Previously published in the Sept 2015 Ancient American Issue Number 108, pg. 38-39
|Inscriptions obverse and reverse. (Photo by Terry Carter)|
|The knoll where the scarab was found.|
Rob found the scarab when he was 5
years old. (Photo by Terry Carter)
- Jan Summers, Archaeologist/Egyptologist with The College of Idaho's Orma J. Smith Museum of Natural History:
- Dr. Geoffrey A. Smith: Doctor of Anthropology, emeritus trustee at the Museum of the Desert, current trustee at the Museum of Man in San Diego, California.
The Levant is an approximate historical geographical term referring to a large area in the eastern Mediterranean. In its widest historical sense, the Levant included all of the eastern Mediterranean with its slands,
that is, it included all of the countries along the eastern Mediterranean shores, extending from Greece to Cyrenaica. The term Levant entered English in the late 15th century from French. It derives from the Italian levante, meaning “rising,” implying the rising of the sun in the east land, where the sun rises'.
- Hussam, Member of the Association of International Antiquities Dealers (Zurqieh Co. L.L. C. Dubai – UAE) states:
- Tonio Birbiglia offered his comments on the yahoo group AncientArtifacts.:
- Frank Parrish, Archaeologist:
ARCHAEOLOGISTS have made a gruesome discovery fit for a horror thriller: 16 severed hands buried in and around an ancient Egyptian palace.
But don't blame the Pharaohs, or their mummies.
A team of archaeologists unearthed the 3600 year-old bones of 16 severed hands from four pits within what is believed to be a royal Hyksos compound.
They are all right hands. And they are all large.
Austrian archaeologist Manfred Bietak, who is leading the excavations in the ancient city of Avaris, told the journal Egyptian Archaeology that the severed hands appeared to be the first evidence to support tales in ancient Egyptian writings and art of soldiers cutting off right hands and claiming a bounty of gold.
Cutting off the hand was a symbolic means of removing an enemy's strength
"You deprive him of his power eternally," Bietak said.
"Our evidence is the earliest evidence and the only physical evidence at all. Each pit represents a ceremony."
Two of the pits - containing one hand each - are positioned in front of a throne room built in a part of Egypt that was once controlled by an invading people believed to have come from Canaan.
The remainder, probably buried at a later date, are in the palace's outer grounds.
The archaeological expedition at Tell el-Daba is being conducted by the Austrian Archaeological Institute and the Austrian Academy of Sciences.
A collar with "almost pristine" colors that would have been worn by a mummy has been discovered in small pieces in an Egyptian tomb in Thebes and put back together again.
People in ancient Egypt wore collars called "wesekhs" made of beads when they were alive. This painted collar is made of a different type of material called cartonnage (a plastered material) and was meant to be worn by a mummy after death. A clay seal found near the collar suggests that it was worn by the mummy of a wealthy undertaker.
Dating back around 2,300 years ago and found in modern-day Luxor, the collar is painted in a vivid array of colors, designs and images that show elements of ancient Egyptian religion. The god Horus is signified by two falcons wearing red sun-disk crowns on the top corners, while at top center is a human-headed bird (called a "Ba" bird) that represents, in essence, the immortal soul of the deceased mummy.
Additionally, in the center of the design, there is a drawing of a golden shrine with two goddesses, possibly the sisters Isis and Nephthys, facing a deity in the center that may be the jackal-headed Anubis. The collar is about 8.7 inches (22 centimeters) high (not including the falcons) and about 16.5 inches (42 cm) in width. Near the bottom of the collar lotus blossoms are shown flourishing.
The tomb that it was found in is a complex place. Originally it was built more than 3,300 years ago for a butler named Parennefer who served the pharaoh Akhenaten. Then, sometime later, an official named Amenemopet excavated his own tomb into part of the butler's courtyard. As the centuries went on more individuals (the precise number is unknown) were buried at the site, one of them being interred around 2,300 years ago with this colorful collar.
The re-use of tombs was a common practice in Thebes. "I guess it was much more economical to use these old derelict tombs than to excavate out new tombs at that time," Susan Redford, of Penn State University, told LiveScience in an interview. She and her team found hundreds of cartonnage fragments in excavations at the site, the fragments that made up this collar being discovered in 2000 and 2002. The team's artist, Rupert Nesbitt, carefully put the collar back together again, along with several other coverings that belong to different mummies.
"These pieces could range from about palm-sized to dime-sized," Redford said. "It was like a giant jigsaw puzzle," added Redford, who detailed the collar discovery in a paper in "Archaeological Research in the Valley of the Kings & Ancient Thebes: Papers Presented in Honor of Richard H. Wilkinson" (University of Arizona Egyptian Expedition, 2013). [See Photos of Egypt's Valley of the Kings]
Archaeologists cannot say for sure whom this collar belonged to. In addition to being re-used multiple times the tomb site has been robbed in both ancient and modern times and, until recently, was even used to hold dead animals.
Egyptian tombs and temples tended to be very colorful places and the collar reflects that, Redford said.
An undertaker's collar?
The mummy who wore this collar is now gone or otherwise part of the various humans remains found in the tomb. However, an inscription written in a mud-clay seal was found near the fragments of the collar.
The seal would have held together the string or binding of a papyrus scroll. While the scroll itself is mostly destroyed, the inscription from the seal says that it is for a man named "Padihorwer," reading (in translation) that he was "privy to the mysteries and god's sealer, 'embalmer,' scribe, prophet of the 'desert' (necropolis) of Qus," which is located north of Thebes.
An ancient archival record also survives, telling of "a man of Qus" being buried at Thebes in the same period that the collar has been dated to, Redford said.
Padihorwer was basically an undertaker, a profession that could bring some level of wealth. "He's a little higher than just an ordinary necropolis worker," she said, noting that these ancient undertakers arranged for embalming and burial, were paid by families and generally ran their affairs like a business. "We think that they had a guild of sorts," she said, "it was a business just like undertakers are today."
If this collar, with its elaborate decorations, was worn by Padihorwer, it would suggest that his business prospered and that he was a relatively wealthy undertaker at the time he was buried.
On Christmas Day last year, Kathryn Bard got an unusual gift.
Working with her colleagues to remove sand from a hillside along Egypt's Red Sea coast, the Boston University archaeologist poked through a small opening that had appeared and felt . . . nothing. She had reached into the entrance to a human-made cave in which sailors stored their gear as many as 4,000 years ago.
Two days later, Bard's team found a larger cave nearby. The same ancient seafarers used this one, she and her colleagues surmised, as a temple or shrine.
These and other discoveries at what was once a port known as Mersa Gawasis offer an unprecedented look at the earliest known sea expeditions conducted for pharaohs. Egyptian archaeologist Abdel Monem Sayed first explored this site 30 years ago, but he didn't report any signs of chambers.
"We know of no other Egyptian ports from this time," Bard says. "Finding these mariners' caves was a big surprise."