Mummies of animals and a wooden statue of Hatshepsut: results of the archaeological season at Abydos

February 15, 2012 21:32

The excavations at Abydos made some interesting discoveries.

Monumental building, which may be a temple (here and below — Free North Abydos Votive Zone Project).

On the outcome of last year's summer season, Mary Ann Pools Wegner of the University of Toronto (Canada) spoke at conference of the Society for the Study of Egyptian Antiquities.

 According to legend, was the tomb at Abydos Osiris — god of the underworld. Once a year, the priests carried out of the temple of Osiris, god of the image, made mysterious night rituals at his grave, and then returned. This march was so popular that along its route the Egyptians built a small chapel in order to participate in the ceremony ever. One of them — a structure at the beginning of the New Kingdom (c. 1400 BC. E.) — And found by archeologists. It is a place for libations and a stone stele. Last there is long gone.

In addition, researchers have devoted time to excavate the "monumental" buildings located nearby. The thickness of the walls (2 m) initially led to assume that it served as a warehouse, but the layout is more like the temple. Judging from the meager inscriptions, it was built by Pharaoh Seti I (c. 1290-1279 years BC. Oe.). Moreover, the material is identical to that of the built nearby temple dating back to the reign of this king.

In one of the rooms found 83 mummies of animals. Most — dogs, but there are cats to sheep and goats. Experts believe that they have sacrificed much later — in the third period of transition (XI-X century BC. Oe.). A large number of dogs indicates Upuauta — God with a wolf's head. He was considered the commander of Osiris and the conductor of souls of the dead. His image was carried in the procession. Apparently, the demonstrators who wanted to appease the god, could buy dogs specially bred by the priests of the temple of Osiris, sacrificed and mummified. One of the individuals found healed broken leg. Why get injured animal was not killed at once, and went out, is unclear.

In the next hall unearthed rarity — a wooden statue, the height of which originally reached 65 cm It is pharaonic headdress called nemes. Proportions of the figure indicate the style popular during the reign of the XVIII dynasty (1550-1292 years BC. E.), With one exception: it is too thin waist. Researchers suspect that the statue depicts Hatshepsut (late XVI — the beginning of the XV century BC. Oe.). As you know, Egyptian art had canon for the image of the pharaoh as a woman, so Hatshepsut looks like a man, and a slim waist — the only concession to realism. That the statue made in the mysterious building — God knows.

Tombs of the Nobles found on the "Terrace of the great god" in abundance. This time found two graves, one of which was located next to a chapel built on the orders of Thutmose III (XV century BC. Oe.). Its excavation postponed for the future.

The second tomb, dating from the same period, was found in a monumental building. Human remains were found nearby, canvas and wood fragments. Inside the tomb, scientists stumbled upon faience Ushabti. In ancient Egypt, these figures were buried with the person to the afterlife they were his servants. In this tomb lay priest, he was accompanied by 58 Ushabti figures and six guards.

Faience Ushabti.

Found another group Ushabti — clay. They are much younger: they are only 2600 years old. They are clearly visible imprints of children's fingers.

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