Sunday, May 23, 2010

Mummies in Newly Discovered Tombs

A sarcophagus from inside one of the newly discovered tombs.

Archaeologists south of Cairo have discovered 57 tombs, most of which hold a painted wooden sarcophagus with a mummy inside, Egyptian authorities announced today. The oldest tombs date back to around 2750 BC., during the period of Egypt's first and second dynasties. Twelve belong the 18th Dynasty, which ruled Egypt during the second millennium BC, and included well-known pharaohs such as Tutankhamun, Akhenaten and Queen Hatshepsut.

The mummies dating to the 18th Dynasty are covered in linen decorated with religious texts from the Book of the Dead and scenes featuring ancient Egyptian deities, authorities said. Abdel Rahman El-Aydi, head of the archaeological mission that made the discovery, said some of the tombs are decorated with religious texts that ancient Egyptians believed would help the deceased to cross through the underworld.

One of the oldest tombs is almost completely intact, with all of its funerary equipment and a wooden sarcophagus containing a mummy wrapped in linen. In 31 tombs dating to around 2030-1840 B.C, archaeologists discovered scenes of different ancient Egyptian deities, such as the falcon-headed Horus, Hathor, Khnum and Amun, decorating some of the tombs.

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1 comment:

Because I need to know now said...

Very cool site! Glad to have found you!