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Archaeology

New Kingdom cemetery found at Tuna el-Gebel

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The Egyptian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities have announced the discovery of a New Kingdom cemetery at the site of Tuna el-Gebel, located in the Minya Governorate, Egypt.

Tuna el-Gebel served as the necropolis for Khmun, also known as Hermopolis Magna. The site contains Egypt’s most extensive Greco-Roman necropolis, with origins tracing back to the New Kingdom and continuing through to the Roman Period.

A recent archaeological mission led by Dr. Mostafa Waziri has uncovered a cemetery containing the burials of high-ranked officials and priests from the New Kingdom (1550 – 1070 BC). The researchers excavated numerous rock-cut tombs, in which burials were found intact within stone and wooden sarcophagi.

Numerous funerary offerings were also recovered, such as amulets and jewellery, precious stones, gold objects, as well as wooden and ceramic Ushabti statues representing high royal officials such as “Jehutymes,” who held the title of supervisor of bulls of the Temple of Amun, and “Nani,” a singer of Amun.

Image Credit : Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities

According to the researchers, the symbols and inscriptions found on these artefacts provide confirmation that the burials were associated with the upper echelons of the administrative and priestly classes during the New Kingdom in Upper Egypt.

The team also discovered the first complete papyrus discovered at the site, measuring between 13 to 15 metres in length. The papyrus refers to the Book of the Dead, an Ancient Egyptian funerary text used from the beginning of the New Kingdom that contains of a number of magic spells intended to assist a dead person’s journey through the Duat, or underworld, and into the afterlife.

“It is a discovery of enormous importance that will enrich our knowledge of this historical period. I deeply thank the entire team for their hard work and dedication, which today allows us to reveal this magnificent New Kingdom cemetery to the world, said Dr. Fahmy.

The papyrus will undergo a meticulous restoration process and will later be exhibited in the Grand Egyptian Museum, currently under construction near the pyramids of Giza.

Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities

Header Image Credit : Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities

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Archaeology

Trove of Roman objects linked to feasting found at Ostia antica

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Archaeologists have uncovered a trove of Roman objects linked to ritual feasting at Ostia antica.

Ostia Antica is an ancient harbour town located at the mouth of the Tiber River. The harbour served as the main port for Rome, transporting goods and people from the coast along the Via Ostiensis.

Archaeologists recently excavated the area of Regio I – Insula XV, a “sacred area” or precinct housing several temples and sanctuaries. At the centre is the temple of Hercules,  a 31 x 16 metre monument which dates from the Republican Era.

Excavations have revealed a substantial well situated at the base of the temple of Hercules. Upon draining the well, it was discovered to hold a significant collection of objects dating from the 1st to 2nd century AD.

Among the objects are various ceramics, miniatures, lamps, glass containers, fragments of marble, and burnt animal bones (pigs and cattle). According to the archaeologists, the trove corresponds with ritual feasting associated with cult at the temple.

In a press statement by the Ministry of Culture: “The discovery of burnt bones confirms that animal sacrifices were carried out in the sanctuary, while the common ceramics, also bearing traces of fire, indicate that the meat was cooked and consumed during banquets in honour of divinity. The remains of one or more ritual meals were thrown into the well, the last ones probably when their function had ceased.”

Header Image Credit : Ministry of Culture

Sources : Ministry of Culture

This content was originally published on www.heritagedaily.com – © 2023 – HeritageDaily

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Archaeology

Labyrinthine structure discovered from the Minoan civilisation

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Archaeologists have discovered a monumental labyrinthine structure on the summit of Papoura Hill in Crete.

The discovery was made during the installation of a radar system in preparation for the construction of a new airport in the area.

According to experts, the structure dates from between 2000 to 1700 BC shortly before or at the start of the palaeopalatial Minoan period.

The Minoan civilisation was a Bronze Age culture that emerged on the island of Crete around 3100 BC. The culture is known for the monumental architecture and energetic art, and is often regarded as the first civilisation in Europe.

Image Credit : Greek Ministry of Culture

The chronology of the Minoans is characterised into three distinct phases – Early Minoan (EM), Middle Minoan (MM), and Late Minoan (LM).

The palaeopalatial structure is part of the MMI – II grouping in the Middle Minoan, a period in which the first palaces were built and saw the development of the Minoan writing systems, Cretan hieroglyphic and Linear A.

The structure comprises of 8 concentric stone rings that converge on a central circular building. The entire diameter of the complex measures 48 metres and covers an area of approximately 1800 square metres.

Within the central structure are four designated zones in which radial walls intersect vertically and form a labyrinthine structure. Zones A and B appear to be have the main concentration of human activity, evidenced by the presence of large amounts of animals bones.

According to the experts, this residential area likely had a truncated cone or vaulted appearance and is the first monument of this type excavated in Crete. It can perhaps be paralleled with the elliptical MM building of the Chamezi Archaeological Site, as well as with the so-called circular proto-Hellenic cyclopean building of Tiryns.

The Minister of Culture, said: “This is a unique and highly significant find. Solutions are in place to ensure the completion of the archaeological research and the protection of the monument.”

Header Image Credit : Greek Ministry of Culture

Sources : Greek Ministry of Culture

This content was originally published on www.heritagedaily.com – © 2023 – HeritageDaily

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