Saturday, December 13, 2014

New discoveries at Luxor

By Rany Mostafa:

Tomb of “divine wife of God Amun” unearthed in Luxor

CAIRO: The tomb of “the divine wife of God Amun,” an ancient Egyptian title given only to royal wives, has been discovered at the mortuary temple of Pharaoh Ramses II in the west bank of Luxor, according to Abdel-Hakim Karar, director of the Upper Egypt Antiquities Department, Thursday.

“The tomb is relatively small with a stone door leading to a 5-meter shaft and a burial chamber, where funerary equipments, offerings and 20 well-preserved statuettes were found,” Karar told The Cairo Post Thursday.

The statuettes, found by the tomb’s entrance, bore the name of  “Karomama” and hieroglyphic inscriptions describe her as “the earthly spouse of the god Amun,” and we believe she may have been the wife of the 22nd Dynasty’s Pharaoh Osorkon II (872B.C–837B.C.,) said Karar.

The discovery was made by French-Egyptian mission led by Christian Leblanc, a French archaeologist, who has been excavating in the mortuary temple and the tomb of Ramses II since 1980s.

“The new discovery may not be spectacular from the artistic point of view, but due to the scarcity of Karomama’s artifacts that have been discovered so far, it is definitely a significant find as it sheds more light on her life,” Leblanc was quoted by the Pharaoh Magazine Thursday.

The Louvre houses a unique bronze statuette of Karomama that was brought to France following the Napoleon’s mission to Egypt (1798 – 1801,) archaeologist Sherif el-Sabban told The Cairo Post Friday.

“The statuette, featuring complicated metal inlays, portrays Karomama in a robe encircled by vulture wings with a tall crown once fitted into the round headdress adorned with a cobra,” Sabban added.

2,500 year-old bronze statues of Osiris unearthed in Karnak temple

A collection of three small well-preserved statues, including two of the ancient Egyptian god Osiris, in addition to a broken statue base were unearthed Thursday at the Karnak temples in Luxor, according to Abdel-Hakim Karar, director of the Upper Egypt Antiquities Department.

“The finds are believed to have dated back to the Late Period (664 B.C.-332 B.C.); an era when Egypt was ruled by several foreign rulers and ended with the conquest by Alexander the Great and establishment of the Ptolemaic Kingdom,” Karar told The Cairo Post Friday.

The discovery includes two bronze statuettes of Osiris, the ancient Egyptian god of death and resurrection.

“One of the bronze statuettes measures 36 centimeters high and seven centimeters wide portraying the god seated and wearing the white crown of Lower Egypt while the other statuette is smaller and depicts Osiris standing in the mummy form and holding a scepter,” said Karar.

The discovery was made by the High Commission of the Franco-Egyptian Centre for the Study of Temples in Karnark, currently excavating at the northern area of the precinct of Amun-Re temple, according to El-Asfar.

“The third statuette, made of schist, represents an ancient Egyptian goddess seated wearing the double crown of Upper and Lower Egypt that covers her black ceremonial wig,” said Karar, who added that the hieroglyphic inscriptions on the statuette are being cleaned in order to identify the goddess.

Archaeologists from the French-Egyptian Center for the Study of the Karnak Temples have been excavating the northern area of Karnak Since October 2008. Last Friday, they unearthed a limestone statuette of a Sphinx during a routine excavation north of the Karnak temple complex, according to Karar.

In March 2012, the same team discovered a limestone gate engraved with the name of a 17th Dynasty Pharaoh called Sennakhtenre, who launched the military campaign which rid Egypt of the tribe of invaders known as the Hyksos.


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