Wednesday, December 24, 2008

More re new tombs at Saqqara

Zahi Hawass has updated his web pages with three photographs of the site.

USA Today

Dr. Aidan Dodson, a research fellow at the University of Bristol's Department of Archaeology and Anthropology in Bristol, England who was not involved in the dig, said that while the tombs themselves aren't especially significant, the possibility of a much larger cemetary is.

"It shows that the blank areas of the maps of Saqqara aren't really empty at all. It's just that archaeologists haven't got round to digging them," he said.

Excavations have been going on at Saqqara for about 150 years, uncovering a vast necropolis of pyramids, tombs and funerary complexes mostly from the Old Kingdom, but including sites as recent as the Roman era.

But despite the years of excavation, new finds are constantly being made. In November, Hawass announced the discovery of a new pyramid at Saqqara, the 118th in Egypt, and the 12th to be found just in Saqqara.

BBC News

Thanks very much to Jonathan Calvert for the above link, which has a very useful video about the discovery, with Zahi Hawass talking at the site and showing the limited number of inscriptions and some of the tombs' features.

The contents of the newly found tombs have long since been stolen, Mr Hawass said.

The entrance of the tomb of the official in charge of music, Thanah, shows carved images of her smelling lotus flowers.

The other official whose tomb was discovered, Iya Maat, oversaw the extraction of granite and limestone from Aswan and other materials from the Western Desert for the construction of nearby pyramids.

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