Egypt unveils Pharaonic tomb, home to 50 mummies

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An archaeologist brushes a newly-discovered mummy laid inside a sarcophagus, part of a collection found in burial chambers dating to the Ptolemaic era (305-30 BC) at the necropolis of Tuna El-Gebel in Egypt’s southern Minya province, about 340km south of Cairo. (AFP)
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Mummies wrapped in linen found in burial chambers dating to the Ptolemaic era at the necropolis of Tuna El-Gebel in Egypt’s southern Minya province. (AFP)
Updated 03 February 2019
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Egypt unveils Pharaonic tomb, home to 50 mummies

  • The mummies, 12 of which were of children, were discovered inside four, nine-meter deep burial chambers in the Tuna El-Gebel archaeological site and are in good condition

MINYA, Egypt: Egyptian archaeologists uncovered a Pharaonic tomb containing 50 mummies dating back to the Ptolemaic era (305-30 BC), in Minya, south of Cairo, the ministry of antiquities said on Saturday.
The mummies, 12 of which were of children, were discovered inside four, nine-meter deep burial chambers in the Tuna El-Gebel archaeological site.
The identities of the mummies were still unknown, said Mostafa Waziri, secretary-general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities.

Egypt’s Antiquities Minister said that a joint mission from the ministry and Minya University’s Archaeological Studies Research Center found upon a collection of Ptolemaic burial chambers engraved in rock and filled with a large number of mummies of different sizes and genders. (Reuters)

“We have not found names written in hieroglyphics,” he said, adding it was obvious from the mummification method that the individuals whose remains were found had to some extent held important or prestigious positions.
Egypt’s Antiquities Minister said on February 2 that a joint mission from the ministry and Minya University’s Archaeological Studies Research Center found upon a collection of Ptolemaic burial chambers engraved in rock and filled with a large number of mummies of different sizes and genders. The minister added that the newly discovered tombs may be a familial grave for a family from the elite middle class.
Visitors, including ambassadors from several countries, gathered at the discovery site where 40 of the mummies were exhibited during the announcement ceremony.
Some of the mummies were found wrapped in linen while others were placed in stone coffins or wooden sarcophagi.

A partially-uncovered skull of a newly-discovered mummy wrapped in linen found in a burial chamber dating to the Ptolemaic era (305-30 BC) at the necropolis of Tuna El-Gebel in Egypt’s southern Minya province, about 340km south of Cairo. (AFP)

The mummies are in good condition and some were decorated with “demotic handwriting” — a form of ancient Egyptian script used by ordinary people. Pottery, papyri and colorful mummy cases were also unearthed.
The archaeological finding was the first of 2019 and was unearthed through a joint mission with the Research Center for Archaeological Studies of Minya University.
Egypt has made a series of archaeological finds recently, and it has been heavily promoting them to revive its tourism industry, a staple of its economy that was decimated by the chaos that followed its 2011 uprising.


What We Are Reading Today: Chaucer: A European Life by Marion Turner

Updated 20 March 2019
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What We Are Reading Today: Chaucer: A European Life by Marion Turner

  • Marion Turner reconstructs in unprecedented detail the cosmopolitan world of Chaucer’s adventurous life

More than any other canonical English writer, Geoffrey Chaucer lived and worked at the center of political life—yet his poems are anything but conventional. Edgy, complicated, and often dark, they reflect a conflicted world, and their astonishing diversity and innovative language earned Chaucer renown as the father of English literature. Marion Turner, however, reveals him as a great European writer and thinker. To understand his accomplishment, she reconstructs in unprecedented detail the cosmopolitan world of Chaucer’s adventurous life, focusing on the places and spaces that fired his imagination, according to a review on the Princeton University Press website. 

Uncovering important new information about Chaucer’s travels, private life, and the early circulation of his writings, this innovative biography documents a series of vivid episodes, moving from the commercial wharves of London to the frescoed chapels of Florence and the kingdom of Navarre, where Christians, Muslims, and Jews lived side by side. The narrative recounts Chaucer’s experiences as a prisoner of war in France, as a father visiting his daughter’s nunnery, as a member of a chaotic Parliament, and as a diplomat in Milan, where he encountered the writings of Dante and Boccaccio. The book also offers a comprehensive exploration of Chaucer’s writings.