Coffins baring Pharaonic mummies under renovation for new display site

UNTV News   •   September 24, 2019   •   260

Egyptian archaeologists revealed on Saturday (September 21) two coffins containing the mummies of a Pharaonic nobleman and his wife ahead of their transport to the new National Museum of Egyptian Civilisation.

One of the mummies belongs to Sennedjem, who is said to be a key figure during the rule of both King Siti I and Ramsis II.

The two coffins are under restoration by Egyptian archaeologists who are currently sanitizing them.

The coffins and mummies were on display in Hall 17 of the Egyptian Museum in Tahrir as part of a larger group of mummies discovered by French archaeologist Gaston Maspero in 1886.

The National Museum of Egyptian Civilisation was partially opened in 2017.

The unveiling of the coffins is the latest in a series of events carried out by Egyptian antiquities authorities who have brought attention to multiple ancient findings in recent months, as they pave the way for the opening of a bigger museum.

The Grand Egyptian Museum which has been under construction for about 15 years will officially open by the end of 2020.

Antiquities will be moved to the new museum and the restoration of the gold-plated sarcophagus of Egypt’s boy-king Tutankhamun is underway ahead of its display there. (REUTERS)

(Production: Amr Abdallah, Sayed Sheasha, Nadeen Ebrahim, Mostafa Salem)

4,000 year-old pyramid in Egypt opens to the public

Robie de Guzman   •   July 2, 2019

Egypt’s 4,000-year-old Lahun pyramid has opened its doors to the public for the first time, displaying a network of passageways and an ancient burial chamber.

A small team of archaeologists from the Egyptian ministry of antiquities spent around a year clearing out the burial chamber inside the pyramid, which had been covered in rocks and debris since its discovery.

Fallen stones were restored to their original locations and wooden staircases were installed, according to a statement by the Egyptian ministry of antiquities.

A variety of artefacts were excavated and placed on display outside the pyramid, including “amulets, scarabs, shells, and chains,” which were in pristine condition, according to the Secretary General of Egypt’s Supreme Council of Antiquities, Mostafa Waziri.

Sarcophagi bearing persevered paintings, showing hues of green, red and white, were also on display in glass cases, next to a collection of painted masks.

The mud brick pyramid located in Fayoum, which was first excavated more than a century ago, is believed to be built by the 12th dynasty pharaoh Senusret II, who according to museum supervisor Ashraf Sobhy is one of few Middle Kingdom rulers who chose to be buried in Fayoum, 60 km (35 miles) south of Cairo.

Standing inside King Senusret II’s burial chamber, Sobhy said he and his successor’s decision to choose Fayoum, as their final resting place was linked to agricultural reforms and projects initiated during the Middle Kingdom.

The pyramid has been closed since its 19th century discovery, but the Egyptian ministry of antiquities decided to open it up as a tourist attraction.

The tourism sector is one of the country’s main sources of foreign currency but has struggled since a 2011 uprising that ousted then president Hosni Mubarak.

A total of 14.7 million people visited Egypt in 2010 before the uprising. (REUTERS)

Former Egyptian president Mursi died from a heart attack — state TV

Marje Pelayo   •   June 18, 2019

Former Egyptian president Mohamed Mursi | Courtesy : Reuters

REUTERS – Former Egyptian president Mohamed Mursi died from a sudden heart attack during a court session, state television reported early on Tuesday (June 17), citing a medical source.

The source said Mursi, who was diabetic and suffered from high blood pressure, had received medical treatment at a private hospital and at the police hospital in Cairo, denying that he was deprived from medical attention.

The 67-year-old Mursi, a top figure in the now-banned Muslim Brotherhood, had been in jail since being toppled by the military in 2013 after barely a year in power, following mass protests against his rule.

His death is likely to pile up international pressure on the Egyptian government over its human rights record, especially conditions in prisons where thousands of Islamists and secular activists are held.

Egypt uncovers 4,400-year-old tomb near Giza Pyramids

Robie de Guzman   •   May 6, 2019

Egypt announced on Saturday the discovery of a cemetery near the Great Pyramids of Giza, including one tomb shared by two priests from over 4,400 years ago.

The excavation team uncovered the ancient burial site with sarcophagi dated back to the Fifth Dynasty (2494-2345 BC) while researching for tombs of the Late Period (664-332 BC).

“To discover an Old Kingdom (2686-2181 BC) tomb within the 26th Dynasty (664-525 BC) tombs is very important. It tells us about the people who have maintained the cult of the king. The workmen tombs are different completely. The workmen tombs are very important. They are proof to the world that they built the pyramids, they were Egyptians and they were not slaves,” said Zahi Hawas, an Egyptian archeologist.

The most prominent figure in the discovery is known as Behnui-Ka, a top judge, priest and supervisor of the construction of the Pyramid of Khafre, the second largest pyramid in Egypt.

Buried with him in the same tomb was Nwi, a grand priest of the holy court.

Colorful wooden artifacts were also discovered.

“Any archeological discovery, even the small one, add a lot to our knowledge in Egyptology. We discovered a small cemetery to the south east of the pyramids of Giza, one well preserved tomb from the second half of the Fifth Dynasty. We discovered six colored coffins. The excavation is only beginning and

I think that we have many seasons to work in this area,” said Khaled al-Anani, Egyptian Minister of Antiquities.

Thousands of people every year visit Giza to be amazed by the sight of one of the lasting seven wonders of the world.

However, in recent months, Egypt has announced a series of ancient discoveries such as a 3,500-year-old tomb and a mummy inside an unopened coffin dating to at least 1069 BC at two sites in the southern Egyptian city of Luxor.

Authorities hope that the discoveries will help revive the country’s battered tourism industry, a main source of national income, and provide a more comprehensive experience of the ancient Egyptian civilization to its visitors. (REUTERS)

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