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: Red Meat Republic by Joshua Specht

Updated 23 April 2019
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What We Are Reading Today: Red Meat Republic by Joshua Specht

  • Joshua Specht puts people at the heart of his story — the big cattle ranchers who helped to drive the nation’s westward expansion

By the late 19th century, Americans rich and poor had come to expect high-quality fresh beef with almost every meal. 

Beef production in the US had gone from small-scale, localized operations to a highly centralized industry spanning the country, with cattle bred on ranches in the rural West, slaughtered in Chicago, and consumed in the nation’s rapidly growing cities. 

Red Meat Republic tells the remarkable story of the violent conflict over who would reap the benefits of this new industry and who would bear its heavy costs, says a review on the University Press website.

Joshua Specht puts people at the heart of his story — the big cattle ranchers who helped to drive the nation’s westward expansion, the meatpackers who created a radically new kind of industrialized slaughterhouse, and the stockyard workers who were subjected to the shocking and unsanitary conditions described by Upton Sinclair in his novel The Jungle. 

Specht brings to life a turbulent era marked by Indian wars, Chicago labor unrest, and food riots in the streets of New York.