Sunday, August 28, 2016

The mummy of a man from the National Museum in Warsaw turned out to be... a woman

The mummy of the priest Hor-Djehuti, which is in the collection of the National Museum in Warsaw, hides a woman's body under the bandages. Polish scientists announced the unusual discovery on August 11 at the World Congress on Mummy Studies in Lima, Peru.

The discovery was made in the comprehensive, interdisciplinary Warsaw Mummy Project. Its authors are Polish archaeologists and bioarchaeologists, PhD students at the University of Warsaw: Wojciech Ejsmond, Marzena Ożarek-Szilke and Kamila Braulińska. Braulińska, who delivered a speech in Lima, is the main coordinator of the project.

"A CT scan showed that the skeleton of the alleged priest has a very delicate constitution, which is quite unusual for a man. It was the first signal that we were not dealing with a person referred to by the inscription on the coffin, in which the deceased had been placed" - explained in an interview with PAP Marzena Ożarek-Szilke, archaeologist and physical anthropologist.

Further, more detailed analyses convinced scientists that it was indeed a woman under the bandages. One of the things they noticed on the tomographic images was the lack of... penis. "The Egyptians mummified this organ. It is usually well preserved" - added Ożarek-Szilke.

The researchers performed a three-dimensional reconstruction of the body of the dead woman. This was possible without unwrapping the mummy, through tomographic technology.

"On the obtained 3D images clearly visible are long, curly hair flowing down to her shoulders, and mummified breasts" - described the anthropologist.

Friday, August 26, 2016

Burial chamber discovered in Asasif on Luxor's west bank

The burial chamber and sarcophagus of a 25th Dynasty Thebes Mayor has been discovered

by Nevine El-Aref , Thursday 25 Aug 2016

During excavation and cleaning work carried out in the tomb of the 25th Dynasty Thebes Mayor Karabasken in south Asasif, on Luxor's west bank, the Egyptian American South Asasif Conservation Project discovered his burial chamber and sarcophagus.

“The sarcophagus is a unique example of Kushite sarcophagi in an elite tomb,” Mahmoud Affifi, head of the Ancient Egyptian Antiquities Department at the Ministry of Antiquities told Ahram Online, adding that the sarcophagus is carved in plain red granite and does not bear any engravings or paintings.

Elena Pischikova, director of the archaeological mission, explained that the burial chamber was found accidently during excavation work carried out in a room of the tomb. As an was found in its centre and it led to the burial chamber.

Pischikova said that the base and lid of the sarcophagus bore deliberate damage — evidence of two attempts to break into the sarcophagus at some time in antiquity.

“The interior of the sarcophagus was flooded after the first attempt, but further cleaning work will show if any fragments of the wooden coffin or other burial equipment are still preserved inside,” Pischikova said.