April 2010 Egyptian Archeology Highlights Part II

In April, it was highlighted that an agreement to curb the smuggling of Egyptian artifacts has been recently signed with a major country. Other news focuses on the return of a body part belonging to the father of an infamous former Egyptian king. In this article, you will also learn which artifacts Egypt would like returned to thier country.

In Lower Egypt, the ancient scribe’s tomb marks the first Ramesside tomb discovered in the area that possesses a stone-domed ceiling. Inscriptions on the tomb will help researchers pinpoint important information regarding the relationships that Egyptians built with their neighbors in the east. The inside of the tomb has decorations of reliefs depicting funerary scenes, such as Chapter 12 of the infamous ancient text called the Book of Dead. The pages of this book illustrated details of what the deceased would encounter in the afterlife. A scene of women in mourning was also found inside the tomb.

Translators state that the inscriptions indicate that the scribe’s wife was named Isis and worked as a musician for the God Atum. A large limestone pillar representing an ancient Egyptian god named Set (who was in charge of darkness and chaos), was also uncovered. The same pillar bore the name of the capital of the Hyskos, who were an Asiatic people that invaded the eastern Nile Delta during the same time the 12th Dynasty was founded.

The site served as a cemetery for some, as 35 Roman-era graves were found during the same excavation.

Stolen Mummy Body Part Returned

Interestingly, the Supreme Council of Antiquities revealed that a stolen toe belonging to the father of King Tutankhamun had been returned to Egypt. Stolen in 1907 when the mummy’s body was being examined, the toe of King Akhenaton was brought back by the culprit , a DNA specialist named Frank Ruehli.

All of this recent news came after an agreement to combat smuggling Egyptian antiquities was signed between the country and Switzerland.

Antiquities Conference in Egypt

This month, a two-day conference took place in Cairo, where antiquities officials hailing from various countries gathered to discuss the protection and restitution of Egypt’s cultural heritage. Officials representing 16 different countries with international archeology interests met with an agenda to recover artifacts of national heritage. For Egyptians, their looted tombs and artifacts have found their way across the world in the most illegal of methods.

The country has been successful in reclaiming a handful of objects, such as the nearly 25,000 ancient artifacts retrieved from Britain in March. In this collection a stone axe dated back 200,000 years and pottery representing the seventh millennium BC was returned. However, there are still some important cultural items the antiquities supreme of Egypt would like to recover.

For example, the Rosetta stone held by the British Museum and the 3,400-year-old bust of Queen Nefertiti on display at the Neues Museum in Berlin are significant pieces representatives of Egypt would like back. Interestingly, the British Museum has had the Rosetta stone in its possession for more than 200 years. Found by the French in Egypt, the stone was actually given to Britain as part of a treaty.