Saturday, February 3, 2018

4400 Year Old Tomb Found of Hetpet, High Ranking Priestess to Hathor

Newsweek Magazine Online


An ancient Egyptian tomb, dating back more than 4,000 years, was discovered by archaeologists about 12 miles outside of Cairo, the country’s capital. The finding marks the first discovery to be announced in 2018, Ahram Online, an Egyptian news organization, reports.
The tomb is thought to have belonged to “Hetpet,” a high-ranking female official, Egypt’s Antiquities Ministry announced. The mud-brick tomb is in good condition and features various paintings of Hetpet, who was a priestess to Hathor, the goddess of fertility.
“The tomb has very distinguished wall paintings, in a very good conservation condition, depicting 'Hetpet' standing in different hunting and fishing scenes or sitting before a large offering table receiving offerings from her children,” according to the ministry.
Some of the scenes also show performances, as well as, one monkey collecting fruit while the other one dances. Paintings like this have been found before, but not often.
“Such scenes are rare... and have only been found previously in the (Old Kingdom) tomb of 'Ka-Iber' where a painting shows a monkey dancing in front of a guitarist not an orchestra,” Mostafa Al-Waziri, leader of the archaeological mission, told Agence France-Presse.
The tomb, which was found near the Giza Pyramids, also has a shrine; however, no mummy was found.

Archaeologists began excavating the site last October, but didn’t reveal their findings to the public until Saturday, The Associated Press (AP) reports. Al-Waziri believes there are other ancient artifacts waiting to be uncovered near the site.
“This is a very promising area. We expect to find more,” Al-Waziri said, according to the AP. “We have removed between 250-300 cubic meters of layers of earth to find the tomb.”
“What we see above the earth’s surface in Egypt doesn’t exceed 40 percent of what the core holds,” he added.

Link to Twitter Feed video in article.

Link to BBC video from a shorter article in The Week contains scenes of the tomb paintings; that article indicates that Hetpet was a high ranking official and closely connected to the Royal Palace and the tomb dates to about 2400 BCE. 

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

800 Year Old Islamic Style Chess Piece Excavated in Norway

From Newsweek Online Magazine


“The design of the piece has an abstract shape, and is designed according to Islamic tradition, where no human figures are to be depicted,” Lars Haugesten, project manager for the excavation, said in a statement. Rather, it is decorated with tiny circles and a protruding 'snout' on the top with two dotted circles. The piece is made from an antler, and a chunk of lead was likely placed in the middle of the piece to help it stand up firmly on a chessboard, according to NIKU.

The medieval knight piece has a protruding snout on the top with two dotted circles.LARS HAUGESTEN/NORWEGIAN INSTITUTE OF CULTURAL HERITAGE RESEARCH
"No previous archaeological finds from Tønsberg have such details, which emphasizes that this chess piece is a unique object," Haugesten said.Sjakkbrikke_Toensberg_ingress_Siste-1240x710
The medieval chess piece is one of a handful of 'knight' pieces discovered in Norway.

The ancient form of chess, called shatranj, helped archaeologists determine that the piece appears to be a horse, which would be a knight in today's game. Chess likely spread to the Nordic region by the last half of the 12th century, according to Haugesten. The game was played in the Arab world after the conquest of Persia in the 7th century and spread to Spain in the 10th century by the Moors. From Spain, it spread northwards to Scandinavia. The oldest find from the Nordic region was Lund, Sweden—a chess piece similar to the latest artifact from Tønsberg. 

...  Knight pieces are few and far between when it comes to medieval finds. Over 1,000 game pieces in general have been found in Bergen, another city in Norway, alone, but only six abstract knights such as this one have been excavated, according to Haugesten. "In Norway, some chess pieces from the Middle Ages have been found, but few similar knights," Haugesten said.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...