Monday, April 19, 2010

Tomb discovered in Ismailia

With photos.

A new tomb was discovered by an SCA mission at Tell el-Maskhuta in the Ismailia governate, announced Farouk Hosni, Minister of Culture. The tomb dates to the 19th Dynasty (1315-1201 BC), is constructed of mud brick and consists of a rectangular room with a domed ceiling made of stone, and a deep square-shaped shaft. The interior is decorated with scenes depicting the owner of the tomb, whose name was Ken-Amun.

Dr. Zahi Hawass, Secretary General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, reported that this is the first Ramesside tomb to be discovered in Lower Egypt. The tomb is very high quality, and is beautifully decorated and inscribed with scenes known from the Ramesside Period, added Dr. Hawass. In addition to this tomb, the excavation has found 35 tombs dated to the Roman Period.

The excavation discovered a limestone stela inscribed with hieroglyphs containing the name of the capital of the Hyksos, Avaris (Het-Waret). The stela depicts the god Set in front of a king of Dynasty 19, whose name is not written. This stela shows the relationship between the site at Tell el-Maskhuta and the Hyksos capital Avaris, located at Tell el-Daba in Sharqiya.

Dr. Mohamed Abdel Maqsud, the supervisor of the Department of Antiquities of Lower Egypt, said there was a large limestone sarcophagus found inside the tomb that belonged to the owner, Ken-Amun. He was the overseer of the royal records during the 19th Dynasty. The sarcophagus contained inscriptions on its inner and outer surfaces. The tomb walls were inscribed with the titles of the deceased and the name of his wife, Isis, who was a singer of the god Atum. The tomb is decorated in sunken relief with different religious and funerary scenes; the most important scenes were one from the Book of the Dead Chapter 125, as well as one of women mourning the dead. Other important scenes include a depiction of the goddess Hathor in the shape of a cow, emerging from the Delta marshes, as well as a scene of the four sons of Horus. The scenes and titles in the tomb show that Ken-Amun was an important man, who was in charge of keeping the royal records.

The Boston Globe (Hadeel Al-Shalchi)

Ken-Amun's tomb is that first Ramesside tomb to be discovered in Lower Egypt and is built from mud brick, consisting of a rectangular room with a stone-domed ceiling. Hawass said the inscriptions would aid in the understanding of Egypt's relationships with its neighbors to the east.

Inside the tomb, the walls are decorated with reliefs of funerary scenes, including Chapter 12 of the Book of Dead -- an ancient text intended to help the deceased in the afterlife -- and a scene of women mourning.

The wall's inscriptions tell that the scribe's wife was called Isis and worked as a musician for the God Atum. A large limestone pillar also was discovered depicting the God Set, the god of darkness and chaos, in front of the 19th Dynasty king of the time, whose name was not written. On the same pillar, the name of the capital of the Hyksos -- an Asiatic people who invaded the eastern Nile Delta in the 12th Dynasty was found.

Discovery News (Rossella Lorenzi)

Beautifully decorated, the tomb features scenes from the Book of the Dead, culminating with the famous vignettes from Chapter 125, which depict the critical judgment ceremony.

Called "Weighing of the Heart," this symbolic judgment involved weighing and comparing the deceased’s heart to a feather of Maat, goddess of Justice, Truth and Order.

If the heart is lighter than the feather, the deceased is judged worthy the company of the gods. If it fails, the heart is devoured by the crocodile-headed monster Ammit and the deceased is condemned to an existence between worlds.

Other important scenes in the tomb include a depiction of the goddess Hathor in the shape of a cow, as she emerges from the Delta marshes, as well as a scene of the four sons of Horus -- Imsety, Duamutef, Hapi and Qebehsenuef.

No comments: