Friday, August 03, 2007

Breaking news This just in from the EEF

"A recycled burial chamber with unusual decorations has been
discovered just south of Cairo. (...), The chamber may offer further
proof of how the nobles of Egypt 's 26th dynasty (..) "gentrified"
the 2,000-year-old necropolis (..) of their 5th-dynasty predecessors.
(...) "We believe it is the proximity to the complex of sacred
installations in north Saqqara"-just half a mile (one kilometer)
away-that led to the building of new tombs at Abu Sir, said
Miroslav Verner. (..). A team led by Ladislav Bares, of the
Czech National Centre of Egyptology, had located the burial
chamber of a royal scribe named Menekhibnekau.
The chamber was located about 65 feet (20 meters) underground on
a small hill southwest of the Abu Sir pyramid of Neferre. (..) Inside
the chamber, the team uncovered a vaulted ceiling decorated with stars.
Also in the tomb were two large sarcophagi: A massive exterior coffin
made of limestone, and a human-shaped interior made of greywacke,
a type of dark green sandstone. Both were densely covered with
religious texts. The tomb had been looted and plundered by robbers
in the late Roman period, (...) Among the objects found among [the
tomb owner's scattered] bones was a small rectangular ceramic
seal depicting a jackal and nine bound captives. (..)
"The decoration on the sides of the burial chamber differs from other
burial chambers unearthed at Abu Sir," said Zahi Hawass. (...) The
southern side is decorated with a chapter of the Book of the Dead
accompanied by images of guardsmen (..) On the eastern and western
sides, figures representing time accompanied sacred texts and an image
of a solar bark. "

* Another press report "Egypt discovers 2,500-year-old grave
of royal guard"
"The grave of a royal guard [sic] of the 26th dynasty (...), a large
limestone sarcophagus, which enclosed yet another casket, was
discovered (..) The embedded box is made of diorite [sic] and has
on it inscriptions from the Book of the Dead (...). The grave, which
belongs to Menkhep-Nikaw [sic], also houses funereal furniture,
including faience pots, good-luck amulets and carnelian stones."

[Notes from Aayko follow]

Note the tomb was found earlier, it is the discovery of the burial
chamber that is new.
The website of the mission is:
It has no info on the above finds yet, but does have some info on
the pyramid of king Neferre and about what was known in 2005
about the tomb of the king's personal scribe Menekhibneko:
Some photos of the staff of the Abusir team: