Egyptian Discoveries: 2000-Year-Old Sandstone Sphinx; “Massive” Building Site Circa 2925 BC
It seems to have been an exciting summer for the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities for discoveries and the month of September has been one thing after another as Egypt works to try to repair and recover their tourism and convince people it is safe for visitors.
On September 8, Egypt finally opened to the public an estimated 4300-year-old tomb discovered in 1940 by Egyptologist Zaki Saad, but has been of-limits to the public until now.
According to Zahi Hawass, Egypt’s [former] Ministry of Antiquities, Global News reports, the tomb is from “Egypt’s sixth dynasty, dating back approximately four millennia” and contained the tomb of “Mehu, a top official under King Pepi I.” Found buried with Mehu was his son Meren Ra and a grandson Heteb Kha.
Hawass said that Mehu “was a vizier, the chief of the judges and director of the palace at the time of King Pepi, the first king of the sixth dynasty,” Global News reported via a Reuters’ story.
Egypt opened the tomb up to the public as part of a larger effort to attract tourists to the region, according to Khaled El Anany, Egypt’s Minister of Antiquities.
“We opened this previously discovered tomb to invite ambassadors and show the media that Egypt is safe,” he told Reuters in Arabic.Global News; September 10, 2018
Last week it was announced a water drainage project uncovered a sandstone Sphinx in what is known as the “Kom Ombo temple in Aswan” in the city of Aswan, and is believed to be “more than 2000-years-old,” CNN reported.
The Sphinx of Giza is “some 240 feet (73 metres) long and 66 feet (20 metres) high,” but the newly discovered “mostly intact” Sphinx comes in at only 38 centimeters high.
Mostafa Waziri, general secretary of Egypt’s Supreme Council of Antiquities, says the statue dates from the Ptolemaic era which ran from 300 BC to 30 BC. He said it was found close to the location where two sandstone reliefs of King Ptolemy V were recovered two months earlier.
More excavations are expected to take place around the temple to try to learn more about the sphinx, Abdel Moneim Saeed, general director of Aswan Antiquities, said, according to the ministry.CNN; September 18, 2018
“CAIRO — Egypt says archaeologists have discovered a “massive” ancient building in the town of Mit Rahina, 20 kilometers, or 12 miles, south of Cairo,” the Associated Press reported Tuesday.
The Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities also said that on Tuesday they discovered what is believed to be “a large Roman bath and a chamber likely for religious rituals,” adding that the discovered building was “likely part of the residential block” of the capital of Memphis, of ancient Egypt.
The city of Memphis was founded circa 2925 B.C. by Menes, a king who is said to have united the prehistoric kingdoms of Upper and Lower Egypt. The city was orginially [sic] called the White Walls, a term that may have come from the king’s palace of whitewashed brick.NPR; September 25, 2018
Rania Al Mashat, Egypt’s Tourism Minister, announced on Monday a new partnership between the tourism ministry and Zahi Hawass, “Egypt’s Indiana Jones.”
For more information you can visit the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities Facebook page.