Posts Tagged With: Egypt

Mummy is a lot of “croc”

Mummies of animals have long been part of the deeply complex Egyptian religion. The still unearthed Labyrinth of Egypt was said to hold hundreds of crocodile mummies and hundreds more mummies of human beings.

But crocodile mummies aren’t that hard to find in the many tombs of the once-great culture. The crocodile was said the be the material incarnation of the god Sobek, much as Thoth was known as an stork-like bird and Horus was portrayed as a falcon. Egyptians didn’t worship crocodiles, but they considered large and ornate mummies of crocodiles as an offering to the great god, Sobek.egyptian-giant-crocodile-mummy-is-full-of-surprises1

Scientists had a look recently at a croc mummy that more unusual than most; it was extremely large, possibly containing a monster reptile. But when they did a 3-D CT scan of the mummy at the Academic Medical Center in Amsterdam, they found not only two full-grown crocodiles, but dozens of individually wrapped baby crocodiles. There are only a few of this kind of multi-croc mummies to be found in the world.

The Egyptians used all sorts of stuffing (linen, wood, rope and plant stems) to make the mummy take on the shape of a huge crocodile.

Since November, visitors to the Dutch National Museum of Antiquities can do a virtual autopsy on the 3,000-year-old mummy, using an interactive visualization tool. They also can do a post-mortem exam of an Egyptian priest. They can examine the ancient remains layer by layer, learning about the age at death, physical features, and the mummification process.

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Wake up, Nefertiti!

Fantastic World.

Lots of strange news has been coming out of Egypt lately. First, some scientists, using infrared and modulated thermography (don’t ask me what that means) have been peering through the rocks of the pyramids of Giza, looking for hidden hallways and empty chambers. The Scan Pyramids project, which was launched in October of last year is looking for some tantalizing things. Looking for areas with poor insulation, cracks, and openings in the seemingly smooth-sided pyramids, the project leaders hope to find cavities and chambers beneath the rocks.

Lost treasure chambers? A long-forgotten library of priceless books? Who knows? But it will take the rest of this year for Scan Pyramids to work it out..

However, while those scientists use drones to take images of the pyramids, other Egyptologists surmise they may have found the tomb of the fabled Nefertiti, the queen of Akhenaten. He was the pharaoh who became a heretic when he proposed a religion based on a single god—the Aten, or sun disk. Almost nothing is known of what became of Akhenaten and Nefertiti after their fall from grace, but many Egyptologists believe that Nefertiti was a co-regent with her king during his later years of rule. When he died, she might have become the mysterious Smenkhare, a pharaoh named in the Egyptian histories, but one who left no royal tomb.

Nefertiti, often called the most beautiful woman in history, also seemed to disappear into nowhere. Her tomb and body has never been found.

Now, Egyptologist Nicholas Reeves believes that her tomb is behind that of Tutankhamen, the famous boy king’s. When Howard Carter found “King Tut” in 1922, the opening of the tomb was the wonder of the world. Here was the burial place of a boy of about 19, who had only been on the throne shortly. The tomb appeared to be hastily put together with many items recycled from other burials.

Tut was the son of Akhenaten, but no one is sure who his mother was. It could have been Nefertiti or it could have been Kiya, a minor wife of Akhenaten. The excitement comes into the story when Reeves identified what he called two doorways or entrances behind the current walls of Tut’s burial chamber. They may lead to just more storage chambers or to another royal tomb.

Reeves builds a case that Nefertiti was Tut’s mother, that she was interred first in the rock-cut tomb. Then, when Tut died so suddenly, room was made at the front of Nefertiti’s tomb for the boy’s remains. So, if someone were to drill behind one of those doors, there just discover an astonishingly lavish tomb dedicated to the royal queen.

Reeves peppers his theory with a lot of details that people other than Egyptologists can’t follow, such as saying Tut’s tomb is in a corridor that turns right, rather than left, indicating it was originally for a queen. He also says that items in Tut’s tomb were not designed for him, and that the famous gold mask that lies in the Cairo Egyptian History Museum does not even resemble the boy king at all.

No one will really know if Nefertiti is behind he door, but former antiquities minister Zahi Hawass, who has no more power in Egypt, disregards the whole theory. He says no one should be drilling on that priceless tomb door. That’s because he thinks he already found Nefertiti’s body (which was broadcast on a cable television program and proved to be most unconvincing.)

So, keep tuned. There are power upheavals in Egypt everyday, and no one knows who might authorize drilling behind Tut’s tomb. However, as geologist and Egyptology fan Robert Schoch, Ph.D., reports, the tourism industry is in such bad shape that it would be easy to understand  if Egypt would take the gamble to take a peek behind the wall.

The world is waiting for Nefertiti to arise.

Categories: ancient civilizations, ancient earth history | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

What’s inside the Egyptian pyramids?

Fantastic World

Every wonder what is really inside the pyramids of Giza and the surrounding area? There have been rumors for centuries of hidden chambers, filled with either precious scrolls or beautiful treasure. There even was a team that set out for Giza in the 1990s and found with ground-penetrating radar that there is a large rectangular, box-shaped, hollow anomaly hidden in the area in front of the Sphinx’s paws. No one has ever excavated the area, so no one knows if it’s a hidden chamber or not.
But it’s not the Sphinx, but the pyramids that soon will be investigated internally by the “Scan Pyramid” program, which is sponsored by the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities. The scans and tests have been initiated, designed and coordinated by the Faculty of Engineering of Cairo and the French HIP Institute (Heritage, Innovation and Preservation). Cosmic particles, infrared thermography, photogrammetry, scanner and 3D reconstruction will be used to peer into and reconstruct what is inside of the pyramids. Researchers of international renown and three major universities, the Faculty of Engineering of Cairo University, Université Laval of Quebec and Nagoya University of Japan, will lend their expertise to the project.
The scanning project is due to start in early November. It will focus on  on the site of Dahshur, about fifteen kilometers south of Saqqara: the South pyramid, called the Bent; and the North pyramid, called the Red, both reputaed to have been built by Snefru (2575 – 2551 BC). On the Giza plateau at about twenty kilometers from Cairo (see map), it will study the pyramids of Khufu (the Great Pyramid) and Khafre, said to be built by the son and grandson of Snefru. (Actually no one knows who built these specific pyramids, because the identifying factors are so vague and no actual names–except that of Khufu–have been found of any of the pyramids.)
The company Iconem plans to created a 3-D representation of the field of Giza using drones and photogrammerty, the since of making measurements from photographs.

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