Tomb with 500 mummified animals discovered in Egypt

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A picture taken on April 6, 2019 shows a pharaonic sarcophagus at the Sohag National Museum in Sohag governorate, 500 km south of the Egyptian capital Cairo. (AFP / Khaled Desouki)
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A picture taken on April 6, 2019 shows artifacts on display at the Sohag National Museum in Sohag governorate. (AFP / Khaled Desouki)
Updated 07 April 2019

Tomb with 500 mummified animals discovered in Egypt

  • The tomb, discovered at Al-Dayabat archeological site, is more than 2,000 years old
  • It is thought to be that of a high-ranking official named Tutu back in the Ptolemaic Period of Ancient Egypt

CAIRO: A tomb containing the mummified remains of a man and more than 500 animals has been discovered in the city of Sohag, south of Cairo, Egypt’s Antiquities Minister Khaled Anany has announced.

The tomb, believed to be more than 2,000 years old, was discovered at Al-Dayabat archeological site in Akhmim. 

“It is one of the most exciting discoveries ever in the area,” said Dr. Mostafa Waziri, secretary-general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities.

The tomb contains not only a human mummy, but also over 500 mummified animals and birds – like mice, falcons, eagles, cats, dogs and shrews.

Waziri said shrews in ancient Egypt were believed to treat blindness in humans. This was because shrews had night vision.

The tomb’s inscriptions are still very well preserved, with vivid colors depicting characters and hieroglyphics on the wall.

The archaeological team found two small rooms and two sarcophagi. However, only one well-preserved mummy was found, thought to be that of a high-ranking official named Tutu back in the Ptolemaic Period of Ancient Egypt.

The other sarcophagus reportedly belongs to Tutu’s wife, whose mummy is missing from the site.

The discovery of the tomb happened when the Tourism and Antiquities Police caught a group of smugglers in Sohag, taking with them the illegal findings they found in Sohag.

Sohag Governor Dr. Ahmed Al Ansari said that the findings of all these artifacts in Egypt play a big role towards world tourism.

Following numerous discoveries of artifacts and ancient sites, the governorate opened the Sohag National Museum in 2018. The museum, which was in the works for 25 years, was a move to help attract tourists and visitors from around the country to visit the governorate.

Egypt has been attempting to repatriate all ancient artifacts either smuggled or transferred out of the country from around the world in support of the country’s tourism sector.

However, many criticize Egypt for its negligence in keeping these ancient treasures and believe that the artifacts are best kept untouched in foreign countries.


REVIEW: Historical horror in Netflix’s ‘La Révolution’

Updated 23 October 2020

REVIEW: Historical horror in Netflix’s ‘La Révolution’

  • New drama reimagines French history, with added monsters

LONDON: Ever wondered if the French Revolution — a decade that rocked the country in the late 18th century and saw the abolition of the aristocratic Ancien regime in favor of a constitutional monarchy — had a more supernatural bent to it? If the uprising of the proletariat that led to many of the fundamental founding principles of democracy had less to do with a quest for liberty and equality and more to do with the fear of being quite literally eaten?

Well, even if such thoughts had never crossed your mind before, you’re in luck. Netflix’s new French-language supernatural series reimagines the pivotal historical uprising and takes some, shall we say, liberties with the finer details. “La Révolution” certainly looks the part, full of sumptuous costumes and lavish palaces that are painted in stark contrast to the gritty city and impoverished slums.

“La Révolution” is on Netflix. (Supplied)

When prison doctor Joseph Guillotin investigates a series of grizzly murders, he uncovers evidence of a strange affliction that turns the blood of its victims blue. As the young physician delves deeper, he becomes embroiled with a band of plucky rebels set on fighting back against the elite upper classes — not just because of the power imbalance of French society and the horrific conditions forced on the peasantry, but because, as it turns out, the blue blood is sweeping through the aristocracy and causes a penchant for cannibalism.

Your enjoyment of “La Révolution” will rely on a willingness to overlook historical inaccuracy and a relatively strong stomach — the show is certainly not beholden to anything as trivial as facts, and there’s some pretty gruesome violence. If you’re willing to suspend your disbelief, however, there’s an enjoyable show here. It’s a little schlocky and heavy-handed at times, but the cast (headed by an earnest Amir El-Kacem as Joseph and Marilou Aussilloux as the spirited Elise de Montargis) confront the fanciful premise head on. And the show is all the better for it. This is not high drama, and the show butts up against its own far-fetched concept on a semi-regular basis. But it is entertaining, and there’s a lot to be said for that.