Category Archives: EGYPT

Ancient Egyptian Presence In North America: The Mysterious Fawn Hoof Mummy

Ancient Egyptian Presence In North America: The Mysterious Fawn Hoof Mummy

This fascinating mummy was found over 200 years ago in one of the largest cave systems in America: The Mammoth Cave. There, miners discovered an extremely well-preserved mummy with red hair prepared and embalmed in an eerily similar way to the ancient Egyptians.

Ancient Egyptian Presence In North America: The Mysterious Fawn Hoof Mummy
Mammoth Cave Mummy, Mammoth Cave National Park, Kentucky

After examining the mummy in the late 1800s, the Smithsonian Institute ‘lost’ the mummy. Some 200 years ago, a very unusual mummy was discovered in Mammoth Cave, Kentucky.

There are a couple of things about the mummy which completely challenge what we have been taught to believe about history books, especially about the ability and accomplishments of the Ancient Egyptians, their intrepid transoceanic voyages and their influence on other ancient cultures.

The mummy known as Fawn Hoof is considered by many as evidence that history books are wrong and that we are being given filtered information when it comes to ancient civilizations and the origins of mankind.

The mummy was mentioned in the book Prehistoric Mummies from the Mammoth Cave Area, by Angelo I. George where the author indicates that the mummy was found in the cave in September of 1811. According to George, the Ancient mummy was given the name “Fawn Hoof” in 1815 and ‘thousands’ of people saw the mummy as it was put on display.

But what’s the story behind the mummy and why is it so important?

Sometime between Between 1811 and 1813 (different authors vary on the date, a group of miners were working inside one of the Kentucky caves known as Short Cave.

One of the workers, who was excavating, came across a hard surface which proved to be a large rock with a flat surface. After miners had removed the rock they discovered a crypt that contained a mummy inside. But it wasn’t an ordinary mummy. In the past, such discoveries were not given much importance and people looked to make a profit out of history.

In 1816, Nahum Ward from Ohio visited the cave and purchased numerous artefacts and the Fawn Hoof Mummy. In addition to the Fawn Hoof Mummy, Ward also purchased other mummies and some of them were over reportedly 2500 years old.

Years went by and the collection purchased by Ward was placed in a travelling exhibition of rarities. Through the years, the Fawn Hoof Mummy travelled across the country. It was first taken to Lexington, Kentucky and later transferred to the American Antiquarian Society.

In 1876 the Fawn Hoof Mummy was transferred to the Smithsonian Institution by Isaiah Thomas, founder of the American Antiquarian Society. Due to the fact that the mummy was inadequately cared for and because it was transported a lot, the mummy suffered damage.

Researchers at the Smithsonian examined the mummy, dissected it and reported their findings.

At some point after that – like many other things that challenge history — the Fawn Hoof Mummy was completely lost.

According to initial reports, the mummy was found to have been a woman of around six feet in height.

The mummy was wrapped in deerskin, which in turn was decorated with leaf and vine patterns. The mummy was found to be in an extremely well-preserved condition even though the mummy was not analyzed by researchers for over 60 years after it was initially found.

Among the more unusual finding was the fact that this mummy-like other mummies found in Peru and Bolivia in recent times — had red hair.

It was concluded that the hair was cut to a length of an eighth of an inch, except for the back of the mummy’s head where the hair was about two inches long. Based on the artefacts found where the mummy was buried, it is believed that the woman was of great importance in ancient times.

However, researchers noted that among the most fascinating details about the Fawn Hoof Mummy is the fact that it was prepared and embalmed in an eerily similar way as the ancient Egyptians used to.

Reports indicate that the hands, ears, fingers, and the rest of the body were dried, but extremely well preserved.

But how is it possible that the mummy was lost? Is it possible that the mummy challenged historical doctrines set into place by certain institutions?

Many people believe that the Fawn Hoof Mummy is one of the many indicators which prove that thousands of years ago, before written history, ancient cultures around the globe were intricately connected and that transoceanic voyages occurred much sooner than mainstream scholars are willing to accept.

‘Cursed’ Mummies From El-Mezawaa Necropolis Restored

‘Cursed’ Mummies From El-Mezawaa Necropolis Restored

A team from Egypt’s Mummies Conservation Project has finished restoring a group of seven mummies in the El-Muzawaa necropolis in Dakhla oasis, completing the first phase of the project, Gharib Sonbol, head of Ancient Egyptian restoration projects at the Ministry of Antiquities, told Ahram Online.

'Cursed' Mummies From El-Mezawaa Necropolis Restored

The restoration of Al-Muzawaa necropolis mummies came within the framework of the project, which was launched three years ago by the ministry to preserve and maintain all mummies stored in Egyptian storehouses.

Aymen Ashmawi, head of the Ancient Egyptian Antiquities Sector at the ministry, explains that the project started with the conservation of mummies in the Mostafa Kamel gallery storehouses in Alexandria and at the Alexandria National Museum, as well as those in the Kom Ushim stores in Fayum.

According to Sonbol, the second phase of the project will begin shortly and will involve the restoration of several more mummies.

He explained that during the recently completed work, the team noted that two mummies have “screaming” faces, a term used to describe mummies with open mouths.

The hands of a third mummy were bound with rope.

“This is not the typical form of mummification, but it indicates that those people were cursed by the god or the priests during their lifetime,” Sonbol said.

He continued that the project offers a great opportunity for restorers to learn more about the death and life of those mummified people.

The ancient Egyptian mummy of a young girl is first with a bandaged wound

The ancient Egyptian mummy of a young girl is first with a bandaged wound

Scientists found the first recorded example of a bandaged wound on a mummified body, which could offer more insight into ancient medical practices. The finding was published in the International Journal of Paleopathology, a peer-reviewed journal.

Scientists have found the first example of a bandaged wound on a mummified body from Ancient Egypt, pictured here next to a scan showing the bandage.

The researchers said they discovered the bandages on the remains of a young girl, aged no more than four years, who died about 2,000 years ago. The dressing wrapped a wound that showed signs of infection, the study said.

“It gives us clues about how they [ancient Egyptians] treated such infections or abscesses during their lifetime,” Albert Zink, head of the Institute for Mummy Studies in Bolzona, Italy, and an author of the study, told Insider.

The mummy was thought to be taken from the “Tomb of Aline” in the Faiyum Oasis, located southwest of Cairo, the study said.

Location of the Faiyum Oasis, Egypt.

The finding had come as a surprise to the scientists, who didn’t set out looking for the bandages.

“It was really exciting because we didn’t expect it,” Zink said. “It was never described before.”

A rare glimpse into medical history

Ancient Egyptians are thought to have had an adept understanding of medical practices.

They wouldn’t have known things we would now take for granted, like how a heart functions, how microbes cause infection, or how rogue cells cause cancer — but they did have a fairly good idea of how to treat symptoms of disease, Zink said.

“We know from other evidence, like papyrus, that they had a good experience of treating wounds and injuries,” said Zink.

So it’s surprising that these types of bandages have never been seen in a mummy before, he said.

In this case, Zink said, the bandages were spotted while the scientists carried out routine CT scans of mummies, as can be seen in the scans below and annotated with the full-lined arrow.

The wound appeared to have been infected when she died, as the scans showed signs of “pus,” Zink said. These signs of infection are marked by the dotted arrows in the scans below.

A side view of the mummy’s foot is seen in a CT scan.
A cross-section of the mummy’s legs is shown.

“It’s very likely that they applied some specific herbs or ointment to treat the inflammation of this area,” which further analysis could identify, Zink said.

Zink said he wanted to get samples from the area to understand what caused the infection and how people at the time treated it.

But that could entail unwrapping the mummy, which Zink said he was reluctant to do. Another option would be to collect a sample using a biopsy needle, he said.

The ancient Egyptian mummy of a young girl is first with a bandaged wound
The mummy of the child, seen with a portrait of the girl on its front and gilded buttons decorating the wrappings.

The mystery of the missing bandages unfurls

Zink says there was no clear explanation why, in this particular case, the bandages were left in place.

“The question is whether it was just left in place and it remained despite the embalming process or whether they placed it,” he said, referring to the embalmers.

Wound dressings typically did not survive the mummification process. But it’s possible the embalmers added the bandage on the body after the girl’s death.

Ancient Egyptians believed that the mummified body should be as perfect as possible for life after death, Zink said: “Maybe they tried somehow to continue the healing process for the afterlife.”

As to why other such examples of bandaging had not been spotted before, it is plausible that scientists had simply failed to spot them until now, or mistaken them for other mummy wrappings. Zink now hopes that more examples of mummy wrappings can be uncovered.

“There are always some surprises when we study mummies. I have now studied, I don’t know how many mummies in my scientific career, but there’s always something new,” he said.

Archaeologists uncover coffins that have been shut for 2,500 years; it’s Saqqara again

Archaeologists uncover coffins that have been shut for 2,500 years; it’s Saqqara again

In 2020, archaeologists in Egypt unsealed a mummy coffin sealed 2,500 years ago in front of a live audience in Egypt. The mummy was wrapped in an ornate burial cloth, which had been decorated to resemble a deceased priest’s face.

Archaeologists uncover coffins that have been shut for 2,500 years; it's Saqqara again
Egypt uncovers 2,500-year-old coffins

Greg Lewis, New Zealand’s ambassador to Egypt, also shared a video of unsealing the mummy coffin on Twitter.

According to a press release by Egypt’s Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities, initially, three burial wells at different depths between 10 and 12 metres, with 13 coffins, were discovered in Saqqara.

Earlier in 2020, Archaeologists found 59 sealed wooden sarcophagi in the necropolis of Saqqara, south of Cairo near Memphis.

Saqqara is home to several pyramids, including the famous Giza Pyramids. It was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in the 1970s.

Recently, another team of archaeologists in Saqqara uncovered a new trove of coffins that are believed to have been left untouched for 2,500 years.

The incredible dig at a cemetery in Saqqara uncovered mummies as well as statues of the gods Anubis, Amun, Min, Osiris, Isis, Nefertum, Bastet and Hathor – along with a headless statue of the architect Imhotep, who built the Saqqara pyramid. The coffins have been shut for 2,500 years

The team found hundreds of statues of ancient Egyptian gods — Anubis, Amun, Min, Osiris, Isis, Nefertum, Bastet, and Hathor. Besides the statues, the diggers also unearthed 250 ancient sarcophagi.

Egypt’s Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities said in a statement that 250 coffins, 150 bronze statues, and other objects dating back to about 500 BC were found in Saqqara.

“The mission of the Supreme Council of Antiquities succeeded in discovering the first and largest cache of 150 bronze statues from the late period in the cemetery of the sacred animals in Saqqara, as well as burial wells containing 250 closed coloured wooden coffins containing mummies, which will be displayed in the Grand Egyptian Museum,” Egypt’s Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities said in an online statement.

Photos of the incredible finds have been shared on Facebook by the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities.

Reports said the coffins were found in remarkably good condition in burial shafts. They contained mummies, amulets and smaller wooden boxes.

They will not be taken to the Grand Egyptian Museum, which is currently under construction near the Great Pyramids of Giza.

“We also found a statue of Imhotep … and we hope we can find his tomb soon,” Head of Egypt’s Supreme Council of Antiquities, Mostafa El-Waziri, told ABC News.

Imhotep was an Egyptian chancellor to the Pharaoh Djoser, possible architect of Djoser’s step pyramid, and high priest of the sun god Ra at Heliopolis. Very little is known of Imhotep as a historical figure.

Unusually Arranged Skeletons And Artifacts Found Inside A 1,500-Year-Old Tomb In Berenice Troglodytica, Egypt

Unusually Arranged Skeletons And Artifacts Found Inside A 1,500-Year-Old Tomb In Berenice Troglodytica, Egypt

Archaeologists excavating in the city of Berenice Troglodytica, an ancient seaport of Egypt on the western shore of the Red Sea, have found a 1,500-year monumental tomb that contains unusually arranged skeletons. The grave is also filled with many beautiful artefacts.

Unusually Arranged Skeletons And Artifacts Found Inside A 1,500-Year-Old Tomb In Berenice Troglodytica, Egypt
View of the examined tomb.

After opening the tomb, researchers report they saw skeletons that looked as if the dead were buried in a huddled position – the bones of the lower limbs resting on the chest.

“This is not a natural position. In order to achieve it, the deceased had to be bound with ropes or tied with cloth,” research leader Dr. Mariusz Gwiazda from the Center of Mediterranean Archeology of the University of Warsaw told Science in Poland.

The rope was tied around the neck and legs, which caused the body to assume a crouched position. This type of funerary custom was described in the 2nd century B.C. by Agatharchides or Agatharchus of Cnidus, a Greek historian and geographer who said the tribes of the Eastern Desert practised it. Perhaps it was similar in this case, Dr. Gwiazda said.

Several of the dead were placed in four layers, one under the other. So far, archaeologists have not been able to determine whether the bodies were deposited at one time or whether they were added to the tomb from time to time.

The archaeologist emphasizes that the tomb was full of various types of equipment, which proves that it belonged to very important representatives of this ancient city.

The deceased were buried with beads made from onyx (a silicate mineral chalcedony) and carnelian (a brownish-red mineral) that came from Pakistan, India, and even Indonesia.

For the last journey of the dead, several silver rings, earrings and bracelets made of ivory were also placed in the tomb.

Dr. Gwiazda noted that very similar tomb fittings from the same period are known from Upper Egypt and Nubia. There, this type of burial is called royal.

At that time (from the 4th to the 6th century A.D.), Berenice was inhabited by the Blemians who became independent from the power of other Mediterranean empires. It was a little-known, nomadic Nubian tribe inhabiting the mountainous Eastern Desert. However, it controlled territory east of the Nile from present-day Ethiopia to Berenice at the time in question. The authorities administered the city and enriched themselves thanks to participation in trade between the Byzantines and communities living in the Indian Ocean region.

Beads were discovered inside the elite tomb.

“The burial customs of the Berenice community have so far been shrouded in mystery. We wanted to fill this gap,” Dr. Gwiazda added. Researchers had good luck with this discovery because the tomb turned out to be unplundered, which is rare in Egypt, especially in the case of elite burials.

As part of the above-ground part of the tomb, next to the chest with human remains, archaeologists discovered traces of ancient funeral rituals.

Tomb – on the right in the lower corner there is a chest in which there were seven dead.

Scientists report evidence of ancient funeral rituals of a platform and animal remains likely used for sacrifices. Several amphoras have also been found upside down.

According to the researchers, this means that they were emptied during ritual practices. There were also small water storage bottles similar in form to the Arabs still use today. They are famous because the fluids in them keep the temperature low despite the heat.

Inside the tomb, archaeologists encountered yet another surprise. They found the grave of a mother and a child from the same period. It looks as if the dead were cuddled up into each other, described Dr. Gwiazda.

This is probably not the end of exciting discoveries in this area because the tomb explored last season is adjoined on two sides by structures that are very similar in plan.

Beads were discovered inside the elite tomb.

“Our latest discoveries show that in the 4th-6th centuries, Berenice was not a provincial port city at all. It was a city with long-distance contacts,”- said Dr. Gwiazda.

For many years, archaeologists working in Berenice have mainly studied Hellenistic and Roman relics found at the site. So far, no extensive research into human cemeteries from these periods has been undertaken. A few years ago, scientists managed to locate a 2,000-year-old animal cemetery in Berenice. Studies of the remains revealed that the then inhabitants of the city brought monkeys from India, which they treated as domestic mascots, and after their death, they buried them on the outskirts of the cities. Dog and cat cemeteries have also been found in the city.

The city of Berenice was founded in the 3rd century B.C. by the pharaoh Ptolemy II. In the first century A.D, the Romans who took power over Egypt made the city an important hub for trans-oceanic trade linking Black Africa, the Middle East and India. Initially, the port was used for shipping African elephants.

250 mummies in coffins among the latest discoveries from Egypt’s Saqqara treasure trove

250 mummies in coffins among the latest discoveries from Egypt’s Saqqara treasure trove

Egyptian archaeologists have revealed another massive haul of priceless artefacts from the Saqqara Necropolis, a bountiful site near Cairo that likely still holds untold secrets.

On display Monday were dozens of newly-discovered, beautifully decorated coffins or sarcophagi, still sealed up with their owners mummified inside, along with dozens of bronze statues.

Monday’s big reveal, with artefacts lined up in front of Saqqara’s Step Pyramid of Djoser for journalists to admire, was the fifth by the archaeologists working at the site since 2018, and there are still many years of work left to carry out there.

Sarcophogi, or coffins, still sealed and containing the good-condition mummified remains of ancient Egyptians, are seen on display at the Saqqara Necropolis near Cairo, in Egypt, in a photo provided by the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities, May 30, 2022.

The latest discoveries, including about 250 still-sealed sarcophagi, came from the “Cemetery of Sacred Animals” at Saqqara, Mostafa Waziri, secretary-general of Egypt’s Supreme Council of Antiquities, told CBS News.

There have now been more than 450 decorated, sealed coffins containing mummies in good condition discovered at the cemetery, all of them dating back some 2,500 years.

The cemetery site at Saqqara was previously called “Bubasteion,” a reference to the ancient Egyptian goddess Bast, who was worshipped in the form of a cat.

Many of the statues initially discovered there depicted the goddess. In 2019, however, the site has renamed the Cemetery of Sacred Animals after archaeologists discovered other mummified animals and statues of other Egyptian deities there, Dr Mohamed Al Saidi, the mission’s director, told CBS News.

A sarcophagus that is around 2,500 years old, from the newly discovered burial site near Egypt’s Saqqara necropolis, is seen during a presentation in Giza, Egypt, May 30, 2022.

The artefacts displayed on Monday included about 150 bronze statues of Egyptian deities of different sizes, including some portraying the gods Anubis, Osiris, Nefertem, Isis, and Hathor.

“Today’s discovery confirms that the temple wasn’t exclusively for cats, but for other Egyptian deities too,” Al Saidi told CBS News.

Two wooden statues are seen on display at the Saqqara Necropolis near Cairo, in Egypt, in a photo provided by the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities, May 30, 2022.

“We found two beautiful wooden statues with golden faces of the deities Isis and Neftis, named the protectors of the coffin,” he said of the artefacts pulled from one of the dig shafts at the cemetery.

“They were in a seated position [by one coffin], one of them by the head of the coffin and the other by the feet, in a position called ‘the mourners’ or ‘weepers’ for the deceased.”

Inside the same coffin, the archaeologists discovered a papyrus roll they believe maybe 10 yards long and containing chapters of the “Book of the Dead.” The papyrus has been sent to a lab at the Egyptian Museum for further examination.

The worksite is almost 440 yards long, and the archaeologists working there have only carried out excavations on the first 100 yards, so Al Saidi told CBS News the site likely still has a lot more treasures to reveal.

An archaeologist cleans a sarcophagus, or coffin, still sealed and containing the mummified remains of an ancient Egyptian, as artefacts are displayed at the Saqqara Necropolis near Cairo, Egypt, in a photo provided by the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities, May 30, 2022.

Egypt’s tourism industry is trying to get back on its feet after the shock of the COVID-19 pandemic, but the war in Ukraine has dealt a fresh blow. Russians and Ukrainians represented a significant proportion of the foreign tourists visiting the country before those calamities struck.

Archaeologists Discover Another Buried Sphinx In Egypt

Archaeologists Discover Another Buried Sphinx In Egypt

Egyptian archaeologists working on a groundwater reduction project at the Kom Ombo Temple in Aswan have discovered a sandstone sphinx, according to the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities on Sunday.

The discovery comes as a surprise as in the last few months, archaeologists working in Egypt have uncovered the remains of two Sphinx statues.

A few weeks ago, we wrote about how construction workers working near the Luxor Temple Complex stumbled across the remains of a buried Sphinx statue.

Archaeologists Discover Another Buried Sphinx In Egypt
The Sphinx found near the Kom Ombo Temple

Initial reports by the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquity suggested that the Sphinx uncovered at Luxor is similar in design to the Great Sphinx of Giza: It has the body of a lion and the head of a human.

The most famous Sphinx in Egypt is without a doubt the massive statue located on the Giza plateau.

The Great Sphinx of Giza is considered an ancient marvel not only because of its size and confusing design but because of the countless mysteries that surround this ancient structure.

Together with the three pyramids, the Great Sphinx found on the plateau of Giza – about 500 km from the place where the new statue was found – is one of the most emblematic monuments of Egypt.

Now, archaeologists near Aswan made another stunning discovery by finding another Sphinx statue.

The unearthed Sphinx after it was restored.

Mostafa Waziri, general secretary of the Supreme Council of Antiquities of Egypt, explained that the piece probably dates from the Ptolemaic dynasty, as the Sphinx statue was found on the southeast side of the temple, in the same place where two sandstone reliefs of King Ptolemy V were discovered two months ago.

The Ptolemaic Dynasty ruled over Egypt for 275 years, from 305 to 30 BC, and they were the last dynasty of ancient Egypt.

The Kom Ombo temple complex was constructed during the Ptolemaic Dynasty.

Kom Ombo Temple before reconstruction.

Ptolemy V was the fifth ruler of the Ptolemaic dynasty from 204 to 181 BC. He inherited the throne at the age of five, and under a series of regents, the kingdom was paralyzed. It is noteworthy to mention that to famous Rosetta Stone was produced during his reign as an adult.

The sculpture, discovered at the Kom Ombo Temple in Aswan bears hieroglyphic and demotic inscriptions and has already been transported to the National Museum of Egyptian Civilization in Fustat, where it will be carefully studied and restored by the archaeological mission to obtain more information about its origin.

After restoration, the newly-found Sphinx will be exhibited to the public.

How did the ancient Egyptians drill through granite?

How did the ancient Egyptians drill through granite?

A question that has always intrigued archaeologists is how past civilizations made their objects and monuments. Works such as the exquisite staircases of Machu Picchu, the geoglyphs of Acre, and the pyramids of Egypt raise questions about the use of technologies and tools.

The lack of understanding usually leaves room for hypotheses about contact with aliens or the idea that these people were beyond their time; dangerous arguments when it comes to a faithful understanding of the past.

The ancient Egyptians, known for their temples, pyramids, and hieroglyphic writing, have always been a challenge for researchers.

And a skill that still intrigues many people is the ability to carve objects in granite – rock much harder than limestone or sandstone.

So, what tools did they have to hand? How long did the carving process take? Had they been helped by fantastic beings? Check out some of the possibilities below.

Egyptian artisans, the working class responsible for all the grandeur that has come to us, used instruments depicted in paintings that resisted time, showing the use of axes, saws, and bows, among others.

The most accepted theory is that these builders used wooden, bronze, and copper tools to carve the granite, mastering strict rules that allowed a good job.

Around 3500 BC, many copper tools were used, adding to the skills of the artisans, which made it possible to carry out any and all work with accuracy.

But would wooden tools be enough to carve granite? That was the main question during the nineteenth century when archaeologists came across artefacts like these.

Only later studies, not focusing on the objects themselves but on the way in which they were used, came closer to a solution.

Methods

According to current archaeology, the ancient Egyptians drilled granite with a method that consisted of introducing wooden wedges into a natural crack in the rock and soaking them with water. As the wet wood expanded, the original crack widened, and after successive repetitions of the process, the rock split into smaller pieces.

Stone artisans, ancient and modern, use this natural process based on weaker parts of the rock. Another method used was successive incisions in the stone with metal objects, which, little by little, carved lines and designs, intervening in different ways in the rock.

However, such methods do not seem to explain everything. The English engineer, Christopher Dunn, is one of the great promoters of these issues, and since 1977, he has been questioning himself about the use of technologies in Ancient Egypt.

Talking to Egyptologists and visiting sites, Dunn was not convinced by the wedge and water method alone.

According to him, “the quarry marks I saw did not convince me that the methods described were the only means by which the builders of the pyramids worked their rocks.”

The tools displayed as instruments for creating many artefacts are physically incapable of being reproduced. For the engineer, the artefacts would only have reached such a degree of precision with the use of saw blades and objects with a hardness comparable to that of a diamond.

Discussions like these are still current, and perhaps Egyptologists have yet to find tools that better explain the construction of these objects.

But what we must keep in mind is that maybe we are the limited ones, relying too much on our own technologies and applying contemporary ways of seeing the world to the past.

Space where a granite block was extracted in Aswan, Egypt
Ruins of a granite column
Replicas of tools used by Egyptian artisans