Total of 20 mummies and unique wooden sarcophagus yuzhnoegipetskogo Nomarh

February 15, 2012 21:44

Clearly visible unusual headdress, located on the head dug Nomarh. (Here and below the picture of the University of Jaén.)

Group of Spanish and British archaeologists in the current season of excavations revealed three previously investigated tombs Kvebbet el-Hawa twenty mummies and one sarcophagus, relating to the period from VI to XII dynasty. Of particular interest to specialists is a sarcophagus with a unique carving of the head Nomarh.

 Excavations at Kvebbet al-Hawa (near Aswan), also known as the Valley of the rulers, being the first year and often bring interesting results. Now researchers from the University of Jaén (Spain), Granada (Spain) and London (UK) universities are working with the graves QH33, QH34 and QH34h. These burial yuzhnoegipetskih Nomarh date from around 1830 BC. e. — Time successors Sarenputa II.

Burial QH 34 untouched by later robbers, which makes it especially valuable. Scientists report that found there mummies nome governor and his family members are characterized by high safety associated with the use of high-quality and expensive materials for mummification, usually a privilege of the pharaohs. Found and well preserved sarcophagus made of precious wood, some of which shows the head of a ruler with something like the crown on it (which is also characteristic of the Pharaohs). Note that both the surviving wooden carved image of the supreme ruler — a rarity, and for the governor Nome at all exceptional. Apparently, Nomarh highly of their status in the hierarchy of ancient Egypt, or the presence of such a hat is difficult to explain.

The rulers of the southern Egyptian nomes, border with Nubia, now the Sudan, are in a special position and enjoyed great autonomy in relation to the central government. Images of the local princes Sarenputa I, II and other Sarenputa never appeared on the tombs of the Pharaohs, among other subjects, and in the tombs of local Nomarh no pharaohs. On the contrary, the size of the figures on the local lords posthumous figures correspond with the size of the Pharaohs — and they are several times larger than the surrounding image. Throughout the study period, they even managed to not be assigned to Pharaoh, and to transfer power to his children by inheritance. Keeping order on the border with Nubia with their own armies, often taking independent Nomarh expedition into the interior of Africa, reaching its central regions. One day they brought a pygmy of which were mentioned (of course, the first in recorded history of mankind).

According to the professor of the University of Jaén Alejandro Jimenez Serrano, during excavations widely apply the latest methods of image restoration on their reflectance (Reflectance Transformation Imaging, RTI) and three-dimensional scanning of objects. Obtained by digitizing the raw data is processed at the university, although the excavations run only on March 3. RTI, in particular, not only allows faster data transfer and wall paintings found hieroglyphic inscriptions, but also to restore the previously unreadable, badly damaged characters. According to Mr. Jimenez, the simultaneous use of these techniques for the analysis of findings is practiced for the first time.

The original mask was found during the excavation.  Usually this kind of mask used by the priests during the liturgy.

The original mask was found during the excavation. Usually this kind of mask used by the priests during the liturgy.

In the coming days, excavation will be conducted in the lowest layers of the old and the three graves, where archaeologists expect to find even older facilities that would like to believe, are not touched by the robbers.

The final publication of the results of the work is scheduled for March 2012.

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