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Tomb Full of Sacred Cats and Beetles Found in Sakkara

November 14, 2018
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Minister of Antiquities Dr. Khaled El-Enany announced today a new discovery made by an Egyptian archaeological mission during excavation work carried out since April until now at the area located on the stony edge of King Userkaf pyramid complex in Saqqara Necropolis.

Cairo Governor, Major General Ahmed Rashid attended the announcement along with members of the Parliament and 30 ambassadors from all over the glob whom the minister of antiquities is always keen to invite them to attend the ministry of antiquities’ events and discoveries in an attempt to highlight the role that the antiquities are played as Egypt’s soft power to promote the country and its unique heritage.
Many ambassadors from Arab and foreign countries have participated in several archaeological events along last month such as the Abu Simbel Temple solar alignment phenomenon and the tours around the archaeological sites in the New Valley and Saint Catherine in South Sinai.
Dr. El-Enany explains that the mission has uncovered this time three plain New Kingdom tombs that had been used during the Late Period as cats necropolis along with four other Old Kingdom tombs, the most important of which belongs to Khufu-Imhat, the overseer of the royal buildings in the royal palace. This tomb can be dated to the late fifth and the early sixth dynasties.

He also pointed out that the Egyptian mission has selected such a site to excavate because there was a high probability that a collection of Old Kingdom tombs for individual could be uncovered around the ramp of King Userkaf pyramid complex.
A French mission has previously excavated the eastern section of the site and uncovered a collection of Old and New Kingdoms tombs that were used during the Late Period as cats graves.
The mission has stopped all excavations on site since 2008 and devoted all its work to study, document and restore some of the discovered tombs but all the works have completely stopped since 2013.

“This is the first of three upcoming new discoveries in other governorates in Egypt to be announced later before the end of 2018,” asserted Dr. El-Enany who called all attendees to be tuned.

Dr. Mostafa Waziri, Secretary General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities announced that the Egyptian mission has succeeded to unearth the first ever mummies of scarabs to be unearthed in Memphis necropolis as two large mummies of scarabs have been found inside a rectangular limestone sarcophagus with vaulted lid decorated with three scarabs painted in black.
Studies on these scarabs, said Dr. Waziri, show that they are wrapped in linen and in a very good preservation condition. Another collection of scarab mummies was also found inside a more smaller and squared limestone sarcophagus decorated with one scarab painted in black.
Tens of cat mummies were also unearthed along with 100 wooden gilded statues of cats and a bronze one dedicated to the cat goddess bastet. A collection of wooden gilded statues depicting the physical features of a lion, a cow, and a falcon was also unearthed.
Painted wooden sarcophagi of Cobras with mummies found inside them were also discovered along with two wooden sarcophagi of crocodiles.
Within the debris, he continued , the mission succeeded to unearth around 1000 amulets made of faience and dedicated to different deities, among them Tawesert, Apis bull, Anubis, Djehuty, Horus, Isis, Ptah Patek, Khnum as well as other faience amulets in the shape of the Udjat eye, the white and red crowns, the Wadjat column along with five bronze amulets for deities.
Three alabaster canopic jars and writing tools such as ink pots with pens were found along with several papyri written in demotic and heretic while a third pile has chapters from the Book of the Dead. Names of two ladies were mentioned for the first time ever as their names were found engraved on a false door. The first lady named Subek Sekt and the second Mafy.

Sabri Farag, Director General of Saqqara Necropolis said that a collection of baskets and ropes made of papyri was also found along with 30 clay pots and human burials where a head rest, alabaster and bronze jars were found inside a wooden sarcophagus.
A large number of decorated stone reliefs and blocks along with parts of false doors were also found among which two blocks representing a part of the lintel of Ankh Mahur,’s tomb one of the Old Kingdom Vizier.

Orascom Investment Holding (OIH) is the sponsor of such discovery event according to the request it submitted to the ministry of antiquities to sponsorship a number of events and archaeological discoveries in accordance with the newly launched commercial sponsorship regulation.

Engineer Naguib Sawiris, the Executive Chairman of the OIH affirmed that the company’s care stems from the interest of the company to develop archaeological field and sites and to show the exceptional richness of the Egyptian civilization and to attract the attention of the world towards its magnificent monuments and great civilization so that it becomes the focus of the world as it deserves.

Among the attendees are ambassadors of Morocco, Jordan, Kuwait, Cyprus, Mexico, Italy, Malta, Hungary, France, Ireland, Arminia, South Korea, Tajikistan, Japan, Austria, and Bella Russia. The Saudi Arabia and Georgia’s Vice-Ambassadors have also attended as well as Denmark General Councillor and the cultural attaché of Czech republic, Georgia and USA. The heads of the American Research Centre in Cario and the responsible of culture at UNESCO were also among the attendees.

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Artifacts discovered in Cairo could be 4,000 years old

November 7, 2018
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Archaeologists working at a dig in Cairo have found several fragments of stone slabs with inscriptions that could be 4,000 years old, Egypt’s Ministry of Antiquities said.

Some of the limestones date to the 12th (founded in 1991 BCE) and 20th dynasties, of the Middle and New Kingdoms, the ministry said on Tuesday.


German Egyptologist Dietrich Raue, the head of the mission, said one inscription referred to Atum, an important and frequently mentioned god, as being responsible for the flooding of the Nile River in the Late Period between 664 and 332 BCE.

Matariya, in eastern Cairo, was once part of the ancient city of Heliopolis, or the city of the sun.

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Tutankhamun’s diadem and other artefacts transported from Egyptian Museum to GEM

November 5, 2018
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A collection of 614 artefacts were transported from the Egyptian Museum in Tahrir Square to the Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM) by the pyramids on Monday.
Osama Abu El-Kheir, general director of the Conservation Department at the GEM, said that the collection contains 11 objects from the treasure sof King Tutankhamun, among them the king’s diadem.

Tutankhamun

Also included are items from the Old Kingdom to the Late Period, including a wooden box of King Amenhotep II covered with a layer of a white mortar and engraved with the king’s cartouche and a hieratic text, as well as a collection of Osirian statuettes and a limestone statue of the fifth dynasty’s top official in the royal palace, Senefer, and a 26th dynasty relief bearing the image of a sphinx.

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Egyptian archaeologists find parts of pharaoh’s booth

October 30, 2018
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CAIRO: Egypt says archaeologists have uncovered parts of a booth with a seat that belonged to famous pharaoh Ramses II, one of the longest ruling pharaohs in antiquity.

Thursday’s statement from the Antiquities Ministry says the artifacts were found during an excavation in eastern Cairo’s Matariya neighborhood.
Egyptologist Mamdouh el-Damaty says the structure was probably used in celebrations and for public gatherings, and dates back to the 19th Dynasty.
Ramses II ruled Egypt more than 3,000 years ago. He is credited with expanding ancient Egypt’s reach as far as present-day Syria and Sudan, campaigns that earned him the title “Ramses the Great.”
Egypt frequently announces archaeological discoveries, hoping this will spur interest in the country’s ancient treasures and revive tourism, which was hit hard by political turmoil following the 2011 uprising.

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Excavation of King Ramses II shrine in Matariya complete

October 27, 2018
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An archaeological mission from Egypt’s Ain Shams University has completed the excavation of a shrine to King Ramses II discovered last year in Cairo’s Matariya district.
The head of the mission Mamdouh El-Damaty explains that the shrine was once used during festivals.

The mission has also unearthed a collection of lintels, scarabs, amulets, clay pots and blocks engraved with hieroglyphic text.

El-Damaty says the discovery is important because it is a unique shrine from the New Kingdom that was used for the Heb Sed festival, not only during the reign of King Ramses II but throughout the Ramesside period.

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3,000-Year Old Tattooed Mummy Belongs to Egyptian Woman

October 24, 2018
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According to a press release by the Ministry of Antiquities, a mummy uncovered in Deir El-Madina Village on the West Bank of Luxor featuring 30 tattoos belongs to a young woman.

The mummy was found in 2014 by the French Archaeological mission from the French Institute of Oriental Studies (IFAO) which carried out the scientific research of the mummy and its tattoos using infrared technology.

Dr. Mostafa Waziri, General Secretary of the Supreme council of Antiquities explained that the studies revealed that woman probably had lived between 1300 and 1070 BC and died between 25 to 34 years old.

The mummy has 30 unique tattoos etched on different parts of the body, including the neck, back, shoulders and arms. The tattoos are of bulls, lotus flowers, a group of cattle and the Udjat eye, which reflect that this mummy belongs to a woman who had an important religious status during her lifetime.

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Low-cost flights between Red Sea resorts and Sphinx Airport available soon

October 22, 2018
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Chief of the General Tourist Guide Syndicate Hassan al-Nahla announced a plan to cooperate with tourism and aviation companies to organize low-cost one-day trips for tourists from hotels and resorts in the Red Sea, Sharm al-Sheikh and Luxor to Sphinx International Airport, west of Giza.

Nahla said on Sunday that these trips will be launched soon to visit archaeological and tourist areas in Cairo and Giza. He added that one-day trips through the Sphinx Airport will save time the 10 hour bus trips to go and return on the same day between Hurghada and Cairo.

Nahla also explained that the flights will be low costs and at different routes to various tourist areas, in order to support tourism, promote sustainable development and enable tourists to visit more than one tourist destination in Egypt.

The Sphinx International Airport received its first test flight last week.

The new LE 300 million airport lies west of Cairo, and is anticipated to hold great touristic importance due to how close it is to the Giza Pyramids, the Grand Egyptian Museum, and other historic areas in Cairo and Giza.

Construction work on the Sphinx Airport began in 2016, registered and calibrated by the ICAO. Built as the 33rd airport in Egypt’s history, it is located at the Cairo-Alexandria desert road.

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Tomb of a Pharaoh’s ‘Sole Friend’ and ‘Keeper of the Secret’ Found in Egypt

October 14, 2018
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The remains of a tomb complex belonging to the “sole friend” of an Egyptian pharaoh have been discovered near a pyramid at Abusir in Egypt.

The burial site contains the remains of a small chapel and tomb. Inside the tomb, which was robbed in ancient times, archaeologists found the remains of a statue with inscriptions referring to a priest named Kaires who was “sole friend of the king” and “keeper of the secret of the Morning House” — the place where the pharaoh got dressed and ate breakfast, a team of archaeologists with the Czech Institute of Egyptology said in a statement Oct. 2.

The archaeologists aren’t sure which pharaoh the inscription is referring to, but they have some clues: The tomb complex was found near a pyramid belonging to the pharaoh Neferirkare (reign 2446–2438 B.C.); and another of the titles recorded on his statue says that Kaires was “inspector of the priests serving in the pyramid complexes” belonging to Neferirkare and his predecessor, Sahure.

The statue lists several other important titles held by Kaires: “overseer of all king’s works” and “foremost of the House of Life,” which was a library of sorts that contained papyri that recorded knowledge on a variety of subjects, the archaeologists said in the statement. Very few papyri dating back more than 4,000 years have been found in Egypt.

No idle boast
The archaeologists will never know if Kaires was truly a “sole friend” to one or more pharaohs. However, he must have been highly regarded judging by his elaborate burial, the archaeologists noted. He was buried in a place reserved exclusively for members of the royal family and the highest state dignitaries, they said.

Additionally, the chapel at the site has basalt blocks at its base, something that is highly unusual given that only the pharaohs themselves were allowed to use basalt in tomb construction, the archaeologists said.

Although Kaires’ sarcophagus was found in his tomb, his mummy has not been found yet, but excavations are ongoing.

The Czech Institute of Egyptology is based at Charles University in Prague. The archaeologists’ expedition to Abusir is led by Miroslav Bárta, who is a professor at the institute. The excavations are being carried out in cooperation with the Egyptian antiquities ministry.

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14-year-old Egyptian Girl Breaks World Record for the Longest Dive

October 6, 2018
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After staying under water for two days and seven hours, an Egyptian 14-year-old girl, Reem Ashraf managed on to break the world record for the longest dive.

Ashraf made it into the Guinness World Record after she achieved the world’s longest dive inside Gulf of Aqaba’s waters in Sharm al-Sheikh for 55 hours on Friday.

According to Ashraf’s official page of on Facebook, Reem was able to break the record for the longest dive recorded in the Guinness World Records in the name of Australian girl Christine Coyle, “38 years”, who achieved dive of 15 hours under water.

Ashraf began the challenge on Wednesday morning in Sharm al-Sheikh city in South Sinai; she became the youngest Egyptian to set the world record for staying underwater.

According to media statements from Reem to the privately-run Arab TV channel of Al-Arabyia, she decided to learn diving after being inspired by her father who works as an officer in the navy forces.

She also noted that she has received a perfect training on how stay underwater for the longest time possible depending only on liquids for ingestion; moreover she received training on how to sleep under water.

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San Al-Hagar archaeological site’s conversion to open-air museum of ancient Egyptian art making progress

October 2, 2018
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The Minister of Antiquities Khaled el-Enany and an entourage of foreign ambassadors embarked on an inspection tour Saturday to the San Al-Hagar archeological site to assess the progress being made to develop the Sharqiya Governorate site into an open-air museum for ancient Egyptian art.

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