Concert Reviews | CD Reviews | DVD Reviews | Opera | Early Music | News | Film | Art | Books | Kids

28.8.04

Recent Archeological Finds in Egypt (and Peru)

Is it possible that the discovery of an ancient tomb near Cairo went laregly unnoticed? I happened upon this article (Un tombeau antique découvert au Caire, August 2) from Le Nouvel Observateur, which I had missed when it was published (my translation):

During digging to lay the foundations for a new mosque in a northwestern suburb of Cairo, Egyptian workers discovered the remains of a tomb dating from the 26th dynasty of pharaohs. According to Sabri Abdel Aziz, General Director of Pharaonic Antiquities at the Egyptian Supreme Council of Antiquities (ESCA), the tomb apparently belongs to a supervisor of the silver mines who lived between 663 and 525 B.C. Thanks to the cartouches and inscriptions on the tomb walls, Egyptologists have been able to identify the deceased.

Accompanied by golden amulets representing the goddess Isis and her son Horus, the skeleton was discovered in poor condition inside a black basalt sarcophagus. Workers also unearthed marble canopic jars, containing the deceased's vital organs, and more than 365 statuettes. The latter, also called ushebti, were buried near the sarcophagus to ensure success in the different trials that the dead person had to undertake in the afterlife. In order to permit the conservation of the site and the continuation of excavation, the ESCA has already alloted a budget to the archeologists in charge of studying the site.
The story was carried in English by Reuters on August 1. A more recent report (Ancient tomb uncovered in Cairo suburb, August 25) reports a second discovery in the same area, a domed Pharaonic tomb that likely belonged to a priest, discovered during the construction of a house in the Matariya neighborhood, which is built over the location of the Egyptian city that the Romans called Heliopolis. The tomb walls are covered with hieroglyphs, but flooding of the site has caused a temporary work stoppage. A large statue of Ramses II was also discovered in the town of Akhmim, 474 kilometers (294.5 miles) south of Cairo.

UPDATE:
According to an article (Découverte d'une métropole préhispanique dans la jungle amazonienne du Pérou, August 20) from Agence France-Presse, a Peruvian-American team led by Sean Savoy has just uncovered the remains of a city in the Amazon jungle, thought to have been part of the Chachapoyas pre-Columbian culture, which predates the Incas. The excavation of five citadels on a ridge near Saposoa in the San Martin region of Peru is taking place at an altitude of 2,800 meters (1.7 miles). There are good images in the English-language press coverage of the find.

No comments: