Tuesday, March 3, 2009

3,000 Year Old Tomb Discovered in Egypt

Egyptian noblewoman's 3,000 year-old tomb revealed Tue Mar 3, 8:23 am ET (Image: A handout photo released by the Egyptian Supreme Council for Antiquities (SCA) shows the broken remains of a fine limestone sarcophagus inside an ancient Egyptian burial chamber in Saqqara. Japanese archaeologists have unearthed an Egyptian noblewoman's 3,000 year-old tomb in the necropolis of Saqqara south of Cairo.(AFP/SCA/File/null) CAIRO (AFP) – Japanese archaeologists have unearthed an Egyptian noblewoman's 3,000 year-old tomb in the necropolis of Saqqara south of Cairo, the antiquities department said on Tuesday. The Japanese team believes the tomb belongs to Isisnofret, a granddaughter of Ramses II, the famed 19th Dynasty pharaoh who reigned over Egypt for about 68 years from 1304 to 1237 BC, and who is said to have lived to the age of 90. The tomb contained a broken limestone sarcophagus bearing the name of Isisnofret and the title "noble woman", three mummies and fragments of funerary objects, the department said in a statement. Isisnofret's last resting place is in an area of Saqqara where a team from Waseda University were excavating the tomb of Prince Khaemwaset, a son of Ramses II, it quoted Japanese team leader Sakuji Yoshimura as saying. "Prince Khaemwaset had a daughter named Isisnofret (and) because of the proximity of the newly discovered tomb to that of the prince, it is possible that the owner of the sarcophagus is the daughter of Khaemwaset," he said. However, Egyptian antiquities chief Zahi Hawass told AFP he believes the tomb dates from the 18th dynasty instead of the 19th, because of the style of construction. Hawass also dismissed the "similarities in the names" saying that there were many women called Isisnofret in ancient Egypt. ******************************************************************** Hawass neglects to mention that there have been several well-known discoveries of mummies in tombs that were not originally their own. That cuts both ways, of course. The mummies in this tomb could be totally unrelated to Isisnofret, whose mummy is long gone who knows where? Perhaps ground up as miracle powder sometime during the 19th century. There was so much destruction done, by the ancient peoples themselves and by so-called "civilized" mankind. Every discovery in Egypt deserves headline news as far as I am concerned (ditto China, India, South America, Europe, North America, etc. etc.) and Hawass should be lending support to every new discovery, not sour grapes for political reasons and his own particular agenda.

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