Stunning Face Hidden for Thousands of Years: Wooden Sarcophagus Is Unearthed at Egyptian Necropolis
A wooden sarcophagus found at an undisclosed location in Egypt. This object has been found by Spanish archaeologists from Jaen’s University at the Qubbet el-Hawa necropolis in Aswan, Egypt.
The team, who have been working in Egypt for a month, has also found a tomb dating back to the year 1830 BC and some twenty mummies in it.
The works are part of an archaeological campaign lead by Spanish professor Alejandro Jimenez Serrano and seventeen experts from two Spanish universities and a British university based in London work at the archaeological campaign.
Encased in soil, this extraordinarily delicate face emerges into the sun for the first time in thousands of years. The wooden sarcophagus was unearthed by archaeologists at the necropolis of Qubbet el-Hawa in Aswan, Egypt.
Believed to contain the body of a person of some rank, it boasts extraordinarily delicate features, well-preserved by the sands of time.
Since starting a fresh excavation, they have also discovered 20 mummies and uncovered a tomb dating from around 1830BC.
He said that his team came from a number of different disciplines which allowed a broad focus.
It had also allowed them ‘to develop new techniques such as RTI or scanning in 3D which helps read hieroglyphic texts with greater accuracy,’ he added.
The team had already found two smaller tombs in earlier digs.
Qubbet el-Hawa necropolis was in use from 2250BC and provided the last resting place for some of the country’s most important officials.
A string of 40 tombs cut into a rocky cliff face, the burial ground also forms one of the best vantage points of the city of Aswan.
One of two such items found in Estonia is a fully preserved early Brooch from the Viking era located in North-East Estonia this spring.
The bronze-box brooch was found in a village located in Ida-Viru, Varja. It’s thought to have been a woman born on Gotland, who moved into Estonian territory later in her life.
The archeologist Mauri Kiudsoo, keeper of the Tallinn University archeological investigation collection (TLÜ) told BNS that the brooch found at Varja was cast as a single piece.
Kiudsoo said that the decorative item has been completely preserved with only slight damage to the surface probably due to the cultivation of land, The pin, which was apparently made of steel, is also missing.
He added that the technical execution of the brooch is indicative of the earlier Viking era.
According to Indrek Jets, a researcher familiar with the period’s ornament styles, the animal ornament on the brooch represents the so-called Broa style, allowing for it to be dated to the end of the 8th or the 9th century.
The brooch was found on the fringes of a former wetland, where a lone farmstead was likely located during the Viking era.
Kiudsoo explained that the village of Varja is situated in the northeastern part of the ancient parish of Askälä and that this region on Estonia’s northern coast, between Purtse River and the present-day city of Kohtla-Järve, stands out for its exceptionally rich archaeological find material. The Eastern Route, an important Viking-era trade route, ran along Estonia’s northern coast.
The archaeologist said that he believes that the brooch found at Varja belonged to a woman born on the island of Gotland, who took up residence in the Viru region of Estonia later in her life.
Supporting this hypothesis is the fact that similar decorative items were in widespread use in Gotland during the Viking era, but are not common elsewhere.
Kiudsoo said that hundreds of box-shaped brooches like the one recently found in Estonia have been found in Gotland.
Unlike items belonging to warriors, women’s decorative items of Scandinavian origin are rarely found in Estonia.
The only box-shaped brooch found here to date, which was found in Kasari in Western Estonia, has yet to be handed over to the Heritage Board. Unlike the item found in Varja, this brooch can be dated to the later period of the Viking era.
Rare Lion Cub Mummies Revealed in The Latest Treasure Haul at Egypt’s Saqqara
The Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities today announced two mummified lions, dating from approximately 2,600 years, in a tomb full of cat statues and cat mummies at Saqqara, at a press conference.
Mostafa Waziri, General Secretary of the Supreme Council of Egypt, said that “this is the first time that a lion or lion cube’s complete mummy is being found” in Egypt. who led the team that made the discovery.
The analysis is ongoing, but it appears the Lions are fairly small — about 3 feet (just under 1 meter) in length, — Waziri said, suggesting that they were not fully grown when they died.
Three other mummies that belong to large cats (the exact species is unclear) were found near the two lions. These three other mummies could belong to leopards, cheetahs or other forms of the big cat. About 20 mummies of smaller cats were also found near the lion cubs.
About 100 statues and statuettes were found near the burials, many of which depict cats. The cat statues are made of stone, wood or metal (such as bronze), and “most of them well painted, well decorated and some were inlaid with gold,” Waziri said.
A small ebony statue of the goddess Neith was also found within the tomb, a discovery that helped archaeologists determine the tomb’s date, said Khaled al-Anani, Egypt’s Minister of Antiquities.
Neith was a goddess of the city of Sais, which was the capital of Egypt during the 26th dynasty (around 2,600 years ago), Anani said.
A massive scarab-shaped artifact that appears to be more than a foot (30 centimeters) in diameter was also found in the tomb.
Scarab-shaped artifacts are frequently found in Egypt and were used as seals, amulets and jewelry. This particular scarab artifact might be the largest example ever found in Egypt, the archaeologists said.
The area of Saqqara where the tomb was discovered seems to be a cat hot spot, so to speak. Previous archaeological digs in the area have uncovered the remains of cat mummies and cat statues, and in 2004 a French team found the partial remains of a lion skeleton.
It seems that around 2,600 years ago, the area was a place of commemoration for the Egyptian cat goddess Bastet and her son the lion god Miysis, Anani said.
While cats dominate this part of Saqqara, they do not rule exclusively, as previous archaeological excavations in the area have found mummies of other animals such as birds, Waziri said.
In other parts of Saqqara, many other types of archaeological remains can be found, including Egypt’s first pyramid, a step pyramid built by Djoser, a pharaoh who ruled more than 4,600 years ago. It is the oldest pyramid constructed in Egypt.
Recently, several other interesting archaeological discoveries have been made at Saqqara, including a 2,000-year-old catacomb containing the burial of a “worthy” woman named “Demetria.” Recent discoveries also include a 2,500-year-old silver face mask gilded with gold and a 4,400-year-old tomb built for a “divine inspector” named “Wahtye.”
In Oman’s Al Sharqiyah Governorate archaeologists found an Iron Age settlement and 45 tombs.
In collaboration with Germany’s Heidelberg University, the Oman Ministry of Heritage and Culture founded a project to study the Iron Age settlements in North Al Sharqiyah. The ministry has said that the tombs are “very well maintained” and cover an area of 50-80 square metre area.
These tombstones are about 700 meters from a settlement that the team believes to have been the home of people who worked in copper mining since the early Iron Age.
Copper mining was thought to take place during the Iron Age and continued until the early Islamic era.
“It is the most preserved sites of its components, where stone buildings and tombs resembling huts are retained by nature for more than 3,000 years, and reflect the method of burial,” the Ministry of Heritage and Culture said.
“It features the social status of the deceased through the length of the tomb and archaeological artefacts buried with him.”
Al Sharqiyah site is one of many archaeological finds discovered in Oman over the past decade. Many were discovered by a team from the archaeology department at Sultan Qaboos University, which works with the Ministry of Heritage and Culture to find, protect and preserve sites of interest.
Oman’s ancient sites have also been recognised by the UN. In 1988, Bat, Al Khutm and Al Ayn were certified as World Heritage Sites.
The three ancient settlements in Al Dhahira Governorate of north-west Oman are the most complete of their kind from the Iron Age.
In January 2018, the largest trove of Iron Age weapons in the region was discovered at Mudhmar East. It contained more than 3,000 arrows, daggers and axes.
Possible 1,300-Year-Old Chess Piece from Jordan Identified
The oldest piece of chess ever discovered was a carved rock found in 1991 by a Canadian scientist and archeologist.
In an abstract published in October, the University of Victoria professor John Oleson announced that a piece of carved sandstone that was found in southern Jordan at Humayma may be an ancient rook — a castle-shaped piece in the game.
The roughly 1,300-year-old stone is squat and rectangular, with “horn-like projections”.
Although Oleson mentions it does resemble other artifacts, such as a Nabataean butyl, which is an altar made out of a block of stone to evoke the gods of the ancient Arab nation, when he compared the rock carving to other early chess pieces, the parallels were “far more convincing.”
According to Oleson, the object has the same abstract shape that other early Islamic chess pieces had.
References to chess-playing can be found in Islamic texts as early as the seventh century AD, Oleson said, and the game was “very popular.”
The piece Oleson found is “nearly identical” to abstract rook pieces dating from later centuries that were found near or in Jordan.
“Since the Humayma object was found in a seventh-century context, if the identification as a chess piece is correct, it would be the earliest known physical example for the simplified, abstract design,” said Oleson, “and possibly the earliest known example of a chess piece altogether.”
The history of chess dates back around 1,500 years and is thought to have originated in India, although the names and rules have changed several times over the centuries.
Oleson theorized that the spread of chess occurred westward from India along merchant and diplomat routes and that it is “no surprise that early evidence for it should be found at a site on the busy Via Nova Traiana,” which is a Roman road that served as an important trading route.
A significant chunk of Oleson’s work has taken place in or around the Humayma site.
Between 1991 and 2000, he and his team excavated the settlement center over the course of seven field sessions.
In the process, they excavated two farmhouses, a Roman fort, four Byzantine churches, and “a Nabataean campground and three Nabataean and Late Roman houses.”