Archaeologists find ancient necropolis in Egypt

A picture taken on September 9, 2017 shows Egyptian labourers and archaeologists unearthing mummies at a newly-uncovered ancient tomb for a goldsmith dedicated to the ancient Egyptian god Amun, in the Draa Abul Naga necropolis. (AFP)
Updated 24 February 2018

Archaeologists find ancient necropolis in Egypt

TUNA AL-GABAL, Egypt: Egypt’s Antiquities Ministry has announced the discovery of an ancient necropolis near the Nile Valley city of Minya, south of Cairo.
The ministry said Saturday that the large cemetery is located north of Tuna Al-Gabal area, a vast archaeological site on the edge of the western desert. It includes several burial shafts and hosts more than 1,000 statues and some 40 sarcophagi as well as other artifacts.
Antiquities Minister Khaled Al-Anani said the necropolis is host to members of different families and is believed to date back to the pharaonic Late Period and the Ptolemaic era.
“We will need at least five years to work on the necropolis,” he said. “This is only the beginning of a new discovery.”
Excavation work in the area started late 2017.

Revealing the secrets of an ancient Assyrian ruler

Updated 49 sec ago

Revealing the secrets of an ancient Assyrian ruler

  • Exhibition on King Ashurbanipal reveals treasures from the 7th-century kingdom that stretched across northern Iraq and eastern Mediterranean.

LONDON: Priceless treasures from the archaeological archives of ancient Assyria are to go on display at the British Museum for the first major exhibition on the empire’s last great ruler, King Ashurbanipal.

Described as the most powerful person on earth during his reign in the 7th-century BC, Ashurbanipal ruled with an iron fist from his seat in Nineveh, now northern Iraq.

He presided over a vast kingdom that stretched from the shores of the eastern Mediterranean to the summits of western Iraq.

A map showing the extent of the Assyrian Empire (in pink). (Courtesy Paul Goodhead)

During his reign he amassed the largest library in existence, showcasing his scholarship and harnessing the power of learning to build his status as “King of the World, King of Assyria.”

Hundreds of these texts survive, telling the story of life at Ashurbanipal’s famously extravagant court in ancient cuneiform script, hammered out on clay tablets.

These are among the 200 objects on display at the museum, which has brought together pieces from across the world, from the History Museum of Armenia, Yerevan to the Musée du Louvre in Paris to supplement its existing collection of artefacts from the glory days of ancient Assyria.

Many have been brought over from the archaeological sites in Iraq, including Nineveh and Nimrud, cities recently ransacked by Daesh in its attempt to wipe out pre-Islamic history and destroy the region’s ancient wonders.

Gareth Brereton, exhibition curator, said: “As present-day Iraq looks to recover the history of damaged sites at Nineveh and Nimrud, this exhibition allows us to appreciate and relive the great achievements of an ancient world and celebrate its legacy.”

This exhibition, with its magnificent stone sculptures, delicately carved reliefs, lavish gold ornaments and elaborate weaponry, captures the scale and splendor of the era before Ashurbanipal’s empire fell to the Babylonians and recalls a time when the influence of Assyrian monarchs reached across the world.

“This exhibition will bring visitors face to face with a king whose reign shaped the history of the ancient world,” Hartwig Fischer, director of the British Museum, said.

The exhibition “I am Ashurbanipal: King of the World, King of Assyria,” will open in November