Archaeological News

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Posts tagged "valley of the kings"

A group of workers, archaeologists and architects is busy at work at the entrance to the Valley of the Kings on the West Bank at Luxor, where the tombs of New Kingdom pharaohs and nobles are spread out within the surrounding mountains. They are constructing a new mud-brick structure containing panels for a full-scale facsimile of the burial chamber of the pharaoh Tutankhamun.

This will be the first replica tomb in the Middle East and one fit for a king. It is due to open to the public at the end of April near the rest house of the tomb’s discoverer, British Egyptologist Howard Carter. Read more.

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The largest ancient Egyptian sarcophagus has been identified in a tomb in Egypt’s Valley of the Kings, say archaeologists who are re-assembling the giant box that was reduced to fragments more than 3,000 years ago.

Made of red granite, the royal sarcophagus was built for Merneptah, an Egyptian pharaoh who lived more than 3,200 years ago. A warrior king, he defeated the Libyans and a group called the “Sea Peoples” in a great battle.

He also waged a campaign in the Levant attacking, among others, a group he called “Israel” (the first mention of the people). When he died, his mummy was enclosed in a series of four stone sarcophagi, one nestled within the other.

Archaeologists are re-assembling the outermost of these nested sarcophagi, its size dwarfing the researchers working on it. It is more than 13 feet (4 meters) long, 7 feet (2.3 m) wide and towers more than 8 feet (2.5 m) above the ground. It was originally quite colorful and has a lid that is still intact. Read more.

Archaeologists from Egypt and Switzerland have unearthed the
3,100-year-old tomb of a female singer in the Valley of the
Kings.

It is the only tomb of a woman not related to the ancient royal families ever found in the valley, said Mansour Boraiq, the senior official at the Antiquities Ministry in Luxor. He said the coffin was remarkably intact, and that when it was opened this week, experts are likely to find her mummified body with a funeral mask moulded to her face.

The singer’s name, Nehmes Bastet, means she was believed to be protected by the feline god Bastet. Scientists concluded from artefacts that she sang in Karnak Temple, one of the most famous and largest open-air sites from the pharaonic era. (source)

Sarah Parcak doesn’t mind if you compare her to Indiana Jones. After all, how many globetrotting superstar archaeologists are out there? But Parcak, 32, is more likely to be found hunkered down in her research facilities at the University of Alabama at Birmingham poring over data than exploring lost temples and ancient cities in Egypt. Though she does plenty of the latter, too.

Parcak, a 1997 graduate of Bangor High School, has made a name for herself as one of the world’s foremost Egyptologists, using infrared satellite imagery to discover thousands of new sites throughout Egypt. A BBC documentary on the work of Parcak and her team of scientists, “Egypt: What Lies Beneath,” will air at 8 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 9, on the Discovery Channel. The film is narrated by Brendan Fraser and prominently features Parcak.

“People don’t see the hours and hours of research and writing grants and data processing that happens behind the scenes,” said Parcak. “I will say, though, that archaeology is one of those things that I think a lot of little kids dream about [pursuing] when they grow up. Read more.

New research presented recently at the annual meeting of the American Research Center in Egypt (ARCE) shows that a tomb in the Valley of the Kings – KV 44 – contained the remains of infants who were suffering from disease. The skeletons of adult women were also found but no men. Certainly not the tomb of a Pharaoh

The tomb was first discovered in 1901 by Howard Carter who found it to be looted and containing “rubbish.” Its design is remarkably simple, consisting of a single shaft entry and a chamber with no apparent decoration on the walls.

It was constructed at some point during Egypt’s New Kingdom period (3,500 to 3,100 years ago), a time of great prosperity that saw the valley become populated with the tombs of Pharaohs. During the 22nd dynasty (around 2,900 years ago) it was re-used, housing a woman named Tentkerer.

In the 1990’s a team led by Professor Donald Ryan, of Pacific Lutheran University, excavated the tomb and found skeletal remains. Recently another team led by Dr. Jerome Cybulski, of the Canadian Museum of Civilization, examined the skeletons and made some surprising finds.

“The human remains were exclusively of females and infants with about half the latter sample showing signs of disease,” he writes in the abstract of his paper. “We compare this demographic with other multiple occupant tombs in the Valley to show the unusual nature of KV44 and use all available evidence to speculate on who these people might have been.”

This, sadly, is where the story ends for now. Read more.