Egypt reveals archaeological discovery online

Egypt reveals archaeological discovery online
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Visitors at an ancient tomb of ‘Wahtye,’ which dates from the rule of King Neferirkare Kakai, at the Saqqara area in Giza, Egypt. (Reuters/File)
Egypt reveals archaeological discovery online
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Egypt reveals archaeological discovery online
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Updated 21 April 2020

Egypt reveals archaeological discovery online

Egypt reveals archaeological discovery online
  • The 25th Dynasty rulers were from Sudan, particularly Sudan’s northern area of Nabta, which was the capital of the kingdom of Kush in ancient times

CAIRO: Egypt’s Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities has revealed a new archaeological discovery to the world — announced online as part of the state’s measures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
The discovery, posted on the ministry’s official web page and social media networks, was at the sacred animal necropolis in Saqqara where there have been two other archaeological discoveries during the past two years. The most important of these were the gorgeously decorated tomb of Wahti and a cachette of sacred birds and animals from which many animal mummies — some extremely rare — were brought to light.
According to the Ministry of Antiquities, the latest discovery was at the bottom of a 11-meter-deep shaft. Five sealed stone coffins/sarcophagi were found, and four niches in a room containing wooden coffins and late-era human burials.

HIGHLIGHTS

•The discovery, posted on the ministry’s official web page and social media networks, was at the sacred animal necropolis in Saqqara where there have been two other archaeological discoveries during the past two years.

•The most important of these were the gorgeously decorated tomb of Wahti and a cachette of sacred birds and animals from which many animal mummies — some extremely rare — were brought to light.

A massive anthropoid wooden coffin with hieroglyphs written in yellow pigment was discovered in one niche. “We found several other artifacts around the coffin,” the ministry said. “They included 365 faience Ushabti figurines, some of which bear hieroglyphs texts; a small wooden obelisk about 40 cm tall, all four of its sides bearing painted scenes depicting the deities Isis and Nephthys, and the deity Horus; wooden statues of the god Ptah-Sokar-Osiris; and three pottery canopic jars in which the viscera removed during mummification was kept, in addition to many other artifacts.”
Archaeological expert Abdel-Rahman Rihan said the latest discovery was at a site where work had been underway for more than three months.
Rihan said that the find dated to the late Pharaonic kingdom following the third transitional era and prior to the Ptolemaic Era, dating back to 332 B.C.
Egyptian archaeologists do not all agree on the beginning of the late era. However, they do agree that it was around the late 25th Dynasty and before or during the 26th Dynasty.
The 25th Dynasty rulers were from Sudan, particularly Sudan’s northern area of Nabta, which was the capital of the kingdom of Kush in ancient times. The region is about 300 km from the capital Khartoum.

FASTFACT

A massive anthropoid wooden coffin with hieroglyphs written in yellow pigment was discovered. Several other artifacts around the coffin were also found.

“The discovery is certainly very important as it coincides with the expected inauguration of the Grand Egyptian Museum, which is at the top of the Egyptian state’s priorities after the coronavirus pandemic is over,” Rihan said. The ministry was using technology to introduce its archaeological discoveries to the world, and these would be “awaiting visitors” after the pandemic ended, he said.
During the past few years, the ministry has been focusing on improving services for visitors, especially at museums and archaeological sites.
“We have a plan to develop services in the pyramids area, which was very difficult to visit,” Rihan said. “However now the venue is being provided with all that tourists need, such as cafeterias, eco-friendly and safe transportation, bathrooms and other amenities.”
Minister of Tourism and Antiquities Khaled El-Anany said that his department was working on developing a guideline for visitors that would be unveiled when the coronavirus crisis ended.
“There will be a high level of hygiene in restaurants and hotels, and sanitization will be carried out differently,” El-Anany said. “The entire world has learned a lot from this crisis and we will emerge stronger after we overcome it.”


Netanyahu says Israel firmly rejects pressure not to build in Jerusalem

Netanyahu says Israel firmly rejects pressure not to build in Jerusalem
Updated 21 min 31 sec ago

Netanyahu says Israel firmly rejects pressure not to build in Jerusalem

Netanyahu says Israel firmly rejects pressure not to build in Jerusalem
  • Pope Francis has also called for an end to the violence in Jerusalem

JERUSALEM: Israel “firmly rejects” pressure not to build in Jerusalem, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Sunday following spreading international condemnation of planned evictions of Palestinians from homes in the city claimed by Jewish settlers.
Meanwhile, Pope Francis expressed his concern at the unrest in Jerusalem, saying: “Violence only generates violence. Let’s stop these clashes.”
“I pray so that this might be a place of encounter and not violent clashes, a place of prayer and of peace. I invite everyone to seek shared resolutions so that the multireligious identity and multiculture of the holy city might be respected and so that fraternity might prevail,” he said after reciting the Regina Caeli prayer.


Syria says fire erupts in main Homs refinery

Syria says fire erupts in main Homs refinery
Updated 09 May 2021

Syria says fire erupts in main Homs refinery

Syria says fire erupts in main Homs refinery
  • The fire erupted in a distillation unit due to a leak in a pumping station
  • There was a large fire and blast at Homs in January this year
AMMAN: Syrian authorities are working on extinguishing a fire that erupted in its main Homs refinery in the west of the nation, state media said on Sunday.
The fire erupted in a distillation unit due to a leak in a pumping station, it said without elaborating.
State television showed live footage of fire engulfing parts of the refinery with black smoke plumes in the distance as firefighters tackled the flames.
There was a large fire and blast at Homs in January this year involving a nearby crude oil loading station and dozens of trucks that transport petroleum products across the country.
Both Homs refinery and Banias on the Mediterranean coast have faced supply shortages in recent months due to erratic supplies of Iranian crude oil to the sanctions-hit country that relies mainly on Tehran for its energy needs.
Syria has over the past year two years faced months of gasoline and fuel shortages, forcing it to ration supplies distributed across government-held areas and to apply several rounds of steep price hikes.

UAE administers over 11 million COVID-19 vaccine doses

UAE administers over 11 million COVID-19 vaccine doses
Updated 09 May 2021

UAE administers over 11 million COVID-19 vaccine doses

UAE administers over 11 million COVID-19 vaccine doses
  • UAE announced 1,735 new coronavirus cases, bringing the total number of recorded cases to 534,445

DUBAI: The UAE has administered 11,126,889 COVID-19 vaccine doses so far with an additional 78,342 jabs provided to residents overnight, bringing the country’s distribution rate to 112.50 doses per 100 people.

Health officials have embarked on a rapid vaccination campaign to stem the spread of coronavirus, and the country has one of the highest proportions of the population inoculated

The Ministry of Health and Prevention (MoHAP) said the vaccination program was in “line with plan to provide the COVID-19 vaccine to all members of society and efforts to reach acquired immunity resulting from the vaccination,” a report from state news agency WAM said.

This will help reduce the number of cases and control the COVID-19 virus, the reported added.

Meanwhile, the UAE announced 1,735 new coronavirus cases, bringing the total number of recorded cases to 534,445, as well as three new deaths overnight.

The number of coronavirus-related fatalities is now at 1,610.

The MoHAP also noted that an additional 1,701 individuals had fully recovered from COVID-19, bringing the total number of recoveries to 514,769.


Algeria remembers victims of French rule

Algeria remembers victims of French rule
Algerian youths pose beneath a street name plaque honouring an Algerian lawyer killed by the French during the 1954-1962 Algerian war of independence in Algiers. (AFP file photo)
Updated 08 May 2021

Algeria remembers victims of French rule

Algeria remembers victims of French rule
  • The crackdown led by French General Raymond Duval left as many as 45,000 dead, according to Algerian official figures

ALGIERS: Algeria on Saturday honored thousands killed by French forces in 1945, as the North African country waits for Paris to apologize for its colonial era crimes.
Pro-independence protests broke out after a rally on May 8, 1945 marking the allied victory over Nazi Germany.
The rioting triggered two weeks of bloody repression in which French troops massacred thousands of mostly unarmed Muslim civilians, a key chapter in Algeria’s long independence struggle.
On Saturday, thousands of people took part in a march of remembrance following the same route through the northeastern city of Setif as the May 8 rally 76 years ago, official media reported.
Led by scouts, participants laid a wreath at a monument to Bouzid Saal, a 22-year-old man shot dead by a French policeman in 1945 for refusing to lower his Algerian flag — the first casualty of the violence.
The crackdown led by French General Raymond Duval left as many as 45,000 dead, according to Algerian official figures.
French historians put the toll at up to 20,000, including 86 European civilians and 16 soldiers killed in revenge attacks.
The killings had a transformative impact on the nascent anti-colonial movement, setting the scene for a full-blown independence war nine years later that finally led to independence in 1962.
Algerian officials have continued to call for a full apology from France for its colonial era policies, and President Abdelmadjid Tebboune has described the 1945 killings as “crimes against humanity.”
Government spokesman Ammar Belhimer repeated that demand on Saturday, calling for “the official, definitive and comprehensive recognition by France of its crimes (along with) repentance and fair compensation.”
He also called for help dealing with the toxic waste left behind by 17 nuclear tests France carried out in the Algerian desert in the 1960s.

 


Militias briefly take over Tripoli government headquarters

Militias briefly take over Tripoli government headquarters
Members of the Tripoli Protection Force, an alliance of militias from the capital city, patrol an area south of the Libyan capital. (AFP file photo)
Updated 09 May 2021

Militias briefly take over Tripoli government headquarters

Militias briefly take over Tripoli government headquarters
  • The takeover underscored the tough road ahead for the interim government, which has been tasked with steering Libya through general elections due at the end of the year

CAIRO: In a show of force, armed militiamen briefly took over a hotel in the Libyan capital of Tripoli that serves as headquarters for the interim government, officials said Saturday.
Friday’s development came after the three-member presidential council earlier this week appointed a new chief of the intelligence agency, Libya’s version of the CIA. The militias, which control Tripoli, were apparently unhappy with the choice of Hussein Khalifa as the new spy chief.
Presidential council spokeswoman Najwa Wheba said no one was hurt in the takeover of Hotel Corinthia, in the heart of Tripoli. The hotel was mostly empty on Friday, the Muslim weekend.
After a while, the militias left the hotel, according to an official at the Interior Ministry who spoke on condition of anonymity under regulations. Khalifa and the militia leaders were not immediately available for comment on Saturday.
The takeover underscored the tough road ahead for the interim government, which has been tasked with steering Libya through general elections due at the end of the year. The government has struggled to unite the conflict-stricken nation ahead of the vote.
Wheba said the presidential council has no permanent headquarters and that the hotel is one of the places where the council convenes. Videos circulating on social media show militiamen at the entrance of the hotel.
On Monday, Najla Al-Manqoush, the foreign minister of Libya’s interim government called for the departure of all foreign forces and mercenaries, including Turkish troops, from the oil-rich North African country. That was seen as a rebuke to Turkey and angered pro-Turkey factions in western Libya.
UN Security Council diplomats say there are more than 20,000 foreign fighters and mercenaries in Libya, including Syrians, Sudanese, Chadians and Russians.
Libya was plunged into chaos when a NATO-backed uprising in 2011 toppled longtime ruler Muammar Qaddafi, who was later killed.