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Local authorities in Egypt have announced the discovery of an ancient sphinx statue between two of the best known ancient temples in the country – Karnak and Luxor. The discovery was made by chance, during a restoration project, and stunned the construction workers who found it. There have been very few sphinxes discovered in modern times and the find will add to our knowledge of Egyptian sculpture and art. The sphinx will also raise questions as to what else may be found in the area and which Pharaoh the statue represents.
Sphinxes are common in many mythologies, including Ancient Greece. They are usually portrayed as having human heads, with the bodies of a lion and are sometimes depicted as winged. In Egyptian mythology, they are often portrayed as benevolent and strong and they are usually associated with royalty. The best-known Sphinx in Egypt is, of course, the colossal one at Giza, adjacent to the Great Pyramids.
The Sphinx in Giza. Source: BigStockPhoto
The Temples of Karnak and Luxor
The temples of Karnak and Luxor are located within the ancient city of Thebes and date back to the second millennium BC. They are not just temples but large religious sites and today they are open-air museums, hugely popular with tourists. The Theban complexes are among the largest in the world and played an important role in the religion of Ancient Egypt. It is believed that the recently discovered sphinx is the first unearthed in Thebes and one of the most significant finds in the city since the discovery of a tomb in 2014.
An avenue of sphinxes that stretched over 1.5 miles (3 km) once connected the temples of Karnak and Luxor. The famous path was used for the annual Opet festival, when the Egyptians paraded along it carrying statues of Amun and Mut in a symbolic re-enactment of their marriage.
The Avenue of the Sphinxes ( Daniel & Kate / flickr )
The New Sphinx
There has been a long-running construction project, to excavate and restore the Al-Kabbash Road, that runs between the temples of Luxor and Karnak. Egypt Today announced that a team of archaeologists was working on conserving the site known as the alley of the rams when they made the stunning discovery. It was unearthed by some construction workers as they were digging, and the sphinx was located beneath the surface. According to Daily Mail , the supervisor of the Al-Kabbash road project ‘’stated that the statue has not been excavated completely yet’’ to ensure that the Sphinx is not damaged until it can be finally taken from the earth.
The Alley of the Rams. Source: BigStockPhoto
A preliminary examination of the statue indicates that it is similar to the famous sphinx on the plateau of Giza. It has the body of a lion and a human head. The statue, despite it is still not being fully excavated, is almost certainly that of the Egyptian mythical creature, which is slightly different from other cultures such as the Greek and the Mesopotamian.
It was very common for pharaohs, to have their likenesses carved into statues of the mythical creature. This was to underline their relationship with a sun-goddess, Sekhmet, who is often portrayed, according to the RT website as ‘’a lioness’’. The sphinxes may also have been created to guard the tombs of a dead pharaoh. The newly discovered statue most probably was carved to represent a particular pharaoh.
Sekhmet - Kom Ombo, Egypt ( Thomas Leplus / flickr )
It is expected that at some future date the Sphinx will be removed and after conservation work will be put on display. This could take some time, but those who wish to see the statue can visit the site in the alley of the rams. No photos or videos have been released of the sphinx at this time.
The importance of the Sphinx
The latest Sphinx is one of the few that have been found, despite the fact that the mythical creature was very important as a symbol of royalty. Its discovery also indicated that there could be more archaeological discoveries to be made between the two great temple complexes in Thebes. Now investigators will begin to examine the Sphinx.
2,000-year-old sphinx uncovered in Egypt
While searching for treasures dating back to ancient Egypt requires preparation, planning and some serious digging, sometimes researchers stumble upon a groundbreaking discovery by simple coincidence.
When a team of Egyptologist was working on the project of reducing the groundwater level in the Kom Ombo temple in Aswan, they accidentally uncovered a buried sandstone statue that turned out to be a sphinx &mdash a creature with the body of lion and the head of a human (and in this case, wearing a snake crown and headdress).
The newly uncovered sculpture made of sandstone is thought to be 2,000 years old and was intact when found.
The discovery was presented by Egypt&rsquos Ministry of Antiquities on their official Facebook page.
According to general secretary of Egypt&rsquos Supreme Council of Antiquities, Mostafa Waziri, the statue likely dates back to the Ptolemaic period, between 305 BC and 30 BC.
In the Facebook post, Waziri explained that the sphinx was found in the southeastern side of the temple, where a pair of sandstone reliefs of King Ptolemy V were previously uncovered two months ago.
Abdel Moneim Saeed, general director of Aswan Antiquities, said that more excavations were expected to take place around the temple and researchers would try to learn more about the sphinx.
The temple of Kom Ombo was dedicated to two separate deities, the falcon god Haroeris and the crocodile god Sobek &mdash Shutterstock
Despite being a true surprise, the newly sphinx still cannot compete with the true queen of such statues &mdash the 73-metre-long and more than 20-metre-high Great Sphinx of Giza. This is believed to have been built next to the Nile river in about 2500 BC for the pharaoh Khafra. The Kom Ombo sphinx is reported to be only around 38 centimetres tall.
The temple of Kom Ombo is considered to be one of the more peculiar in Egypt because it was dedicated to two separate deities &mdash the falcon god Haroeris and the crocodile god Sobek.
Crocodiles have a special history in the area. Three hundred mummies of the animal have been discovered near the temple and are displayed in an adjacent Crocodile Museum.
New sphinx uncovered in Egypt
Some amazing archeological finds involve daring adventures into hidden tombs. Others -- as is the case with .
Some amazing archeological finds involve daring adventures into hidden tombs. Others -- as is the case with the discovery of a beautiful new sphinx in Egypt -- simply involve a spot of drainage.
The newly uncovered sandstone statue, believed to be more than 2,000 years old, was revealed during work to lower the groundwater level in an ancient temple.
Anthropology and archeology
Humanities and social sciences
Middle East and North Africa
Rivers, lakes and falls (by name)
Egypt's Ministry of Antiquities said on its Facebook page that the sphinx was found on the southeastern side of the Kom Ombo temple near the southern city of Aswan.
Images released by the ministry show a classic sphinx, with the body of lion and the head of a human, wearing a snake crown and headdress. The statue appears to be mostly intact.
Mostafa Waziri, general secretary of Egypt's Supreme Council of Antiquities, says the statue dates from the Ptolemaic era which ran from 300 BC to 30 BC. He said it was found close to the location where two sandstone reliefs of King Ptolemy V were recovered two months earlier.
More excavations are expected to take place around the temple to try to learn more about the sphinx, Abdel Moneim Saeed, general director of Aswan Antiquities, said, according to the ministry.
Sphinxes are recurring creatures in the mythologies of ancient Egyptian, Persian and Greek cultures. Their likeness are often found near tombs or religious buildings.
The most famous, the Great Sphinx of Giza, is believed to have been built next to the Nile river in about 2500 BC for the pharaoh Khafra, who also ordered construction of one of the pyramids of Giza.
While the Great Sphinx is an imposing 73 meters (240 feet) long and more than 20 meters high, the latest discovery at Kom Ombo is reported to be a mere 38 centimeters high.
Kom Ombo is considered unusual for an ancient Egyptian temple because it is dedicated to two separate deities -- crocodile god Sobek and falcon god Haroeris.
Three hundred crocodile mummies discovered near the temple are displayed in an adjacent Crocodile Museum.
Highlighting the fact that Egypt still has mysteries yet to uncover, the sphinx may help draw more visitors back to a country whose recent social and political upheavals led to a sharp decline in tourism.
The latest discovery follows the recent opening of the newly restored Tomb of Mehu, a 4,000-year-old burial site near Giza that has been hidden from public view since its discovery 80 years ago.
Also, near Aswan, another archeological excavation uncovered a sandstone coffin containing mummified human remains. The coffin, bearing hieroglyphics, was found in a site close to the banks of the Nile.
Archaeologists in Egypt discover rare collection of mummified cats and beetles
Archaeologists in Egypt have found mummified cats, as well as an apparently pristine Fifth Dynasty tomb that they plan to open in the coming weeks.
Mummified beetles were also among artefacts found in seven tombs discovered over the past six months on the edge of the King Userkaf pyramid complex at the ancient necropolis of Saqqara, south of Cairo.
As they were preparing the site to present the latest discoveries, archaeologists found the door of another tomb that remains sealed, secretary-general of Egypt&aposs Supreme Council of Antiquities Mostafa Waziri said.
The tomb dates from the Fifth Dynasty of the Old Kingdom and is unusual because the facade and door are intact.
That means its contents may still be untouched, said Mohamed Youssef, director of the Saqqara area.
He said experts plan to open the tomb in the coming weeks.
The Fifth Dynasty ruled Egypt from about 2,500 BC to 2,350 BC, not long after the great pyramid of Giza was built.
The tombs lie in a buried ridge that has only partially been uncovered and could offer many more similar discoveries, Waziri said.
Excavations in the area had halted in 2013 before resuming earlier this year.
Saqqara served as the necropolis for Memphis, the capital of ancient Egypt for more than two millennia.
Ancient Egyptians mummified humans to preserve their bodies for the afterlife, while animal mummies were used as religious offerings.
Dozens of cat mummies and gilded statues of cats were unearthed, including a bronze statue dedicated to the cat goddess Bastet.
Two large scarabs wrapped in linen and in very good condition were found inside a limestone sarcophagus with a vaulted, decorated lid, the antiquities ministry said in a statement.
Another collection of scarab mummies was found inside a smaller sarcophagus.
"The (mummified) scarab is something really unique. It is something really a bit rare," Waziri said.
"A couple of days ago, when we discovered those coffins, they were sealed coffins with drawings of scarabs. I never heard about them before."
The team also found painted wooden cobra and crocodile sarcophagi, a collection of gilded statues depicting animal features, as well as objects including amulets, canopic jars, writing tools and papyri baskets.
26 Interesting Facts About The Pyramids of Giza
Located on the west bank of the Nile River, the Pyramids were among the seven wonders of the Ancient World. Even if, they are not on the list of new seven wonders, but they still catch the attention of millions of tourists each year. Having been constructed around the early dynastic period, the pyramids are still intact and able to take you back in History through one visit. Aimed to house the tombs of deceased Pharaohs, the great Pyramids were the places where the Pharaohs began their new Journey afterlife. To know more, let us read some more amazing and interesting facts about one of the Ancient Wonders, the Pyramids of Giza.
1. Oldest Of All Wonders
Aerial view of Pyramids of Giza
The Great Pyramids of Giza are the oldest of all wonders of the World. The construction dates back to 2500 BC when the first dynasties or kingdoms originated in the World.
Source: softschools.com, Image: Wikimedia
2. Among Seven Wonders Of The Ancient World
The period of the ancient world lasted from the third millennium BC to the third century BC. During that period, the Great Pyramid of Giza was among the old seven wonders of the world. It took around 20 years to be completed.
3. Tombs Of Egyptian Pharaohs
The pyramids house the tomb of the Egyptian Pharaohs who rule over the Egyptian Kingdoms. However, tombs of the Egyptian kings were constructed underground for many years before the Pharaoh Djoser built a step pyramid in Saqqara.
Source: mentalfloss.com, Image: Wikimedia
4. Made Up Of Limestone
Pyramids of Giza are made up of limestones
The great pyramids were made up of limestones. They were built with about 2.3 million stone blocks and it is thought that they weigh about 5.9 million tonnes.
Source: softschools.com, Image: Flickr
5. Tallest For Thousands Of Years
According to archaeologists, it was the tallest man-made structure in the world for about 3, 800 years.
6. A Complex Of Pyramids
The Giza pyramid complex comprises three great pyramids Khufu/Cheops, Khafre/ Chephren, Menkaure/Mykerinos, the Great Sphinx, many cemeteries, a worker’s village, and an industrial complex. The Great Pyramid of Giza or Pyramid of Khufu or Cheops is the largest of all three pyramids. It’s ancient name was Khufu’s Horizon. It is said that the pyramid of Khufu was constructed by Egyptian Pharaoh Khufu. The Pyramid of Khafre is the second largest pyramid in the complex.
Source: Wikipedia, Image: Flickr
7. Walk To East And West Fields
The Giza West Field is located to the west of Khufu Pyramid on the Giza Plateau and the Giza East Field is situated to the east of Khufu Pyramid.
Source: revolvy.com, Image: Wikimedia
8. Pyramids Are Contracting
Pyramid of Cheops or Khufu
The Great Pyramid of Giza is shrinking. its original height was 481 feet or 146.5 meters. However, due to the erosion for thousands of years, pyramid lost some of its height and today it stands at 455 feet or 138.8 meters.
Source: factslegend.org, Image: Flickr
9. Wall Around France
The Great Pyramid Of Giza contains enough stones to build an almost 2 feet high and 1-foot thick wall around France.
Source: factslegend.org, GIF: Giphy
10. Stones Are Heavier
The great pyramid has more than 2 millions of stones. These stones weigh from 2 to 30 tons each and there are even some blocks that weigh over 50 tons.
Source: ancient-code.com, Image: Wikimedia
11. New Journey After Life
These pyramids were constructed to tomb the pharaohs of Egypt who reigned over the Kingdom of Egypt. In ancient Egypt, it was believed that there was a new life after death. So, all the important goods and treasure used to be put with the corpse in the tomb.
12. Base Is Square
Pyramids of Giza aerial view
The base of the great pyramids is a perfect square. Each side of square is about 756 feet and the base covers an area of 13 acres of land that can accommodate nearly 10 football/Soccer fields.
Source: factslegend.org, Image: Flickr
13. 203 Steps To Top
In order to reach the top or summit of the pyramid, it will take 203 steps to reach the top.
14. How They Made It?
It is hard to imagine how Egyptians made such a huge structure without facilities. They had no modern machinery no cranes, no lorries, no electric saws, no electricity at all. They didn’t even have the iron for their chisels – just copper, which is a very soft metal. They did not even have wheels!
Source: timetrips.co.uk, Image: world-pyramids.com
15. Skilled Labor Behind The Construction
Historians and Archaeologists believe that more than 20,000 skilled workers including stone masons, architects, engineers, surveyors, builders, and other craftsmen constructed the great pyramid of Khufu.
16. Lion With Human Head
The Great Sphinx with the Pyramid of Giza
Near all pyramids, the great sphinx lies. The great sphinx is a statue of Lion with the human head. It is commonly referred to as the Sphinx of Giza or just the Sphinx. The Sphinx is a mythical creature in Egyptian mythology. It had a lion’s body with the human head.
Source: britannica.com, Image: nymphetteindia.com
17. Inside The Pyramids
The grand gallery inside the great pyramid of Giza
There are several tunnels and rooms inside the great pyramid. Apart from it, it has the Queen’s Chamber, the King’s Chamber, the grand gallery, the air shaft, etc.
Source: timetrips.co.uk, Image: abcnews.go.com
18. Slightly Curvy
The Great Pyramid of Giza is the only one which has been built with concave sides. This means that all four side curve in slightly.
19. Related Astronomy
Three Pyramids are aligned with Orion Stars of Orion Constellation
The Great Pyramid of Khufu, The Pyramid of Menkaure, the Pyramid of Khafre are precisely aligned with the constellation of Orion.
Source: ancient-code.com, Image: tripadvisor.com.ph, Flickr
20. Miracle Of Casing Stones
When the pyramids were built, the entire structure was covered with the casing stones. Casing stones were actually limestones that were extremely well polished. Due to the casing stones, the pyramids were able to reflect the rays of the Sun and were very bright. Due to their brightness, Egyptians used to call them, ‘Ikhet‘ means ‘glorious light.’
21. A Giant Door For Entry
The Great Pyramid is the only pyramid to have three swivel doors. Although the door weighed around 20 tons, it was easily opened from the inside with just one hand.
Source: interestingengineering.com, Image: Wikimedia
22. Arabs Broke Into The Pyramid
In 820 AD, the Arab forces first ented the Pyramid. The only thing found in the pyramid was an empty granite box in the King’s chamber. It was also damaged by Arabs and some stones were also theft for building mosques.
23. No Record
There is no record found about the Pyramid. No drawing, no artefact, no inventory, no picture has been found about it.
24. At The Top Of The Center Of Earth
Geographical Center of Earth shown as red point
The Great Pyramid sits at the top of the geographical center of Earth which is situated in Egypt. The Geographical center is the superficial barycenter of the mass distribution.
Source: Wikipedia, Image: worldatlas.com
25. On The West Of The Longest River
Pyramids can be seen from the Nile river
Archaeologists Discover Another Buried Sphinx at the Kom Ombo Temple Near Aswan
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Egyptian archaeologists working on a groundwater reduction project at the Kom Ombo Temple in Aswan have discovered a sandstone sphinx, according to the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities on Sunday.
The discovery comes as a surprise as in the last few months, archaeologists working in Egypt have uncovered the remains of two Sphinx statues.
The unearthed Sphinx after it was restored. Image Credit: Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities.
A few weeks ago, we wrote about how construction workers working near the Luxor Temple Complex stumbled across the remains of a buried Sphinx statue.
Initial reports by the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquity suggested that the Sphinx uncovered at Luxor is similar in design to the Great Sphinx of Giza: It has the body of a lion and the head of a human.
The most famous Sphinx in Egypt is without a doubt the massive statue located at the Giza plateau.
The Great Sphinx of Giza is considered an ancient marvel not only because of its size and confusing design but because of the countless mysteries that surround this ancient structure.
Together with the three pyramids, the Great Sphinx found on the plateau of Giza – about 500 km from the place where the new statue was found – is one of the most emblematic monuments of Egypt.
Now, archeologists near Aswan mad another stunning discovery finding another Sphinx statue.
The Great Sphinx found near the Kom Ombo Temple.
Mostafa Waziri, general secretary of the Supreme Council of Antiquities of Egypt, explained that the piece probably dates from the Ptolemaic dynasty, as the Sphinx statue was found in the southeast side of the temple, in the same place where two sandstone reliefs of King Ptolemy V were discovered two months ago.
The Ptolemaic Dynasty ruled over Egypt for 275 years, from 305 to 30 BC, and they were the last dynasty of ancient Egypt.
The Kom Ombo temple complex was constructed during the Ptolemaic Dynasty.
Kom Ombo Temple before reconstruction. Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons. Public Domain
Ptolemy V was the fifth ruler of the Ptolemaic dynasty from 204 to 181 BC. He inherited the throne at the age of five, and under a series of regents, the kingdom was paralyzed. It is noteworthy to mention that to famous Rosetta Stone was produced during his reign as an adult.
The sculpture, discovery at the Kom Ombo Temple in Aswan bears hieroglyphic and demotic inscriptions and has already been transported to the National Museum of Egyptian Civilization in Fustat, where it will be carefully studied and restored by the archaeological mission to obtain more information about its origin. After restoration, the newly-found Sphinx will be exhibited to the public.
An Ancient wonder
It is no surprise that the ancient Egyptians were incredible astronomers, mathematicians, and engineers. They were excellent architects as well, and their skills in various forms of art are untouched. Because of this, it isn’t surprising to find that they embedded some pretty distinctive features within their many monuments.
For example, the Great Pyramid of Giza is the only known eight-sided pyramid in Egypt. it is also one of the most accurately aligned structures on the planet’s surface.
The Sphinx is unique not only because of its massive shape but because of its accurate and precise alignment, which points to the fact there is a higher purpose embedded within the Sphinx.
All of this was created thousands of years ago, and the Egyptians haven’t really left us with many clues that help us understand how everything was achieved. To date, no ancient engineering documents or architectural plans have even been found that offer any insight into the technical details of how the Egyptians managed to align with such accuracy and precision their statues, temples, and pyramids. Furthermore, archeological excavations have still not found any kind of ancient compass, nor have we discovered any kind of survey tools that shed light on how the ancient Egyptians worked thousands of years ago.
2,700-Year-Old Osiris Statues, Small Sphinx Unearthed at Karnak
Osiris statuette and figurine. Image credit: © CNRS-Cfeetk / J. Maucor.
“Built during the reign of Thutmose III (1479 – 1424 BC), the temple of Ptah was restored, enlarged and adapted throughout the period before the reign of Emperor Tiberius (14-37 AD),” the scientists said.
“It is dedicated to Ptah, a divinity associated with the Egyptian town of Memphis.”
The archaeologists have been studying the Ptah temple, which has inscriptions dating from the time of Tuthmosis III to that of the Roman Emperor Tiberius, since October 2008.
They have just completed the excavation of a favissa, a pit discovered in December 2014 to the east the temple, in the northern area of the Amun temple complex.
“The dig has yielded 38 statues, statuettes and precious objects, making this an exceptional find, both for the quantity and quality of the religious artifacts brought to light,” they said.
Head of 2,800-year-old statue probably representing Imhotep, an architect, high priest, and physician who lived around 2650 BC. Image credit: © CNRS-Cfeetk / J. Maucor.
These artifacts date from the 25th Dynasty, also known as the Nubian Dynasty (760 – 656 BC) – the last dynasty of the Third Intermediate Period of Ancient Egypt, and include 14 statues and figurines of Osiris, three statuettes of baboons, two statuettes of the goddess Mut, head and fragments of a cat statuette, two unidentified statuette bases, and several inlays – iris, cornea, beards, headdresses.
Among the newly-discovered statues are a sphinx statue and a small statue head probably representing Imhotep, a famous polymath and counselor to the Pharaoh Djoser.
“The sphinx is a small white limestone statuette, measuring 50 x 20 x 30 cm. It was placed upright in a pit at the back of the temple of Ptah,” the scientists said.
Statuette of a goddess discovered near the temple of Ptah. Image credit: © CNRS-Cfeetk / J. Maucor.
“The sphinx represents a lion’s body and the royal facial features of a pharaoh, believed to be of the New Kingdom. The human head has the traditional nemes retained on the forehead by a horizontal band on top of which stands an uraeus.”
“The statuette is complete, with the exception of the nose that seems to have disappeared in antiquity. The left front paw, broken, was found positioned on top of the right front paw of the sphinx against the edge of the pit. No inscription was found for the moment, but the restoration of the sphinx starts only.”
The F.B.I. Helped a Museum Learn the Identity of a 4,000-Year-Old Severed Head
In 2009, Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts displayed painted coffins, statues, vases and other goods, the "secrets" of an Egyptian tomb that archaeologists had discovered more than nine decades earlier in Deir el-Bersha. Among the assemblage of artifacts from the tomb, known as 10A, was a mummified head. But who, the curators wondered, did the head belonged to?
The tomb had been the final resting place of local governor in early Middle Kingdom Egypt named Djehutynakht and his wife, also named Djehutynakht. By the time the tomb was spotted by archaeologists, it had already been ransacked by looters, and they left the bandage-wrapped head sitting on top of one of the coffins.
Archaeologists could not determine if the head was from the male or female corpse, and i t didn’t seem likely they would ever have an answer for whether it was from Djehutynakht or, well, Djehutynakht . A CT scan of the bones in the skull revealed the jaw components that could identify the sex had been removed. Extracting DNA from ancient Egyptian mummies was thought to be impossible, especially since the hot dry conditions in Egypt deteriorate DNA quickly. But now, reports Nicholas St. Fleur at The New York Times , the case has finally been solved with help from the F.B.I.
The same year the museum launched the exhibition, it allowed a molar to be extracted from the mummy’s head in the hopes of finally identifying it. But researchers were unable to retrieve any DNA from the tooth. Until, that is, Odile Loreille at the F.B.I. forensics lab took another look in 2016. A veteran DNA analyst who has recovered DNA from Titanic victims, ancient cave bears and two children from the murdered Romanov family, she writes in a new paper on the DNA extraction, published in the journal Genes, that they were able to find readable strands of DNA in the powdered tooth.
According to Loreille's findings, the skull was male, meaning it was likely the remains of Djehutynakht the governor. “It’s one of the Holy Grails of ancient DNA to collect good data from Egyptian mummies,” Pontus Skoglund, a geneticist at the Francis Crick Institute in London who was involved in the study, tells St. Fleur. “It was very exciting to see that Odile got something that looked like it could be authentic ancient DNA.”
But there were questions, including from Loreille, about the extraction. Was the DNA the first DNA to be extracted from an Egyptian mummy or had it been contaminated? To their surprise, while modern Egyptians are closely related to people in sub-Saharan Africa, the mitochondrial DNA extracted from the mummy indicated the governor came from Eurasian ancestry. To confirm the results, the F.B.I. team sent samples to Harvard and the Department of Homeland Security for further testing. Those results also indicated Eurasian ancestry.
While that work was going on, researchers from University of Tuebingen and the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History were able to sequence the genomes of three ancient Egyptian mummies, finding that they were related to people from the eastern Mediterranean.
While Loreille tells St. Fleur she was disappointed not to be the first to publish DNA results from an ancient Egyptian mummy, the Max Planck study helps confirm that her findings of Eurasian ancestry are probably correct.
There is one mystery about the mummified head that DNA cannot answer. Rafi Letzter at LiveScience reports that there were, in fact, two governors named Djehutynakht that ruled the area known as Hare Nome at different points in time, and nothing recovered from 10A so far reveals whose shoulders that mummified head sat upon.
About Jason Daley
Jason Daley is a Madison, Wisconsin-based writer specializing in natural history, science, travel, and the environment. His work has appeared in Discover, Popular Science, Outside, Men’s Journal, and other magazines.
3,000-Year-Old Egyptian Mummy Unveiled in Near-Perfect Condition
Egyptian officials have cracked open a sarcophagus discovered inside an ancient tomb in Luxor to reveal a well-preserved female mummy they believe is more than 3,000 years old.
The woman’s remains inhabited one of two separate coffins found inside the same tomb in the El-Asasef necropolis, located on the West Bank of the Nile in southern Egypt. Though Egyptian authorities have announced numerous discoveries this year, this is the first time they’ve opened an ancient sarcophagus for the first time in front of international media.
Ministry officials think the woman inside the sarcophagus may be named Thuya, though a spokeswoman said they were still working to definitively identify the mummy. The tomb dates to Egypt’s middle kingdom, nearly 4,000 years ago.
The archaeologists identified the mummy inside the other sarcophagus as Thaw-Irkhet-if, a priest who is known to have supervised the embalming of several pharaohs at the Temple of Mut in Karnak.
“One sarcophagus was rishi-style, which dates back to the 17th dynasty, while the other sarcophagus was from the 18th dynasty," Minister of Antiquities Khaled Al Anani said. Ancient Egypt’s 18th dynasty dates to the 13th century B.C., and included well-known pharaohs like Tutankhamun, Hatshepsut,ਊkhenaten and his queen, Nefertiti.
Located between the royal tombs in the Valley of the Queens and the Valley of the Kings, the El-Asasef necropolis was used to bury noblemen and women close to the pharaohs. After working for five months to clear 300 meters of rubble, a French-led team of archaeologists uncovered this particular tomb earlier this month.
Vividly colored paintings on the ceiling depicted the tomb’s owner and his family members. In addition to the two sarcophagi, the tomb contained other mummies, skeletons and skulls, as well as around 1,000 statues made of wood and clay. Known as Ushabti, these figurines of servants were meant to accompany the dead and serve them in the afterlife.