Hieroglyphic inscriptions carved on the Egyptian tomb wall | REUTERS
Egypt allowed the public to visit a 4000-year old tomb in the Saqqara necropolis near Giza for the first time on Saturday (September 8) in a bid to promote tourism.
The tomb, discovered in 1940 by Egyptologist Zaki Saad, belongs to an ancient Egypt high-ranking official named Mehu who was related to the first king of the 6th dynasty.
The tomb included two chambers both with wall inscriptions of the owner of the tomb hunting as well as drawings showing aspects of Ancient Egyptian lives such as hunting and acrobatic dancing.
Mehu lived during the reign of King Pepi and held 48 titles, found inscribed on the walls of his chamber.
“It is a 4500-year old tomb from the 6th dynasty. It is during the King Pepi rule. It is a family tomb of a father, son, and grandson. We are seeing Mehu, his son Meren Ra and his grandson Heteb Kha. The tombs owner had 48 titles,” said the head of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, Mostafa Al-Waziri.
Archaeologists have so far this year excavated a number of relics that include a 4,400-year-old tomb at the Giza plateau and an ancient necropolis in Minya, south of Cairo.
Egypt is hoping these discoveries will brighten its image abroad and revive interest among travelers who once flocked to its iconic pharaonic temples and pyramids but who have shunned the country since its 2011 political uprising. — Reuters
Egypt restarted international flights and reopened major tourist attractions across the country on Wednesday (July 1) after over three months of closure due to the coronavirus.
Egypt had ordered shut airports and historical sites in mid-March when the government introduced measures to help curb the spread of the virus, including a ban on large public gatherings.
Last month the government announced it would restart tourism to resorts in the coastal cities of South Sinai and the Red Sea and in Marsa Matrouh which lies on the Mediterranean.
Egyptian minister of antiquities Khaled al-Anany said that two flights had arrived this morning in South Sinai and the Red Sea with tourists from the Ukraine. He also said that historical sites in Cairo, Luxor and Aswan, as well as in other cities were reopened.
Al-Anany told reporters the sites would operate mainly for Egyptians and foreigners residing in Egypt until tourism picks up worldwide.
Egypt’s ministry of civil aviation said that 16 flights took off from Cairo International Airport and while two arrival terminals were seen empty on Wednesday morning, a screen showed four scheduled flights expected to arrive from Toulouse, Kuwait, Tunis, and Amman.
Tourism, which accounts for five percent of of Egypt’s total GDP, was shuttered due to the pandemic.
Egypt has so far registered 68,311 cases of the coronavirus and 2,953 deaths. (Reuters)
(Production: Ahmed Fahmy, Sherif Fahmy, Seham Eloraby)
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)
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)
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