Friday, March 16, 2007

Pharaoh's pots give up their secrets
FOR a century, they have been on display in the Louvre museum in Paris, labelled as Canopic jars holding the embalmed innards of the great Egyptian pharaoh Rameses II. But the four pots, covered in hieroglyphs, are not what they seem.

An analysis by French chemists has revealed that the jars in fact contain ordinary cosmetics, produced at a much later date.

. . .

he Louvre now believes the pots were made for a temple to the sun god Amun-Ra. Because Rameses II built the temple, his name is on the jars, but they were probably used to hold ritual ointments, then later recycled as containers for resin-embalmed remains.