Egypt on Wednesday received from Germany a painted limestone relief that was stolen in the last century from the tomb of 18th dynasty high priest Sobekhotep in the Nobles necropolis on Luxor’s west bank.
Minister of Antiquities and Heritage Mamdouh El-Damati told Ahram Online that the recovery of the relief started a few months ago when he was Egypt’s cultural attaché in Germany and curators at Bonn University Museum were working hard to organise a temporary exhibition there.
During preparations, a curator at the museum spotted the relief and it was confirmed that it was stolen and had been taken from the 18th dynasty tomb of Sobekhotep, a high priest during the reign of King Tuthmose IV. Read more.
Two shipments of stolen Egyptian artefacts spanning the eras of the pharaohs and the Mamluks have been returned to Egypt, thanks to efforts from diplomatic officials.
The first consists of eight Islamic wooden art decorations stolen in 2008 from the pulpit of Ghanim Al-Bahlawan Mosque in Al-Darb Al-Ahmar in Cairo’s historic Islamic district.
Ghanim Al-Bahlawan Mosque, named after the Circassian Mamluk, was constructed in 1478 AD during the reign of Sultan Qait Bey. The decorative items depict geometrical patterns embellished with ivory. Read more.
At the Arabet Abydos area in Sohag, where the large temple of King Seti I is located, an Egyptian excavation mission from the Ministry of Antiquities and Heritage (MAH) stumbled upon a limestone ancient Egyptian chapel from the 11th Dynasty.
The excavation work came within the framework of a cleaning programme carried out by the MAH in that area, after officers of the tourism and antiquities police caught red handed inhabitants trying to illegally excavate the area in front their residences in search of treasured artefacts.
Ali El-Asfar, head of the ancient Egyptian Section at the MAH, told Ahram Online that the chapel is in a very well preserved condition and is located 150 metres north to the temple of King Seti I. Read more.
One of the eight mummies that are the subject of the exhibition Ancient lives, new discoveries, the mummy of a woman from Sudan, was discovered relatively recently, compared to the others. Her body was found in 2005, during rescue excavations taking place in the area of the Fourth Nile Cataract, where the building of a dam threatened to flood archaeological sites.
The collection of over a thousand human remains excavated during the mission was donated by the National Corporation for Antiquities and Museums (Sudan) to the Sudan Archaeological Research Society, which then gave them to the British Museum. Arid climate and hot sand had naturally mummified some of these bodies, including the remains of this woman. Her soft tissues are so well preserved that conservators at the British Museum located a tattoo and other marks on her skin. Read more.
Following comprehensive investigations carried out by the Tourism and Antiquities Police, members of a gang specialising in illegal excavation work and the looting of antiquities have been caught red-handed.
The gang leader was arrested in his home in Giza’s Abu Sir village, where a collection of 17 authentic Islamic coins, 12 Ancient Egyptian ushabti figurines and a replica statue were found hidden inside an oven.
According to the police report, this collection emerged from illegal excavations carried out by the gang members and a number of villagers in a remote archaeological area in Abu Sir. (source)
A team of Polish archaeologists discovered tombs from the early second millennium BC and unknown pharaonic carvings in Gebelein in Upper Egypt. It was a part of rescue studies associated with the devastation caused by the widening range of fields and settlements.
Gebelein is a complex of archaeological sites approximately 30 km south-west of Luxor. More than 5 thousand years ago it was a capital of one of the proto-states, which preceded the state of the pharaohs. The first European archaeologists came here at the end of the nineteenth century, but over the last few decades scientists seldom studied this area and did not publish the results of their research. Therefore, it is not well recognized. The name “Gebelein” means “two hills” in Arabic. Read more.
A team of scientists from the Institute of Archaeology, University of Wrocław discovered an about 4 thousand years old burial chapel with partially preserved equipment in one of the ancient necropolises in the area of Luxor in Upper Egypt.
The discovery was made in the yard of the rock tomb of an important pharaonic official - Horhotep in the Asasif necropolis adjacent to the famous Hatshepsut temple in Deir el-Bahri. The deceased lived during the reign of the pharaohs Amenemhat I and Senweseret I of the 12th dynasty.
"This is the first known deposit of monuments of this type known from the period of the Middle Kingdom (2055 - 1773 BC). Within the surviving fragments of walls built of dried mud bricks we discovered a fragment of limestone altar where sacrifices were offered and where ancients prayed. Read more.
CAIRO: Policemen at Upper Egypt’s governorate of Minya arrested two locals in possession of illicit antiquities including a royal mummy during a covert operation on Friday, Al-Ahram reported.
Head of the Department for Tourism and Antiquities in Minya Kamal al-Kalawy received a tip that two suspects were reportedly seen with antiquities most likely stolen from Malawy museum that was looted mid-August in 2013.
Investigations indicated that the suspects, a 32-year-old agricultural engineer and a laborer, hid the antiquities in the latter’s house in Minya’s northern town of Beni Mazar. Read more.