Egypt unearths eight ancient mummies

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A handout picture released by the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities on November 28, 2018 shows newly-uncovered mummies dating back over 2,300 years that were found by Egyptian archaeologists at a pyramid complex south of Cairo.(AFP)
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A handout picture released by the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities on November 28, 2018 shows a newly-uncovered mummy dating back over 2,300 years found by Egyptian archaeologists at a pyramid complex south of Cairo. (AFP)
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A handout picture released by the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities on November 28, 2018 shows the pyramid complex, south of Cairo, where mummies dating back over 2,300 years were found by Egyptian archaeologists.(AFP)
Updated 28 November 2018
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Egypt unearths eight ancient mummies

  • The mummies, dating from the Late Period of ancient Egypt, are “covered with a layer of painted cartonnage in the form of a human”

CAIRO: Egyptian archaeologists have discovered eight mummies dating back over 2,300 years at a pyramid complex south of Cairo, authorities said Wednesday.
“The Egyptian archaeological mission working at the south eastern area of King Amenemhat II’s pyramid in Dahshur Necropolis has uncovered a number of ancient burials with eight coffins,” the antiquities ministry said in a statement.
The mummies, dating from the Late Period of ancient Egypt, are “covered with a layer of painted cartonnage in the form of a human,” the statement said.
“Three of them are in good condition.”
Cartonnage, a material often consisting of a mixture of linen or papyrus and plaster, was frequently used to cover mummies.
The ministry said it planned to eventually put the mummies and the limestone sarcophagi they were found in on display at museums set to be built in the resort hubs of Hurghada and Sharm el-Sheikh.
The Dahshur complex, some 30 kilometers (19 miles) south of Cairo, was a major royal burial site that boasts the well-known “bent pyramid” of King Snefru.
In April 2017, the remains of an Egyptian pyramid built around 3,700 year ago were discovered at the complex.


Vulture with GPS tracker held in Yemen on suspicion it was used for spying

Updated 25 April 2019
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Vulture with GPS tracker held in Yemen on suspicion it was used for spying

  • The bird migrated from Bulgaria, to Turkey, to Jordan, Saudi Arabia and then Yemen
  • Govt forces detained the bird on suspicion that the attached GPS tracker was a spy device for Houthi militants

SANAA: Griffon vulture Nelson crossed into war-torn Yemen in search of food but ended up in the hands of Yemeni fighters — and temporarily in jail for suspected espionage.
The sand-colored bird came down in the country’s third city of Taiz, an unusual move for a young vulture that can soar for long distances across continents in search of food and moderate weather.
Nelson, approximately two years old, embarked on his journey in September 2018 from Bulgaria, where his wing was tagged and equipped with a satellite transmitter by the Fund for Wild Fauna and Flora (FWFF).
But he seems to have lost his way, eventually coming down into Taiz — under siege by Houthi rebels but controlled by pro-government forces, who mistook Nelson’s satellite transmitter for an espionage device and detained the bird.
Forces loyal to the government believed that the GPS tracker attached to the bird may have been a spy device for the rebels.
Hisham Al-Hoot, who represents the FWFF in Yemen, traveled from the rebel-held capital Sanaa to Taiz to plead with local officials to release the helpless animal.
“It took about 12 days to get the bird,” he told AFP.
“The Bulgarian foreign ministry reached out to the Yemeni ambassador, who in turn contacted local officials (in Taiz) and told them to immediately give the organization the vulture.”
Hoot said that the bird migrated from Bulgaria, to Turkey, to Jordan, Saudi Arabia and then Yemen — where the FWFF lost track of the bird.
Nelson was MIA until April 5, when the conservation group received hundreds of messages from Yemenis concerned about the creatures’ welfare.
Today, the locally-famous vulture is being properly fed and getting stronger every day.
“When we first took him, he was in very bad condition,” said Hoot, adding that the bird was underweight.
Smiling, he puts on gloves and carefully handles the majestic creature — blowing it a kiss.
Hoot said the bird will be released in two months when he believed Nelson will have regained his full strength and his wing — broken somewhere during his journey — will have healed.
“We thought at first it would take six months for him to heal, but now we don’t think it will be more than two months,” he said.
Hoot said that Nelson was not able to find any source of sustenance in Yemen.
“They can eat carcasses of dead animals, but now there is no more with the current situation of war.
“This is what forced him to come down and stopped him from completing his journey.”
The four-year conflict in Yemen has unleashed the world’s worst humanitarian crisis, according to the United Nations, with millions facing famine.
The war escalated in March 2015 when a coalition, led by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, intervened to bolster the efforts of Yemeni President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi.
Since then, at least 10,000 people — most of them civilians — have been killed and more than 60,000 wounded, according to the World Health Organization. Other rights groups estimate the toll could be much higher.