Main new discovery of mummies in Alexandria from Greco-Roman period

Feb 22, 2021

CAIRO — The Egyptian-Dominican mission of the College of Santo Domingo headed by archaeologist Kathleen Martinez, working on the Taposiris Magna Temple to the west of Alexandria, has found 16 burial chambers in stone-carved tombs, that are wall burial holes that had been fashionable within the Greco-Roman period.

The mission additionally found a number of tombs that contained mummies in poor preservation situation, which is attribute of mummification within the Greco-Roman period. Stays of gilded cartonnage had been discovered along with tongue-shaped gold foil amulets that had been positioned within the mouths of the lifeless, a ritual that will enable them to talk within the afterlife earlier than the Osirian court docket, based on historical beliefs.

Two of those mummies had been notably essential as they nonetheless had some bandages and elements of the cartonnage layer; the primary mummy nonetheless had stays of gilding and bore gilded drawings of Osiris, the god of the underworld, whereas the opposite mummy wore the Atef crown, adorned with horns and a cobra snake on the brow, in addition to gilded drawings on the chest space exhibiting a large necklace with a falcon head, the image of the deity Horus.

The Egyptian-Dominican mission has had fairly numerous archaeological finds because it began its excavation works 10 years in the past, together with a funeral masks of a lady, eight gold foil leaves from a wreath, and eight marble masks relationship again to the Greco-Roman period, depicting the options of their house owners intimately.

Quite a lot of cash bearing the title and picture of Queen Cleopatra VII had been additionally discovered contained in the temple partitions, along with a number of elements of statues that had been believed to embellish the temple grounds, to not point out the temple basis plates, which proved that it was constructed by King Ptolemy IV. 

Khaled Abu al-Hamd, director basic of Alexandria Antiquities, instructed Al-Monitor that the mission has discovered for the reason that starting of the yr numerous mummies, most of them in unhealthy situation due to their proximity to the ocean and publicity to very excessive humidity. As well as, a feminine funeral masks was discovered, eight golden flakes, eight marble masks relationship again to the Greco-Roman period, two golden tongues, gold cash and a number of gold mud.

He stated all of the gold discoveries had been transferred to the Alexandria Nationwide Museum whereas the items of the statues, masks and utensils had been transferred to the museum’s storage services situated to the west of Alexandria.

Abu al-Hamd added, “Abusir metropolis — additionally identified by its historical title Taposiris — is a really vital location that paints a transparent image of the [ancient] societies dwelling in Egyptian cities and of the facilities of the Egyptian deity Osiris within the Greco-Roman period. The Egyptian-Dominican mission remains to be finishing up excavation works particularly in a temple relationship again to the Ptolemaic period.”

Archaeologist Zahi Hawass instructed Al-Monitor that the most recent archaeological discoveries in Alexandria are a fantastic addition to the Greco-Egyptian period assortment, noting that many extra discoveries are underway for the reason that Egyptian-Dominican mission is but to complete its work in Alexandria.

Mohammed Hamza, former dean of the School of Archaeology at Cairo College, instructed Al-Monitor, “This is among the most essential discoveries in Alexandria, each when it comes to the kind of tombs often called Lockley and when it comes to the variety of burials and their contents, relationship again to 332 B.C. and 30 B.C.”

Hamza believes that these discoveries may also help reveal extra info and fill some lacking gaps in every period.

“The scientific information helps these discoveries in selling tourism to Egypt by including a brand new tourism product that was not beforehand identified. That is potential by way of good planning, tourism advertising and marketing, good monitoring and follow-up, and conducting sustainable tourism growth work at the positioning, as is going on now as a part of the Grand Egyptian Museum undertaking, the Pyramids space, the Nationwide Museum of Egyptian Civilization and the Cairo Citadel Aqueduct,” he concluded.

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