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2010 Archeology News Recap: May

Studying the statues and architecture of the past is an excellent way to learn about ancient beliefs and traditions. In Luxor, Egypt, a large statue depicting the god Thoth was found close to the mortuary temple of Amenhotep III. You will also learn about a rare find that was reported in May, as well as information regarding a Hellenistic period medicine bottle.

Egyptian God Statue Uncovered

Made out of red granite, the statue found in Luxor pays tribute to an ancient Egyptian god associated with wisdom. The statue measures 3 ½ meters tall and is one of many artifacts uncovered in the region since the excavations first took place.

The Pharaoh is shown in a standing position and now stands as one of the best preserved depictions of the pharaoh’s face ever found. Another statue of the god was found at the temple , it showed him in the form of a baboon. Amenhotep III was ruler of Egypt from 1390 BC to 1352 BC. DNA conducted on forensic evidence suggests that he was most likely grandfather to King Tut (Tutankhamun). His temple is also known for being situated closer to the river than any other temple in Thebes.

Well-Preserved Mummy Discovered

News broke in May about the discovery of a well-preserved mummy in Asia. In Seoul, South Korea, the mummified body of a woman was uncovered at a construction site that dates back 500 years. The mummy is a significant find because it will help researchers learn more about the early days of the Joseon Dynasty. Scientists hope that the tomb next to the woman will be that of her husband.

The female mummy was found early last month and measured five feet tall. Her body was located at an industrial complex being constructed in Osan , about 55 kilometers from Seoul. The woman was positioned in a wooden coffin that bore a nameplate that indicated a marriage to a man in government. After analyzing her clothing and hairstyle, researchers believe the female mummy was a 16th century noblewoman who lived during the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910). Her body was wrapped in shrouds and buried with dresses and other accessories, including hairpins and a ceramic pot.

The mummy is a significant find because it is rare to find a specimen in such good condition and still wearing clothing. By looking at her face, researchers have determined that by the gaunt face and body of the noblewoman, she most likely died from a chronic disease. She also had what was described as ‘twisted lungs.’ It was tradition during the early days of Joseon to bury a nobleperson in an airtight coffin that had been covered with plaster. The result created a natural mummification process. The bodies were sealed in a vacuum.

Other archeology news from May 2010 includes:

Archaeologists in Bodrum, Turkey have uncovered a medicine bottle made out of terracotta that is the first known finding of a medicine bottle dating back to the Hellenistic period in ancient Halicarnassus. Other discoveries at the site included the remains of walls, water pipes, a freshwater spring, and five terracotta sarcophagi containing skeletal remains.

In the tomb of the first emperor of China in Xian province, more than 100 additional terracotta warriors has been unearthed. Some of the statues still bore paint colors, as well as burn marks. The restoration of the clay warriors was a tedious process as they were broken into many pieces. It took at least 10 days to restore just one of the statues.