years ago. 
Hawas added that the work of the mission in the past five years was carried out with pure Egyptian expertise. 
The SCA Chief said that he would lead the mission, which will start its job early next month to unravel the secrets of this valley. 
The excavation is expected to result in finding a number of mummies of Pharaonic Egypt to be added to the 249 ones discovered in the past which date back to the 26th Dynasty.

 

20/10/04

Important archaeological discoveries in Eastern Desert unearthed 

- Importantes descubrimientos arqueológicos en el Desierto Oriental - Tumbas -
An excavtation mission under Minnesota University in the US which is conducting excacavations in Wadi Qum Heleeg in Sharqeya desert unearthed 132 engravings dating back to pre-historic ages. Dr. Zahi Hawas, Secretary General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities said yesterday that the mission found out drawings of cattle as well as pictures of a flock tied to persons, noting that the there was breeding up of livestock in pre-historic eras in this area.

 

09/09/04

Archaeological cave dating back to 4th century unearthed in south Sinai 

- Cueva arqueológica que data de hace cuatro siglos ha sido desenterrada en la zona sur del Sinaí - 
The mission of the Supreme Council of Antiquities announced the unearthing of archaeological cave dating back to the 4th century in Pharaoh Hamam area in Sinai.   The discovery is the first of its kind in South Sinai Governorate, asser ed the mission, noting that the cave still has some of its internal details that reveal the life style and the ancient practices.   The cave keeps several colors including red and black in addition to some ancient Hellenistic writings. Meanwhile, Mohamed Said Sawi, general manager of Sinai antiquities department said that the Supreme Council of Antiquities allotted L.E. 200,000 to project sector and L.E. 50,000 to excavation work, due to the great importance of this archaeological discovery. 
 

03/09/04
Archaeologists have found a 2 500-year-old tomb near Egypt's ancient pyramids in Giza.

- Arqueólogos hallan una tumba de 2500 años cerca de las antiguas pirámides de Giza -
According to Zahi Hawass, who heads the excavation team as well as Egypt's Supreme Council of Antiquities, the team located the tomb using radar and then dug to a depth of about 10 metres before unearthing some of its contents. "We still need to excavate another ten metres before reaching the sarcophagus and discovering the identity of the occupant, which will take another one or two months," he said. The team found a box of 400 small statues which the ancient Egyptians believed helped the deceased in the afterlife. Hawass said the tomb from the 26th dynasty was located between the Sphinx and the Khafre pyramid on the Giza plateau, popular tourist sites that draw thousands of visitors from allover the world each year. The pyramids themselves were built about 4 500 years ago, during the 4th dynasty.
Fuente: IOL
Más Información:
http://tinyurl.com/6ol5c
http://tinyurl.com/4y9bb
Fotografias:
http://tinyurl.com/6xur5
http://tinyurl.com/6u3n6
http://msnbc.msn.com/id/5899361/
 
29/08/04
Dos franceses creen haber dado con la cámara funeraria de Keops. Egipto niega los permisos para verificar el descubrimiento

Gilles Dormion y Jean-Yves Verd´hurt, dos franceses aficionados a la arqueología, piensan aclarar uno de los grandes misterios de la egiptología al haber detectado la existencia de una estancia desconocida en la pirámide de Keops (2560-2535 antes de Cristo). Según sus investigaciones, podría tratarse de la cámara funeraria del célebre faraón cuya momia no ha sido localizada todavía. Pero las autoridades egipcias les niegan, hasta ahora, los permisos para hacer las comprobaciones necesarias para verificar la hipótesis. "El descubrimiento de la cámara funeraria de Keops sería el mayor hallazgo desde que Champollion descubriera la piedra de Rosetta. Tutankamon no era más que un pequeño rey comparado con él", afirma el profesor Nicolas Grimal, del Colegio de Francia, en declaraciones al diario francés Libération , que consagraba ayer un amplio reportaje a este tema. Dormion y Verd´hurt informan sobre su descubrimiento en el libro La chambre  de Chéops. analyse architecturale (Editions Fayard), que saldrá a la venta la semana próxima. Su hipótesis sitúa la misteriosa estancia debajo la sala de la Reina y aseguran que para verificarlo bastaría con perforar un  agujero de 15 milímetros y pasar por él un endoscopio para explorar el subsuelo. Pero pese al apoyo de reputados egiptólogos, las autoridades egipcias les han denegado hasta ahora el acceso.

UNA SIMPLE HIPOTESIS

La dirección de Antigüedades egipcias dice que no se puede permitir excavar las pirámides basándose en "una simple" hipótesis. "Teorías como ésta las hay a diario", declara Zahi Hawas, responsable de este departamento en el museo del Cairo: "Son alucinaciones, nosotros los científicos debemos proteger las pirámides contra aficionados como Dormion y Verd´hurt", concluye. Dormion, técnico en un estudio de Arquitectura delNorte de Francia, no defiende ninguna teoría sino que se basa en observaciones realizadas en la estructura de la pirámide desde 1986. Gracias a este sistema los dos franceses revelaron ya en el 2000 la existencia de curiosas anomalías y los estudios realizados con georradares por debajo de la sala de la Reina han puesto en evidencia la presencia de una estructura de un posible pasillo que podría conducir a la verdadera cámara funeraria del faraón.

Fuente: La Voz de Asturias
 
Más información:

http://weekly.ahram.org.eg/2004/706/eg10.htm

http://www.guardian.co.uk/worldlatest/story/0,1280,-4473237,00.html
http://dsc.discovery.com/news/afp/20040830/cheopstomb.html
http://abc.net.au/science/news/scitech/SciTechRepublish_1188387.htm
http://www.lalibre.be/article.phtml?id=5&subid=103&art_id=181387

"Dormion et Verd'hurt exposent leur thèse à Grenoble":
http://permanent.nouvelobs.com/culture/20040906.OBS6267.html
"Polémique autour de Chéops et de sa chambre secrète":
http://www.lemonde.fr/web/imprimer_article/0,1-0@2-3244,36-377597,0.html
"Chambre secrète de Khéops: deux français revendiquent la paternité de la découverte... à venir":
http://permanent.nouvelobs.com/societe/20040908.FAP8432.html?1703 
Reacciones de los Egiptólogos:
http://tinyurl.com/3oxre
Entrevista con Gilles Dormion:
http://tinyurl.com/4hfez
Reacción de Zahi Hawass:
http://tinyurl.com/3sj99

Entrevista a través de chat con el Egiptólogo Jean-Pierre Corteggiani: Que cache la pyramide de Chéops?

Dossier sobre el descubrimiento de la nueva cámara por Gilles y Dormion, en la web del College de France:

La chambre de Chéops, á propos de l´ouvrage paru aux éditions Fayard

"France agrees with Egypt's banning two Egyptologists from making hole in Khufu's pyramid":
http://www.sis.gov.eg/online/html11/o110924d.htm
http://www.arabicnews.com/ansub/Daily/Day/040911/2004091123.html
"L'hypothétique chambre secrète de la grande pyramide"
http://www.lemonde.fr/web/article/0,1-0@2-3244,36-378469,0.html
Chéops: une autre chambre funéraire?"
http://www.egypt.edu/actualite/2004/040914/14septembre01.htm
   
26/08/04
More than 100 tombs unearthed

- Más de 100 tumbas desenterradas -
An excavating team of the Supreme Council for Antiquities (SCA) has recently reported finding 110 tombs at the site of Manshaat Ezzat at Simbellawein, Dakahlia Governorate. The tombs found to date back to the late pre-dynasties age up until the mid first dynasty comprised three chambers : two storehouses and a burial room. Among the items found in the tomb is a 23X5 cm panel bearing splendid inscriptions that resemble inscriptions on the famous Narmer panel Excavator also found plates, alabaster cylindrical pots of different sizes and knifes of which one bears sunk relief inscription of King Dn the fourth or fifth ancient Egyptian kings.  The village of Nashaat Ezzat is about 40 kilometers south of Mansoura and about 20 kilometres southwest of Mandis, the capital of ancient Egypt in the age of 29th dynasty (399-379 BC) It Was also the capital of the 16th  province of Upper Egypt in the predestines age. The archaeological site of Nashaat Nasser is an important one that was known before 1998. Most of the area cultivated and it was by sheer coincidence  that its archaeological potential uncovered when a farmer reported ding pottery chard on his land. Excavations maintained by the SCA covered housing agglomeration and a cemetery.
 
26/08/04
Pharaonic tomb uncovered in Cairo, suburbs of Matariya

- Tumba faraónica descubierta en El Cairo, en los suburbios de Matariya -
A domed Pharaonic tomb dating back to the 7th century BC was uncovered in a residential suburb in Cairo, officials at the Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA) said yesterday. SCA Secretary-General Zahi Hawwas said that the tomb was made for a priest during the 26th dynasty. The tomb was found during the construction of a house in the neighborhood, which is known to hold ruins underground. This is the second tomb uncovered in the Matariya neighborhood this month. Over 400 small statue figures were found in the tomb with Hawwas predicting that the number of the tiny statues would reach 408 "as conforming to funeral rituals of that period." Unable to find the tomb entrance, archaeologists removed stones off the dome to enter. They found hieroglyphic writing on a wall indicating the name of the priest but could not continue exploration due to water flooding. SCA official Rida Suleiman said it would take two weeks to clear the water and continue exploration. The Matariya neighborhood is located within an old city named Heliopolis, built by the Romans.
 
18/08/04
Colossal find

- Hallazgo colosal; estatua colosal de Ramses II -
The largest seated statue of the 19th-Dynasty Pharaoh Ramses II yet found is being unearthed in Akhmim.

 
12/08/04
New 6000-year-old Pharaoh tomb found in Aswan

- Nueva tumba de faraón de hace 6000 años hallada en Asuan -
Minister of Culture Dr. Farouq Hosni said that a Belgian mission excavated a tomb sculptured in the rock with a skeleton and funeral furniture inside. The tomb, which was found in Wadi Hosh, Aswan, south Egypt, dates back to the pre-history age (4,000) BC. He said that the analysis clarified that the dead is a lady aged between 40 and 50. Meanwhile,Chairman of the Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA) Dr. Zahi Hawas said on Wednesday that an Australian arrested while prowling around the Sphinx at the pyramids area in Giza recently in search of "the key to the universe" was just an ardent cultist who did no harm to the monument. In statements on Wednesday, Hawas said that Mark  Prisdan, who was arrested recently near the Sphinx, claimed he was a "prophet" and was searching for the key to the universe with the Pharaohs. The man was nabbed some 50 metres from the Sphinx, Hawas said, adding that  the man was not digging under the monument.  Prisdan tried several times to obtain a license for excavation near the statue but his request was rejected until he was caught with digging tools  near the monument, said Hawas. There are many  Westerners who are obsessed with the mysteries of the ancient Egyptians and get carried away by their extreme infatuation with the  Pyramids. This deep obsession feeds their fancies and hone their innovative minds to wave superstitious  tales that put them in the spotlights, harping  on the fame of the Pyramids and the Sphinx, added Hawas. Meanwhile, Hawas said that a Singaporean university is currently embarking  on designing a robot to explore the bowels of the Great pyramid of Cheops,  said Chairman of the Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA) Dr. Zahi Hawas. In statements on Wednesday, Hawas said that the manufacturing of the robot  will start in October, with the Singaporean university footing of the bill. The exploration of Cheops mysteries will likely start next year, said Hawas, noting that the stone doors inside the Great pyramid could not just be there as an ornament. They must have a function and hide something behind them, he said, adding that they could not just be there for dead King Cheops to slip through on his journey to heaven, as is widely believed. Egypt has 118 pyramids scattered in various areas, but they have no such doors, he said. Their omni-presence inside Cheops must have reasons that should be revealed to help researchers answer many questions about ancient Egyptians, he added. This will be the second robotic experiment after the American National Geographic Society conducted an unsuccessful first attempt inside the Great Pyramid in September 2002, when the robot was stopped in its tracks by a wall. The mystery of the Great Pyramid further deepened when archaeologists penetrated a 4,5OO-year-old blocked shaft only to find another stone blocking their way. 

 

04/08/04
Placa antigua encontrada en Sharqiah

Una placa de piedra caliza fue encontrada en el pueblo Al-Etihad en la provincia de Sharqiah. La placa contiene grabados antiguos egipcios que muestran a una persona que presenta sacrificios a los Dioses. También se puede ver parte de un cartucho de un emperador romano. El Dr. Zahi Hawass, Secretario General del Consejo Supremo de Antigüedades Egipcias, va a formar un equipo de excavación para desenterrar más monumentos en el área y registrar las pieza descubierta. Allí podría encontrarse un templo de Época Romana.

Fuente: Egypt on line

(Ancient plaque found in Sharqiah - A limestone plaque was found in Al-Etihad village in Sharqiah governorate.The plaque contained ancient Egyptian engravings that embodied a person who presents sacrifices for the Gods. It also showed part of one kartouch for a Romanian Emperor. Dr. Zahi Hawas,Secretary General for Supreme Council for Antiquities, is to form an excavation mission to unearth more monuments in the area and to register the discovered piece. A site of a Romanian Age temple might be discovered there, Hawas said.)

 

01/08/04
Builders Find Ancient Tomb in Cairo Suburb
- Descubierta tumba del Imperio Nuevo en un suburbio de El Cairo -

CAIRO (Reuters) - Builders laying the foundations for a mosque in northeast Cairo found a tomb dating from the Pharaonic period intact but submerged in ground water up to the ceiling of the tomb, official sources said Sunday.  The tomb contains an unopened basalt sarcophagus, slivers of gold dedicated to the ancient Egyptian gods Isis and Horus, and inscriptions showing the tomb belonged to a man called Ankh Khansu Derat Hor, the official news agency MENA said. It also has the four Canopic jars in which ancient Egyptians tried to preserve the liver, stomach, lungs and intestines.  The head of the Supreme Council for Antiquities, Zahi Hawass, said the tomb dated from the New Kingdom, which lasted from the 16th to the 11th century BC.  "The walls of the tomb are beautifully inscribed, with reliefs, so I think it could be an important person. The problem is the water table," he told Reuters.  Egyptian archaeologists are thinking of ways to move the whole tomb to higher ground, out of the water, he added.  At a separate site at the ancient town of Akhmim in southern Egypt, while digging foundations for a religious school, workers found remains of an ancient temple and pieces of a giant statue of the pharaoh Ramses II, MENA said.  Ramses II, who ruled the country for much of the 13th century BC, was one of ancient Egypt's most prolific builders.  The full statue would be 40 feet tall and the head alone weighs about two tons, it added.  The antiquities authorities plan to clear a modern cemetery to allow for more excavation work, it said. 

Más información:
http://tinyurl.com/6msf9 

En castellano:

http://tinyurl.com/449kb 

 

01/08/04
Huge statue of Ramses II found

- Hallada una estatua colosal de Ramses II -
Cairo - Egyptian archaeologists recently discovered parts of what appears to be the biggest yet statue of ancient Egyptian Pharaoh Ramses II. Sabri Abdel Aziz, an official at the Egyptian Higher Council for Antiquities (HCA), said on Sunday that an Egyptian mission had recently discovered thehead, chest and base of a statue of Ramses II (1298-1235 BC). The discovery was made in the city of Akhmim, 474 km south of Cairo. The statue, depicting Ramses II in a sitting posture, was believed to havestood 12 metres high, Abdel Aziz said, and dates from the ninth dynasty Ramses II, also known as Ramses the Great, was the third ruler of the 19th Dynasty and one of the most significant of the ancient Egyptian pharaohs. Heis noted among Egyptologists for having built or enlarged more temples during his reign then any other ruler. Search for the rest of the statue in the city is ongoing where an Egyptian excavation mission has been working on the city tomb for three years.
    

15/07/04
Pre-historic homes found in oasis

Halladas viviendas prehistóricas en el Oasis de Farafra

An Italian excavation team succeeded in unearthing a number of archaeological finds in an area called the "hidden valley" in the Oasis of Farafra. They unearthed some residential buildings and quarries dating back to the Stone Age. Rectangular constructions built on a steep mud base were unearthed while the walls were built of millstone. Some red cooking ovens were found inside the constructions, demonstrating that the ovens were once in use a long time. The remains of sheep and cattle were found inside these ovens. The expedition also discovered work-shops for making stone instruments, also finding tools in the form of blades, arrowheads, pick axes and even screw drivers, eroded from usage. Alongside these workshops were found a number of factories specializing in jewellery made from ostrich eggs. They found a number of necklaces and bracelets all made from Ostrich eggs. Remnants of ostrich eggs were found themselves, covered in patterns consisting of parallel lines. The "hidden valley" is really just a closed depression in the land. It was originally part of the sea, filled as it is with fish bones remains.  Chief of the expedition says that these discoveries pr ve the presence of Bedouin tribes, populating such areas, in the pre-historic eras.
These tribes were heavily involved in fishing and raising poultry. They also had a degree of agriculture, proven by the large quantities of plants found there. It is noteworthy that the Farafra Oasis is one of the smallest oases in the Western desert. Its old name is Taa-ee- haa, meaning, the 'land of the cow', a name associated with goddess Hathur. The first time the name Farafra was mentioned was in a text by the 5th  Dynasty about the eloquent peasant, the man  ho corresponded with the  Pharaoh over the injustices of the governor of his province. One Of the most important Pharaonic remains in Farafra Oasis is an old graveyard which consists of a number of graves filled with more than one room, close to the Farafra palace. In Ain al-Khidra there are the walls of homes built from uneven blocks of rock, built according to Roman style. They also found bronze amulets.

 

- Resumen en castellano -

Un equipo italiano consiguió desenterrar varios hallazgos arqueológicos en un área llamada el "valle escondido" en el Oasis de Farafra. El equipo ha desenterrado algunos edificios residenciales y canteras que datan de la Edad de Piedra. Las construcciones rectangulares se construyeron sobre una base de barro mientras que las paredes se levantaron en piedra. En el mismo lugar se han hallado talleres en los que se fabricaban piezas de joyería utilizando huevos de avestruz, así como restos de ovejas y ganado dentro de los hornos instalados en el interior de las edificaciones.
 
15/07/04
Egypt's ancient military

Ejército antiguo de Egipto
A painted limestone stelae showing a complete Ancient Egyptian military unit has been accidentally unearthed in an VIIIth-Dynasty tomb in Upper Egypt. Among the alleyways of the village of Kom Al-Kuffar in the Upper Egyptian town of Qeft, 40 kilometres north of Luxor, archaeologists are inspecting an area inside a complex of rural mud-brick houses where the concrete foundations of a modern bakery are due to be installed. Approval can only be given after complete excavation of the site. A limestone false door of an VIIIth-Dynasty tomb has been uncovered, together with the other features of the tomb. The tomb is small, it has no ceiling and all its features are in pieces. Early studies reveal that itbelonged to a military commander, Shumay, who was governor of the South. While the walls of the tomb were being examined, a well-preserved mud-brick stelae plete military unit of 17 officers holding their arms and standing in a row. Next to them was a row of scribes holding documents. 
"This is the first time we have found a painting like this, showing an early Egyptian military group," says Maha Farid, professor of archaeology at Helwan University, who headed the excavation team. She told Al-Ahram Weeklythat in an attempt to protect the stelae from the summer heat, sunlight and other harmful atmospheric factors, it had been concealed under a mud coveruntil it is removed for restoration. It will be placed on display in the National Museum of Egyptian Civilisation, which is under construction at Fustat in Cairo.
Another well-preserved relief showing the process of cutting stone from Wadi Hammamat for transportation to several sites in Egypt to build awe-inspiring temples and tombs has been also unearthed. This relief dates back to a later period,and features a group of workmen cutting the stones in a quarry while others are pulling the stone blocks. The biography of the tomb's owner written in six hieroglyphic lines has also been found on one of the tomb walls. At the time of its discovery the tomb was in a very poor state. The high level of subterranean water which was damaging the ground has now been pumped out, the walls have been cleaned and consolidated and a five-metre tall, mud-brick fence has been built round it in an attempt to protect it from urban expansion. Archaeologists are now debating the future of the tomb. Some wish to leave it in situ so it can be turned into a tourist site, while others believe that its removal from this  residential area would better ensure its protection. Ali Radwan, head of the General Arab Archaeologists Union, says that if the tomb remains where it is its remarkable relief could easily vanish within few years owing to the high level of  underground and drainage water. "The stelae, the relief and the biography could be taken to the Egyptian Museum and then the site could be given back to the owner so he can build his bakery," Radwan said.

Fuente: Al-Ahram

 

- Resumen en castellano -

Una estela policromada de piedra caliza que muestra una antigua y completa unidad militar egipcia, se ha desenterrado accidentalmente en una tumba de la VIII Dinastía en el Alto Egipto. Entre los callejones de la aldea de Kom Al-Kuffar en el distrito de Qeft, 40 kilómetros al norte de Luxor, los arqueólogos están inspeccionando un área dentro de un complejo de casas rurales hechas de ladrillos de adobe, en donde se pretende instalar una panadería moderna. La aprobación para esta instalación sólo será concedida una vez que se complete la excavación del lugar. Igualmente ha sido descubierta una falsa puerta de caliza en una tumba de la VIII DINASTIA. Esta tumba es pequeña y no tiene techo. Los primeros estudios han revelado que perteneció a un comandante militar, Shumay, que era gobernador del Sur. Mientras las paredes de la tumba se examinaban, se ha hallado una estela de ladrillos de adobe, en buen estado de conservación, en la que se muestra una unidad militar de 17 oficiales sosteniendo sus armas y todos en fila. Junto a ellos, una hilera de escribas sostenie una serie de documentos.

  
15/07/04
Pre-historic inscriptions found in Sinai

Inscripciones prehistóricas halladas en el Sinai
The Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA) expedition, that surveys the South Sinai region, discovered many inscriptions in the Sinai valleys. One of the factors that helped them find these inscriptions is that SouthSinai is rocky and hilly, full of valleys that were used throughout history for transportation and even housing! Not surprisingly then, those who passed through these valleys or resided there, left inscriptions. Those discovered belong to several ages, a matter which led the SCA to setup a committee to collect and study these inscriptions. In the process pre-historic inscriptions were found, in addition to Coptic and early Arab inscriptions. Greek and early Christian inscriptions were found also.

1 -Wadi Al-Rusys, 67 km from Ras Sidr. In this valley, an inscription was found shaped like a woman. Another that of a camel ridden by a man. Another image was found of a cross.
This leads to speculation that this place was used for religious purposes.

2 -Wadi al-Siaa, l0 km from Wadi Al- Rusys, contains Coptic inscriptions on red granite stone, words and animal signs of a religious nature.
3 -Wadi Al-Maktab, contains granite stones inscribed with Coptic writing and early Christian and early Arabic in Kufi style. 4 -Wadi al-Maghara, one of the most famous in South Sinai, in the vicinity of Abur Ridis. It's historygoes back to pre-historic times, in addition to Pharonic and Coptic inscriptions. There are drawings of Pharonic kings during their victories.
5 -Wadi Asla, at the opening of this valley there are old Coptic inscriptions of camels and deer.
6 -Wadi Hiran, contains 18 stones with rare inscriptions.
7 -Wadi Tiwayba, begins from the Egyptian Naqb desert, made up of mountains of sandstone and volcanic rock.
The most distinguished feature of this Wadi are the old Coptic inscriptions, consisting of drawings of animals and people. There are also Greek to and Kufi Arabic writings, dating back to the 2nd and 3rd Hijrah centuries.Of the other important valleys there are: Wadi al-Sahw, Wadi Al-Lihyan, Wadi al-Hamra, Wadi al-Akhbar, Wadi Nistrin and Wadi-Um-Sidrah, all containing inscriptions dating back to the Pharonic, Coptic, Greek and Roman eras. The team registered everything there in preparation for a catalogue thatwill cover these remains that will highlight their historical importance. 

 

- Resumen en castellano -

El Consejo Supremo de Antigüedades Egipcias, inspeccionando la región del sur de Sinai, descubrió numerosas inscripciones de varias épocas que datan desde la prehistoria hasta la época grecorromana.

 
08/07/04
Citadels discovery reveals Pharaonic, Persian military camps

Descubrimiento en la antigua ciudad de Tharo de campamentos militares persas y faraónicos.
Three citadels have been uncovered recently on the old Horus military route at Qantara Sharq, Sinai, as announced by Minister of Culture, Farouk Hosni. The site of the find currently known as Tel Habwa is 30 kilometers east of the SuezCanal. In ancient times it was known as the city of Tharo. The existence of three fortresses, each built on the remains of the other underlines the significance of Tharo as the eastern gateway to the Nile valley, said Dr. Zahi Hawass, Secretary-General of the Supreme Council for Antiquities (SCA). The old Horus route and its fortifications are inscribed on the walls of Al Karnak Temple in Luxor representing the trip of King Seti I following his return from a military mission to secure Egypt's eastern borders. The inscriptions reveal features of the route, including 11 citadels in the  distance between Qantara Sark and Rafah. Dr. Zahi Hawass said that two of the unearthed citadels go back to the Pharaonic age  while the third belongs to the Persian age. The first citadel dates back to the age of the Hyksos (1603-1567 BC). Excavators found that the southern mud brick wall of the citadel is 185 meters 4 long and six meters wide, which indicates that the site was a large  military stronghold for the Hyksos on the eastern borders, meant to protect their capital in Egypt known as Avaris in east Delta. Within the walls of the citadel there were found houses, store- houses, furnaces, and human remains, pottery from Cyprus and pottery from the age of the Hyksos.
Dr. Hawass explained that the second citadel dates back to the New Kingdom in the 18th and 19th dynasties. The citadel was built on the remains of a Hyksos citadel, following the war waged against them by Ahmos. The citadel was restored several times and expanded from the southern side which was found to have double walls to secure extra protection since the citadel overlooks a lake from the southern part. The lake, as Dr. Hawass explained, witnessed the most famous maritime battles against the Hyksos. Beside the wall there were found administrative structures used by the Egyptian army stationed on the site. The area of each of those structures reached about 400 meters. The third citadel of the Persian age (341-332) was found to have no towers. Excavations unearthed pottery segments of the Persian age. These fortifications are among the largest and strongest unearthed on eastern, western and southern borders, said Dr. Mohamed Abdul Maqsoud, Director of Lower Egypt Antiquities. They also reveal the history of military architecture in ancient times.  He pointed out that ancient Egyptian kings were keen to safeguard stability in the country by securing eastern borders and securing the trade route used by convoys. In the reign of Amenhoteb III the route was economically important for the active trade exchange with the east. In the reign of the 19th dynasty King Seti I made a disciplinary campaign against Bedouin tribes in Sinai and he was keen to renew Egyptian domination in the area extending from Tharo to Yubi in Damascus. Ramsis II (1304- 1237 BC) also led his army in the fifth year of his rule from Tharo citadel tomeet the Hitittes at Qadesh. The armies of Tohotmos III (1525-1512 BC) also used the route to reach south Iraq. In the Greco-Roman age, the route played an important role in defending the country and the most famous of their defensive fortresses was at Bolosium at the old Bolosium branch of the Nile.

 

- Resumen en castellano -

Tres ciudadelas se han descubierto recientemente en la antigua miliar ruta de Horus en Qantara Sharq, el Sinai, tal y como ha anunciado el Ministro de Cultura, Farouk Hosni. El sitio del hallazgo actualmente conocido como Tel Habwa se encuentra a 30 kilómetros al este del Canal de Suez, la antigua ciudad de Tharo. La antigua ruta de Horus y sus fortificaciones aparecen inscritas en las paredes del Templo de Karnak, en Luxor, y representan el viaje de regreso de Seti I después de llevar a cabo una misión militar para asegurar las fronteras orientales de Egipto. Las inscripciones revelan las características de la ruta, incluyendo 11 ciudadelas entre Qantara Sark y Rafah. 

 

08/07/04
A perfectly sacred place

Ancient Egyptians considered it the most perfect of all temples. Report on recent discoveries as Karnak reveals more of its secrets.

  
30/06/04
Battlements Found at Egypt's Ancient East Gateway

CAIRO, Egypt (Reuters) - An Egyptian archaeological team has uncovered battlements from Pharaonic times at the ancient eastern gateway to Egypt in the north of the Sinai Peninsula, the Culture Ministry said Wednesday.The find includes three fortifications built in the area of Tharu, an ancient city which stood on a branch of the Nile that has long since dried up, a ministry statement said. The battlements stand on the ancient Horus Road, a vital commercial and military artery from ancient Egypt to Asia. The discoveries, about 20 miles east of the Suez Canal, form part of the defenses that stretched along the route.
Zahi Hawass, head of Egypt's Supreme Council of Antiquities, said in the statement that the Horus Road was fortified through the ages starting from Egypt's Middle Kingdom beginning around 2000 BC until the Roman and Greek eras that start around 323 BC."The presence of three fortifications in one area, each built on the ruins of the other, confirms the strategic importance of the site, particularly of the city of Tharu as the entrance to the Nile Valley from the east," Hawass said. Among the finds was a fort dating to the era of the Hyksos, a people believed to have invaded Egypt around the 17th century BC. The statement said the fort was probably destroyed in fighting when the Hyksos were expelled by Kamose and Ahmose in the 16th century BC.  Seti I, one of Egypt's great warrior pharaohs who reigned from about 1318 to1304 BC, launched his campaigns along the Horus Road. His exploits are recorded in engravings in the Karnak temple complex in Luxor. Another find was a set of battlements, including the southern wall of a fortified city dating from the 16th to 14th centuries BC. While the last find was a fort used from the Hyksos era to the Persian era that began around 525 BC.
Fuente: Reuters
 
30/06/04
Le gardien des frontières

Cinq blocs de calcaire, appartenant au temple de Néctanebo découvert récemment à l'oasis Bahreïn dans le Désert occidental, sont exposés pour la première fois au Musée du Caire. En plein Désert occidental, précisément à 150 km àl'Est de l'oasis de Siwa, se trouve l'oasis Bahreïn. Dans cet endroit sauvage, sous les rayons brûlants du soleil campent 40 personnes, membres de la mission italienne de l'Université de Turin, présidée par Paolo Gallo. Rien ne peut répondre auxbesoins de vivre dans ce site. Les membres de la mission doivent alors ramener avec eux toutes les provisions suffisantes pour toute la durée de la mission. Un travail payant, la restauration des pièces découvertes au cours de la saison de fouilles 2003 a permis de mettre en valeur plusieurs aspects importants de l'histoire pharaonique. « 200 blocs de calcaire dont quelques-uns sont encore gravés et colorés, explique Paolo Gallo, directeur de la mission, ont été révélés et livré leurs secrets ». Ces blocs composent le temple de Néctanebo Ier, fondateur de la XXXe dynastie. En effet, à cette époque lointaine, l'environnement était complètement différent. Il y avait un lac qui attirait la faune et la flore et encore les plantes y poussaient. C'est pour cela que cet endroit était devenu une « station importante au cour du chemin qui lie la Libye à la vallée du Nil et vice-versa », explique le professeur. Là, les commerçants se reposaient et déposaient leurs caravanes. Selon lui, pendant leur trajet, les voyageurs avaient besoin de mener leur culte religieux. Et à cause de l'importance de ce site, le pharaon a accepté d'y édifier un temple dédié au dieu Amon avec les différentes scènes religieuses. Malheureusement, le temple s'est effondré au début de l'époque romaine. Lorsque les Romains sont arrivés, ils ont brûlé plusieurs blocs afin de fabriquer de la chaux. « Ainsi, plusieurs blocs ont été perdus pour de bon », explique Paolo Gallo. D'autres blocs qui étaient ensevelis dans le sable ont été sauvés. Ceux-ci portent encore, jusqu'à maintenant, des gravures colorées. De ces blocs qui formaient de 15 à 20 % seulement des parois, 5 blocs ont été sélectionnés pour être exposés au Musée du Caire. Après les restaurations et les études, on peut voir Néctanebo qui offre des offrandes à Amon. Sur d'autres blocs, la figure d'un prince libyen qui porte une plume sur la tête est gravée. « C'est le signe de la souveraineté libyenne », explique Paolo Gallo. Jusqu'à présent, l'archéologue ne connaît pas la fonction exacte de cet homme. « Il pourrait être le chef d'une tribu ou le gouverneur de l'oasis de Bahreïn », explique-t-il. Ce prince s'appelle Horchemaouf. Le plus surprenant, c'est qu'il a inscrit son nom dans des cartouches. Aussi « se présente-t-il comme un roi bien qu'on soit sûr que le souverain de cette époque était Néctanebo Ier », affirme-t-il. D'après cette représentation, on pourrait suggérer que Horchemaouf fut un souverain étranger local de cette région. Après l'avoir soumis, Néctanebo Ier, le souverain égyptien, a pu assurer la sécurité des frontières ouest du pays. Et afin de garantir sa loyauté, Néctanebo l'admet comme souverain local en lui donnant une marge de liberté. En tout cas, la représentation du prince libyen à côté du souverain égyptien est toujours une énigme pour l'égyptologue. Celui-ci espère que les prochaines missions de fouilles pourraient livrer les secrets de ce prince libyen et son lien avec le souverain égyptien. D'autre part, pour Paolo Gallo, la célébration du centenaire des fouilles italiennes en Egypte est une bonne occasion pour exposer quelques blocs colorés qui présentent sa nouvelle découverte.
Fuente: Al-Ahram Hebdo

 

19/06/04
Mummy wrappings reveal details of ancient Egypt

We know Cleopatra's story -- floating down the Nile and making sweet talk with Mark Antony -- but what did all those other Egyptians do, aside from fanning the queen and making mummies? The world has long been intrigued by thatfamous epoch when the sunset of the Greek empire met the dawn of the Roman over the pyramids of the ancient pharaohs. But much of the texture of that time has remained hidden. Now, new windows into that era are being opened at theUniversity of California-Berkeley, where an international team of researchers is making some of those ancient mummies spill their long-held secrets.
After being wrapped, mummies were encased in "papyrus-mache" coverings made of recycled documents written on papyrus, the plant-based Egyptian equivalent of paper, said Todd Hickey, curator of Berkeley's immense hordeof papyri extracted from mummy casings. Of the large deposits of papyri known to exist around the world, theuniversity's holds special fascination for scholars because it is the least mined, said professor Karl-Theodor Zauzich, a highly regarded authority on ancient Egyptian writing.
"It's fantastic material," said Zauzich, a professor at Germany's Wurzburg University who has joined the special six-week seminar that began this week at Berkeley."There is not a single text that you do not get information from." "It's massive, and it was neglected for so many years," Hickey said. "You have all this unknown material and a real potential for the students to findsomething historically important." Past excursions into the Berkeley archive fished out some important literary fragments, including a lost play by Sophocles called "Inachos." Mostly the scraps have been household accounts, petitions to government officials and the like.
The collection of more than 30,000 fragments -- said by Berkeley officials to be the largest on this side of the globe -- came to Berkeley courtesy of Phoebe Hearst, mother of the newspaper magnate who inspired the movie"Citizen Kane" and the conglomerate that owns the San Francisco Chronicle and the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. A century ago, Hearst spent a large part of her husband's mining fortune to make the University of California a great institution, and one of her efforts was financing a 1899-1900 expedition to the site of the ancientEgyptian town of Tebtunis, a project that yielded papyri-encased crocodile mummies from Cleopatra's time and human mummies from preceding eras. "She was trying to put Berkeley on the map," said classics professor Donald Mastronarde, director of Berkeley's Center for the Tebtunis Papyri. "All themajor universities in France, Germany and Britain were collecting great  masses of papyri."
But with those able to read such texts in short supply and the chronic funding shortages at public universities, Berkeley's papyri have remained mostly uncataloged."This collection is great," exclaimed Andrew Monson, a doctoral candidate from Stanford and one of a dozen graduate students in the seminar. "You have so many primary texts." The seminar is funded by the campus under the auspices of the American Society of Papyrologists, also known as ASP, an acronym recalling the methodby which Cleopatra is said to have arranged her journey across the River Styx. Although Berkeley's collection includes material from Cleopatra's time, the current seminar will concentrate on somewhat earlier human-mummy texts from the third and second centuries B.C., when the stage was set for Cleopatra's dramatic curtain-closer of the long Ptolemaic Dynasty, which ruled Egypt from 305 to 30 B.C.Cleopatra was the last in the line descended from Ptolemy, Alexander the Great's general who became the first ruler of Egypt under Greek occupation

Fuente: Seattle Post Inteligencer

    

17/06/04

Egyptian finds Pharaonic, Coptic artifacts

- Hallazgo de piezas faraónicas y Coptas bajo el suelo de una vivienda durante obras para su conservación -
An Egyptian tradesman Wednesday unearthed on artifacts dating back to the Pharaonic and Coptic eras in an underground vault of the building he lives in. They were found during the restoration of the building, according to investigations.The monuments included precious stones and potteries. The prosecution formed an ad-hoc committee to inspect the findings. 

Fuente: EOL

    

17/06/04
- Sobre el descubrimiento en Helwan de tumbas de las primeras Dinastías -
Egyptian tombs reveal a complex society

Restos humanos en una cámara funeraria en un enterramiento bajo el suelo de la II Dinastía (Image: Helwan Project, Macquarie University)ABC Science Online
Human remains from a second dynasty underground burial chamber.
Twenty previously unexcavated tombs, which are several hundred years older than the great pyramids of Giza, are shedding light on the first complex societies on Earth. Archaeologists have found Zona arqueológica de Helwan con el desarrollo urbanístico de la zona a su alrededor. (Image: Helwan Project, Macquarie University) ancient Egyptians up to 5000 years old curled up in the foetal position in what would have been ancient Egypt's first capital city, Memphis. Dr Christiana Kohler of the Australian Centre for Egyptology at Sydney's Macquarie University and team unearthed the tombs during a recent excavation at Helwan, 25 kilometres south of Cairo. "It's a veritable city of dead," said Kohler of the Helwan necropolis, which consists of 100 hectares of 10,000 tombs from Egypt's first and second dynasties. Kohler said the site was the largest and the most significant site from what archaeologists call the earliest historical period. This is the time when kings took over from village chiefs and a time that gives researchers an insight into the development of complex society. "When we talk about complex society we not only have a king at the tip of the social pyramid but we also have an aristocracy and a middle class of people like craftsmen and priests and minor bureaucrats and the base of the pyramid that comprises labourers and farmers," she said.  The Helwan necropolis provides remains of a cross-section of people, buried in tombs of a range in sizes, which Kohler says reflects the different wealth and status of the people buried in them.  "People took all their belongings with them into the grave because they expected to be reborn in the after life in exactly the same form as they were during lifetime," she said. A poor man, buried in the foetal position, holding food in his hand (Image: Helwan Project, Macquarie University)
One tomb was no more than a hole in the ground, less than one cubic metre in size, and contained the remains of a poor man. "The family couldn't even afford to put Hombre pobre, enterrado en posición fetal, llevando comida en su mano (Image: Helwan Project, Macquarie University) a pottery vessel into his grave and all they could do was give him literally a piece of bread that he was still holding in his right hand in front of his head," Kohler said. The 'bread' she referred to was a piece of dark organic matter. Although it is yet to be analysed, Kohler said it was obviously food preserved by Egypt's dry conditions. By contrast, someone high up in the hierarchy could get a tomb of 20 cubic metres or even 100 cubic metres. She said one high-status tomb previously excavated was lined with 2000 kilogram limestone slabs. The latest tombs revealed the remains of a "very tall" person, Kohler said, and a woman with a shell bracelet on her left arm. "It's unusual to find jewellery still on the individuals because that's what the thieves were after," she said. "We also found a very ugly guy. His facial features, his skull, was a bit deformed," said Kohler, who said the team had yet to find out whether this was due to trauma or disease. Urban development is quickly swallowing the Helwan necropolis site (Image: Helwan Project, Macquarie University It seems that the people at Helwan were healthy, even if they were poor, according to the physical anthropologist on Kohler's team. "She was amazed at how healthy our people are and how well built they are," said Kohler.
Kohler said it was rare to find tombs in Egypt that had not yet been excavated. "When you think that in Egypt there have been excavators for at least 150 years and that every year they have about 100 international teams working there, I personally still find it quite mind-boggling that we still have the opportunity to uncover undiscovered tombs." Kohler was concerned that the Helwan necropolis site was being destroyed rapidly. A military base surrounds it and there are encroaching high rises and illegal shanty towns. "The site itself once covered 100 hectares and today, as we speak, this size has been reduced by half," she said. "Every year when we come back to Egypt, yet another bit has been taken away from it."

- Más sobre el mismo tema y fotografías:
http://tinyurl.com/3ybrt 
http://tinyurl.com/2vgqs 
 
- Otra noticia sobre el mismo descubrimiento:
14/06/04
Archaeologists in Egypt unearth 5,000-year-old necropolis with 20 tombs

Minister of Culture Farouk Hosni announced that the Australian archaeological mission working in Ezbit El-Walda area have unearthed a 5,000-year-old necropolis with 20 well-preserved tombs in that site just outside Cairo. The site in the suburb of Helwan is a host of small plain tombs with larger ones meant for the middle and upper classes, containing alabaster, limestone, clay and copper pots and pans, Hosni said. The necropolis also contains a limestone relief with early uses of hieroglyphic texts, according to Christian Kohler, head of the Australian team of archaeologists. It is a duty to protect this magnificent archaeological site from the urban expansion which represents a major threat to (Helwan's) monuments," he said in his report to Egypt's Supreme Council of Antiquities. Two large limestone tombs found at the site date back to the Old Kingdom, 2575-2134 B.C. and contain a collection of small chapels and niches. Helwan, some 15 miles south of Cairo, is a densely-populated industrial area located across the Nile River from the Saqqra Pyramid.
Fuente: EOL
 

14/06/04
Descubren necrópolis con 20 tumbas en Egipto. Su antigüedad está calculada en unos cinco mil años
EL CAIRO (AP).- Arqueólogos australianos desenterraron una necrópolis de cinco mil años de antigüedad, que contenía 20 tumbas bien preservadas en el vecindario de Helwan, en las afueras de la capital egipcia, informó ayer el Consejo Supremo de Antigüedades de Egipto. Según una declaración, Christian Kohler, jefe de la misión australiana, dijo que entre los objetos hallados había una piedra caliza tallada con un texto jeroglífico de la etapa inicial de esa escritura. "Es un deber proteger este magnífico lugar arqueológico de la expansión urbana, que representa un gran amenaza para los monumentos de Helwan", dijo Kohler en el comunicado. Helwan, un vecindario humilde y densamente poblado, está situado a 25 kilómetros al sur de El Cairo, en una zona industrial cerca del río Nilo, en la margen opuesta a las pirámides de Saqqara. Algunas de las tumbas eran pequeñas y sencillas. Otras, de las clases media y rica, eran más grandes y contenían objetos de alabastro, piedra caliza, arcilla y ollas de cobre y sartenes, agregó. Dos tumbas grandes que datan del antiguo reino, que abarcó desde el año 2575 hasta el 2134 antes de Cristo, también fueron hallados en Helwan, con el mismo estilo arquitectónico de algunas halladas en Giza y Saqqara.
 
03/06/04
Kom Al Deka stone causes controversy
- Sobre las distintas interpretaciones del reciente descubrimiento en Kom al-Deka, Alejandría, de unas escaleras de piedra semicirculares -

The recent uncovering of semi- circular stone steps at the eastern side of the archaeological site of Kom AI Deka in Alexandria has caused controversy among arcaeologists. The find that dates back to the Ptolemaic age poses a question as to the function of these halls. At first archaeologists had reason to believe that these steps constitute lecture halls of the old Alexandria University. But later on another party contended that the halls are part of an art centre. Archaeologists based their supposition on the direction of the find. They say that since the halls fall in the eastern side of the Roman amphitheatre the halls are most probably part of an art centre rather than lecture rooms. Most archaeologists believe that the amphitheatre was an odeum where artistic competitions and music performances were held. So the unearthed halls are more of music listening halls within an art centre. Kom AL Deka is considered one of the basic archaeological sites of Alexandria that embraces landmarks as baths and a housing agglomeration distinguished for its luxurious buildings as the birds villa uncovered three years ago.
 
03/06/04
Exciting find beneath the sea at Alexandria
- Nuevos descubrimientos bajo el mar en Alejandría -

A team from the Alexandrian Studies Centre has recently found pieces of rose granite that represent 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 granite stele that bears the tax law enforced in the reign of Ptolemy I 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 lighthouse one of the seven won ders of the world. The find is so important that it could revive the idea of rebuilding the lighthouse. Dr. Zahi Hawass, Secretary- General of the Supreme Council for Antiquities, said that the lighthouse was built by Sostratos in the age of PtolemyII (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 Dr. 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. Dr 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 mirror, 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 Dr. 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 the 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 lighthouse 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.

 

 

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