Egypt unveils latest archaeological finds

Egypt unveils latest archaeological finds
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The sealed wooden coffins belong to top officials of the Late Period and the Ptolemaic period of ancient Egypt. (AP)
Egypt unveils latest archaeological finds
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Journalists gather around an ancient sarcophagus more than 2,500 years old and Mostafa Waziri, the secretary-general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, center, in Saqqara, Giza, Egypt. (AP)
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Updated 16 November 2020

Egypt unveils latest archaeological finds

Egypt unveils latest archaeological finds
  • Sealed wooden coffins belong to top officials of the Late Period and the Ptolemaic period of ancient Egypt
  • Egypt the hopes archaeological discoveries will spur tourism

SAQQARA, Egypt: Egypt has announced the discovery of an ancient treasure trove of more than 100 intact sarcophagi, dating back more than 2,500 years ago, the largest such find this year.
The sealed wooden coffins, unveiled on site amid much fanfare, belonged to top officials of the Late Period and the Ptolemaic period of ancient Egypt.
They were found in three burial shafts at depths of 12 meters in the sweeping Saqqara necropolis south of Cairo.
Archaeologists opened one coffin to reveal a mummy wrapped in a burial shroud adorned with brightly colored hieroglyphic pictorials.
Saqqara, home to more than a dozen pyramids, ancient monasteries, and animals burial sites, is a vast necropolis of the ancient Egyptian capital of Memphis, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
“Saqqara has yet to reveal all of its contents. It is a treasure,” Antiquities and Tourism Minister Khaled Al-Anani said at the unveiling ceremony.
“Excavations are still underway. Whenever we empty a burial shaft of sarcophagi, we find an entrance to another.”
The latest find came just over a month after archaeologists in the area found 59 other well-preserved and sealed wooden coffins, also dating back more than 2,500 years ago.
More than 40 statues of ancient deities and funerary masks were also discovered, the minister said.
Another two wooden statues were found in the tomb belonging to an ancient judge of the 6th dynasty, according to Mostafa Waziri, secretary general of Egypt’s Supreme Council of Antiquities.
It was not immediately clear if the statues depicted any of the judge’s family members but one statue is believed to depict an individual, by the name Heteb Ka, who was “venerated by the king,” Waziri said.
“The beauty of the statue ... is seen in the intricacy of its eyebrows, moustache, and eyelashes. It is absolutely beautiful and wonderful,” he added.
The sarcophagi will be distributed among several museums in Egypt including the yet-to-opened Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM) at the Giza plateau.
Situated near the famed Giza pyramids, GEM is planned to be inaugurated in 2021 after multiple delays.
Anani attributed the flurry of discoveries in Saqqara to extensive excavation works in recent years.
Another discovery in the vast Saqqara necropolis is expected to be announced in December or early 2021.
Archaeologists also hope to find an ancient workshop for manufacturing wooden coffins for mummies.
Waziri explained that ancient Egyptians used to buy their coffins at this workshop.
“We expect it to be somewhere close to the coffin’s burial shafts,” Waziri said.
Egypt hopes archaeological discoveries will spur tourism, a sector which has suffered multiple shocks ever since a 2011 uprising up until today’s coronavirus pandemic.


TWITTER POLL: Signal is more comfortable to use versus other instant messaging apps

TWITTER POLL: Signal is more comfortable to use versus other instant messaging apps
Updated 18 January 2021

TWITTER POLL: Signal is more comfortable to use versus other instant messaging apps

TWITTER POLL: Signal is more comfortable to use versus other instant messaging apps
  • Facebook-owned WhatsApp badly hit by a backlash after updating its privacy policy

DUBAI: Signal is more comfortable instant messaging service to use compared with other apps such as WhatsApp or Telegram, according to half of those who responded to an Arab News poll.

Signal’s surge in popularity among smartphone users, thanks to a two-word tweet from technology entrepreneur Elon Musk endorsing the encrypted messaging service, clearly showed as 50 percent of the 1,451 respondents expressed contentment with it.

Facebook-owned WhatsApp, badly hit by a backlash after updating its privacy policy, got a thumbs-up from three out of 10 poll respondents while Telegram had about a tenth of supporters. The remaining 10 percent of Arab New readers who responded to the poll meanwhile said none of the three instant messaging apps were comfortable to use.

 

 

Musk earlier urged users to “Use Signal” after WhatsApp, the most popular instant messaging app, was accused of forcing subscribers to share their personal data with its parent company Facebook for advertising.

Users had to accept these new terms before February 8, otherwise their accounts will be deleted. The ensuing furor prompted WhatsApp to delay its take it or leave it privacy update until May.

It likewise came out with a clarification the privacy changes were focused on how businesses used the app.

“We want to be clear that the policy update does not affect the privacy of your messages with friends or family in any way,” WhatsApp said in a statement.

“Instead, this update includes changes related to messaging a business on WhatsApp, which is optional, and provides further transparency about how we collect and use data.”