Egypt

British archaeologist aims to pinpoint Nefertiti’s tomb

“British archaeologist aims to pinpoint Nefertiti’s tomb”

by Tony Gamal-Gabriel via “Yahoo News!

Standing before the majestic gold, ochre and white frescos of Tutankhamun’s tomb, British archaeologist Nicholas Reeves on Monday passionately defended his daring theory that Nefertiti is buried in a secret chamber.

With the help of a sophisticated radar, Reeves aims to prove Nefertiti is buried there in a hidden chamber of the young pharaoh’s underground tomb that long hid the most fabulous treasure ever discovered in Egypt.

Archaeologists have never discovered the mummy of this legendary beauty who played a major political and religious role in the 14th century BC.

Nefertiti actively supported her husband Akhenaten, the pharaoh who temporarily converted ancient Egypt to monotheism imposing the single cult of sun god Aton.

Reeves’s theory is that Nefertiti is buried in a room adjacent to the tomb of Tutankhamun, the son of Akhenaten.

According to Reeves, the boy king, who died unexpectedly at 19, was buried in a rush in an underground burial chamber that was probably not intended for him.

His death would have forced priests to reopen Queen Nefertiti’s tomb 10 years after her death because the young pharaoh’s own had not yet been built, Reeves said at Tutankhamun’s tomb in the Valley of the Kings in Luxor, southern Egypt.

In the burial chamber, just a few steps away from the darkened mummy of the boy king who died in 1324 BC after just nine years on the throne, the archaeologist pointed to a fresco representing Tutankhamun and his successor Ay.

– Radar to scan the walls –

Circled by archaeologists and officials from Egypt’s antiquities department, Minister of Antiquities Mamduh al-Damati listened attentively to the expert from the American University of Arizona as Reeves said the frescos in the chamber could conceal two secret doors.

“The theory is a very good theory but it doesn’t mean it’s true. The best theories don’t always work,” he added with caution, in the midst of the Valley of the Kings where on November 29, 1922 another British Egyptologist, Howard Carter, discovered Tutankhamun’s tomb. . . . .

 

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Smuggled artefacts to return to Egypt from Switzerland

“Smuggled artefacts to return to Egypt from Switzerland”

by Nevine El-Aref via “Ahram Online

swiss

“A collection of 32 ancient Egyptian artefacts is to return back to Egypt in June after Egypt successfully asserted ownership of the objects.

Ali Ahmed, director of antiquities repatriation, told Ahram Online that the objects included limestone and wooden statues as well as a collection of limestone blocks from chapels across dfferent pharaonic periods.

The objects were seized by the Swiss police within the framework of a bilateral agreement between Egypt and Switzerland that prohibits the illegal import and export of cultural properties.

Minister of Antiquities Mamdouh Eldamaty said the objects are to be handed over to Egypt’s ambassador to Switzerland at the Federal Office for Culture in Bern during an event to mark tenth anniversary of the passage into Swiss law of a prohibition on illegal trade in cultural property.”

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Tomb of previously unknown pharaonic queen found in Egypt

“Tomb of previously unknown pharaonic queen found in Egypt”

via “AFP

Czech archaeologists have unearthed the tomb of a previously unknown queen believed to have been the wife of Pharaoh Neferefre who ruled 4,500 years ago, officials in Egypt said Sunday.

The tomb was discovered in Abu Sir, an Old Kingdom necropolis southwest of Cairo where there are several pyramids dedicated to pharaohs of the Fifth Dynasty, including Neferefre.

The name of his wife had not been known before the find, Antiquities Minister Mamdouh al-Damaty said in a statement.

He identified her as Khentakawess, saying that for the “first time we have discovered the name of this queen who had been unknown before the discovery of her tomb”.

That would make her Khentakawess III, as two previous queens with the same name have already been identified.

Her name and rank had been inscribed on the inner walls of the tomb, probably by the builders, Damaty said. . .

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Red Sea: Archaeologists Discover Remains of Egyptian Army From the Biblical Exodus

“Red Sea: Archaeologists Discover Remains of Egyptian Army From the Biblical Exodus “

via “World News Daily Report

divers

Suez| Egypt’s Antiquities Ministry announced this morning that a team of underwater archaeologists had discovered that remains of a large Egyptian army from the 14th century BC, at the bottom of the Gulf of Suez, 1.5 kilometers offshore from the modern city of  Ras Gharib. The team was searching for the remains of ancient ships and artefacts related to Stone Age and Bronze Age trade in the Red Sea area, when they stumbled upon a gigantic mass of human bones darkened by age. 

The scientists lead by Professor Abdel Muhammad Gader and associated with Cairo University’s Faculty of Archaeology, have already recovered a total of more than 400 different skeletons, as well as hundreds of weapons and pieces of armor, also the remains of two war chariots, scattered over an area of approximately 200 square meters. They estimate that more than 5000 other bodies could be dispersed over a wider area, suggesting that an army of large size who have perished on the site. . . . .

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Egypt Ups Efforts to Protect Cultural Heritage

Egypt Ups Efforts to Protect Cultural Heritage

by Elisabeth Lehmann via “DW”

Protecting valuable antiquities is a serious task in Egypt, where grave robbery has increased dramatically since 2011. German researchers accused of the crime are currently standing trial in Cairo.

Pyramid of Giza

“Look at the cracks – the pyramids are really in danger,” says Osama Karar, as he points to the screen of his laptop, and flicks through countless photos showing damage to the Great Pyramid of Giza. Karar and his colleagues have founded an organization called The People’s Front in Defence of Relics.

He turns from his laptop, and looks outside at the huge pyramid stretching out before him. “These stones can’t speak, so we try and give them a voice,” he says.

Indeed, the stones of the Great Pyramid would have a lot to tell. For example, that in April 2013, a German research team led by the Chemnitz-based experimental archaeologist Dominique Görlitz entered a small room under the tip of the pyramid – the King’s Chamber belonging to Pharaoh Khufu.

The team took samples from the murals and cartouche, and brought them back to Germany for laboratory analysis. And all this without the proper permit. They were granted a partial permit, as Ali Ahmad Ali from the Ministry of State for Antiquities in Cairo stressed, but “the permit does not cover a visit to the upper chamber. And the permit says: only visit, do not take any parts.”

On Saturday (7.06.2014), the trial of the research team – made up of three Germans and their six Egyptian assistants – got underway in Cairo. They are accused of vandalism offenses in the Great Pyramid of Giza, and at worst, could face between three and five years in prison.

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