Egypt’s highly anticipated royal mummies parade set for 3 April Parade will take place with great fanfare, before settling in new home at Fustat  Nihal Samir  1 hour ago  Comments Offon Egypt’s highly anticipated royal mummies parade set for 3 April   Pin  +1  Tweet  Share  Share  Jobzella  Email   Egypt’s Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities has announced that the highly anticipated parade of mummies for Ancient Egyptian kings will take place in Cairo on 3 April. On the day, 22 royal mummies will be transferred in a magnificent parade from their current home in the Egyptian Museum in Cairo’s Tahrir Square, to their new permanent display in Fustat’s National Museum of Egyptian Civilization. The royal mummies that will be put on display at the new museum belong to the 17th, 18th, 19th and 20th Dynasties, and include 18 mummies of pharaohs, and four of queens. The mummies include those of the Pharaohs: Ramses II; Ramses IX; Ramses VI; Ramses V; Seti I; Seqenenre; and Thutmose III. The queens that will be transferred are: Hatshepsut; Meritamun, the wife of King Amenhotep I; and Ahmose Nefertari, the wife of King Ahmose. The scene will begin when the doors of the Egyptian Museum in Tahrir Square are opened at night, to allow the 22 mummies to come out for the last time. The mummies will be transferred in specially constructed cars for the procession, bearing a logo and the name of the royal mummy present in the car in Arabic, English, as well as hieroglyphs. War chariots, also specially made for the occasion, and will be present on both sides of the road during the parade, along with horses. Before the start of the parade, a 21 gun salute will take place in honour of the ancient rulers, and to signal the exit of the cars, one after the other, from the main museum gate. These will move in a circular shape in Tahrir Square itself, and revolve around the obelisk that now lies at the centre of the square. At the same time, the obelisk and the buildings around it will be lit up for the occasion, before seeing the procession run along the banks of the River Nile. The procession path includes eight points, the most important of which are Tahrir Square and the Ain Sira Lake. The ceremony and parade will be broadcast, with TV screens set to be placed in the streets. The procession will feature military music, with an impressive artistic performance to be displayed in celebration of the royal exit from the museum. A number of actors will participate in the ceremony, talking from different tourism destinations, including Sawsan Badr, Hussein Fahmy, Mona Zaki, and others. Speaking in an interview with local media, Minister of Tourism and Antiquities Khaled El-Anani said the procession of royal mummies will take approximately 40 minutes. The whole ceremony, however, will last for 90 minutes, as there are set to be activities before and after the procession. “We want the world to see the beauty of Egypt’s civilisation, with the procession set to be dazzling, different from any other celebration, and among the most beautiful celebrations that the people of the world will see,” according to El-Anani, “Everything will start in the dark, then one building after another will be lit, and the lights of Tahrir Square, the lake, and the choir will be singing in the Ancient Egyptian language.” The minister called on those interested in watching the procession to do so from the comfort of their homes, due to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The mummies will reach their permanent display in the National Museum of Egyptian Civilization at the end of the parade, to settle inside a dedicated hall called the Royal Mummies Gallery. Ahmed Ghoneim, head of the National Museum of Civilization, said in an interview with local media, that each mummy will be placed in a nitrogen capsule for the sake of its safety. The ancient remains will not be displayed in the museum until two weeks after their arrival, with Ghoneim saying that the Royal Mummies Gallery is set out in such a way to make visitors feel that it is similar to a “tomb”. There will be a set of X-rays also present, each telling the story of the kings and queens present in the gallery. He pointed out that the museum will open on 3 April, to receive the public from 4 April, with the mummies on display after two weeks. Ghoneim noted that the transfer of the mummies will be a festival and celebration in which many authorities, bodies and ministries are set to participate. Talking to Daily News Egypt, the world renowned Egyptologist and former Minister of Antiquities Zahi Hawass said that the transportation of the mummies is very important for the museum. He noted that, if the National Museum of Egyptian Civilization were to be opened without a starring exhibit, then few visitors would bother to pay the museum attention.

Ajoint Egyptian-Dominican mission has announced the discovery of 16 burials in rock-cut tombs, or burial shafts, at the Temple of Taposiris Magna, west of Alexandria, Egypt. The mission, headed by lawyer and archaeologist Kathleen Martinez, features experts from the University of Santo Domingo. The type of rock-cut tombs discovered were popular in Egypt’s Greco-Roman era.  A number of mummies were discovered in the shafts, although they are reportedly in a poor state of preservation. The mummies feature the characteristics of mummification in the Greco-Roman era, and were found with the remnants of gilded sarcophagi, in addition to gold foil amulets. The latter were shaped in the form of a tongue, and placed in the mouth of the mummy in a special ritual to ensure their ability to speak before the Osirian court in the afterlife. Martinez said that among the most important of these mummies were two that preserved the remains of scrolls and parts of the sarcophagi. The first was found with the remains of gilded decorations showing the Ancient Egyptian god Osiris, the god of the afterlife. The other mummy was discovered wearing a crown decorated with horns, and the cobra snake at the forehead. The chest of the mummy shows a gilded decoration representing the wide necklace from which hangs the head of a falcon, the symbol of the ancient god Horus. Khaled Abo El Hamd, Director General of the antiquities authority in Alexandria, said that during this season the mission made a number of archaeological discoveries. The most important of these were: a funeral mask for a woman; eight golden flakes representing the leaves of a golden wreath; and eight masks of marble dating back to the Greek and Roman eras. Abo El Hamd noted that the masks, which depict the facial features of their owners, show high craftsmanship in sculpture. In the last 10 years, the mission has found several important archaeological finds that have changed our perception of the Temple of Taposiris Magna. A number of coins bearing the name and image of Queen Cleopatra VII were found inside the temple walls, in addition to many parts of statues. The temple grounds were found adorned in the past to reveal the temple foundation panels, which prove that it was built by King Ptolemy IV.

  By Owen Jarus, Live Science Contributor | July 10, 2018 05:07pm ET  This black granite sarcophagus was found in a tomb in Alexandria, Egypt. Dating back over 2,000 years, it is the largest sarcophagus ever found in Alexandria, archaeologists believe. Credit: Courtesy Egypt Antiquities Ministry A massive black granite sarcophagus and a sculpture of a man who may be buried inside have been discovered in a tomb in Alexandria, Egypt. The granite sarcophagus looks foreboding: It’s nearly 9 feet long, 5 feet wide and 6 feet tall (2.7 by 1.5 by 1.8 meters). And, it may be the largest sarcophagus ever discovered in Alexandria, said Mostafa Waziri, general secretary of Egypt’s Supreme Council of Antiquities, in a statement released by Egypt’s antiquities ministry. A thick layer of mortar covers much of the sarcophagus, suggesting that it has not been opened since it was buried, Waziri said in the statement. As such, the person buried in the sarcophagus, along with any clothing or jewelry they wore and any artifacts they were buried with, may still be intact, waiting to be discovered. [See Photos of Mummies Discovered at an Ancient Egyptian Cemetery] Additionally, an alabaster head of a man, which may depict the person whose remains are buried in the sarcophagus, was also found in the tomb where the sarcophagus was discovered, the statement said. This alabaster head of a man found near the sarcophagus may depict the person who was buried there. Credit: Courtesy Egypt Antiquities Ministry A team from Egypt’s antiquities ministry was inspecting an area of land in the Sidi Gaber district before construction work on a building began when the members came upon the mysterious coffin. It dates back to sometime between 304 and 30 B.C., a time after the death of Alexander the Great, when the descendants of Ptolemy I, who was one of Alexander’s generals, ruled Egypt. At this time, Alexandria — which Alexander the Great claimed to have founded (although people were living there earlier) — was the capital of Egypt. The discovery leaves archaeologists with a series of mysteries: Who is buried inside the sarcophagus? What artifacts are hiding inside? And, why is the sarcophagus so large? The sarcophagus appears not to have been opened since it was buried, archaeologists say. Credit: Courtesy Egypt Antiquities Ministry Rare opportunity While ancient tombs are often discovered in Egypt, they have often been looted, whether in ancient or modern times. Most sarcophagi are found already opened, their contents taken away and the bones of the mummies sometimes found scattered by looters. In this case, the sarcophagus appears not to have been opened yet, giving archaeologists a chance to study its contents and the person inside it. Archaeologists are being cautious with the sarcophagus. They have not opened it, and they may decide that, to prevent damage, they will use X-rays, computed tomography (CT) scans or another scientific test that will allow them to peer inside without opening the sarcophagus. Originally published on Live Science.

By Owen Jarus, Live Science Contributor | May 8, 2018 06:49pm ET Archaeologists are in the process of uncovering this carving at the tomb of a high general in Saqqara. Credit: Photo courtesy Egyptian antiquities ministry Archaeologists have discovered the sprawling, 3,300-year-old tomb of an army general named Iwrhya at the ancient Egyptian site of Saqqara. Hieroglyphic inscriptions found on the tomb walls say that Iwrhya "is a high army General, and High steward of the domain of Amun [and] High steward of the estates of Ramesses II in the domain of Amun," the Egyptian antiquities ministry announced in a statement today (May 8). Amun was an important godin Egypt (revered as the king of gods) around 3,300 years ago. Iwrhya's career started during the reign of pharaoh Seti I, who ruled Egypt from 1294 B.C. to 1279 B.C., and continued into the reign of pharaoh Ramesses II, which lasted from 1279 B.C. to 1213 B.C., the inscriptions say. [See Photos of the Tomb and Inscriptions at Saqqara] The tomb contains a number of rooms, including chapels, a forecourt and a room that excavators call the "statue room." The art found in the statue room portrays the owner's military actions and foreign relations with neighboring countries, according to the statement. These scenes include "mooring boats taking down their loads of Canaanite wine jars," the statement said. The Canaaniteslived in modern-day Israel and Palestine, and were, at times, ruled by the Egyptians. Additionally, a block "discovered in the sand [that was] probably detached from the northern wall shows quite an exceptional scene of an infantry unit and charioteers crossing a waterway with crocodiles," the statement said. Analysis of that scene suggests the crossing took place somewhere on the eastern border of Egypt, according to the statement. Excavations are ongoing, and human remains have yet to be found in the tomb. It's possible that the tomb was used to bury multiple family members, such as Iwrhya's son, Yuppa, and grandson, Hatiay — both of whom were mentioned in the inscriptions. It's also possible that Iwrhya may have been of foreign descent, according to the statement. A team led by Ola El Aguizy, a professor of Egyptology at Cairo University, discovered and excavated the tomb during the 2017-2018 field season. It is located at Saqqara to the south of a pyramid built by a pharaoh named Unas, who reigned more than 4,300 years ago. Saqqara contains a vast amount of archaeological remains that encompass thousands of years of Egyptian history. Originally published on Live Science.

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