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A round up of news highlights from Issue 110


Alexandria Trepanation

Preliminary analysis carried out on the skeletons from the large black granite sarcophagus discovered in Alexandria earlier this year has revealed what could be an example of trepanation surgery. A 1.7cm wide round hole was discovered in back of the older man's skull, with evidence that he survived long after this wound was made. This suggests the hole was the result of surgery, although examples of trepanation are rare in the ancient Egyptian archaeological record.

800+ tombs at Lisht

A joint American-Egyptian team working at Lisht, south of el-Ayyat, has mapped out 802 tombs between the pyramids of Amenemhat I and his son Senusret I of the Twelfth Dynasty. Sadly, the tombs were first spotted after high-resolution satellite images revealed evidence of mass looting in the area from 2009 onwards.

 Kom Ombo Sphinx and Stelae

A Ptolemaic sphinx has been uncovered at Kom Ombo, close to where two sandstone stelae of Ptolemy V were discovered a few weeks earlier.

Ptolemaic Cemetery

A section of Alexandria's western cemetery has been uncovered and a number of Ptolemaic rock-cut tombs were found, each consisting of stairs leading to a small offering hall, and an open courtyard surrounded by small rock-cut burial niches. The non-elite tombs appear to have undergone several periods of modification, with some decorated with coloured plaster while others remain undecorated.

Aswan Coffin Finds

A sandstone anthropoid sarcophagus containing a linen-wrapped mummy has been discovered by an Egyptian team in a Late Period tomb during excavation work near the Aga Khan Mausoleum on Aswan's West Bank. Three other tombs have been found nearby, including one with a decorated rectangular chamber containing a sandstone statue head, a collection of amulets and the remains of a clay sarcophagus.

In brief:

*        A Neolithic village dating back to around 5000 BC has been discovered at Tell el-Samara in the Delta region, some 140 kilometres north of Cairo.

*        The tomb of Mehu at Saqqara has been opened for the first time since its discovery in 1940. Mehu was in important official from the Sixth Dynasty reign of either Tety or Pepy I and held a number of different titles including Vizier and Head of the Judges.

*        The Sohag National Museum is now open after LE72 million was spent on construction, featuring artefacts that reflect the history of the area, from the Early Dynastic to the Islamic periods.

*        The Egyptian team searching for the tomb of Ankhesenamun (sister-wife of Tutankhamun) has announced that they have been unable to find her tomb

*        In the Aswan area, a 4000 year old pottery workshop (dating to the Fourth Dynasty), has been found, containing a limestone wheel turntable with a hollow base

*        A collection of 700 ancient Egyptian artefacts, including five mummies, are some of the millions of historic artefacts that have been destroyed by a fire at Brazil's National Museum

For further details of these stories and more in-depth news from Egypt, see AE110!

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