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Thousands-year-old Egyptian sarcophagus opened on live TV

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A sarcophagus containing an Egyptian high priest was opened on live TV Sunday during a special two-hour broadcast by the American channel Discovery.

“Expedition Unknown: Egypt Live” aired from the site outside Minya, which is along the Nile River south of Cairo and its Giza pyramids.

Archeologists recently discovered a network of vertical shafts at the site which led to tunnels and tombs containing 40 mummies “believed to be part of the noble elite.”

After exploring other tombs — finding artifacts like statues, amulets, canopic jars used to store organs, and other mummies including one that had decomposed to a skeleton — they crawled to the chamber containing the intricately carved sarcophagus.

It took the strength of several people to open.

AFP/File / MOHAMED EL-SHAHED Archeologists recently discovered a network of vertical shafts at the site outside Minya which led to tunnels and tombs containing 40 mummies “believed to be part of the noble elite.”

And the team’s efforts had not gone to waste: inside was a pristinely linen-wrapped mummy surrounded by treasure including gold.

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“I can’t believe this, this is incredible,” exclaimed Zahi Hawass, an Egyptian archaeologist and former antiquities minister, who had taken charge of the expedition with American explorer Josh Gates as the host of the broadcast.

A Discovery spokesman previously told AFP that the project was set up in collaboration with Egypt’s antiquities ministry.

– ‘Like a royal burial’ –

Gates said the mummy was that of a high priest of Thoth, the ancient Egyptian god of wisdom and magic, and dated to Ancient Egypt’s 26th dynasty — the last native dynasty to rule until 525 BC.

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“Toward the end of Ancient Egypt, the power really was with the high priests and you can see this… almost feels like a royal burial,” Gates said.

Cairo has sought to promote archeological discoveries across the country in a bid to revive tourism hit by turmoil after the 2011 uprising against Hosni Mubarak.

Asked by AFP about a possible financial deal between the channel and the Egyptian state for permission to film and open the grave, the spokesman for Discovery refused to comment.

AFP/File / MOHAMED EL-SHAHED A newly-discovered mummy wrapped in linen with sarcophagus fragments found in burial chambers dating to the Ptolemaic era (323-30 BC) in Egypt’s southern Minya province

“It’s a media spectacle in the end — but it could make people love antiquities and is a good promotional opportunity for tourism, if done right,” an Egyptian archeologist who asked to remain anonymous told AFP.

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However, she asked: “If money is being paid by a major channel to the ministry to show antiquities, where is it going to end up?”

“Will it go in the state’s purse-strings or end up elsewhere? We need more transparency on where the money is going.”

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has overseen a crackdown on dissent, banning protests and jailing Islamists as well as liberal and secular activists.

He regularly evokes political stability to draw foreign investment.

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AFP/File / MOHAMED EL-SHAHED Cairo has sought to promote archeological discoveries across the country in a bid to revive tourism hit by turmoil after the 2011 uprising against Hosni Mubarak

The tourism sector has begun to return, with arrivals reaching 8.3 million in 2017, according to government figures.

That still falls far short of the 14.7 million in 2010.

Discovery’s broadcast also comes with global interest in Egyptian archeology generated by a “once in a generation” exhibition about the pharaoh Tutankhamun, which opened in Paris last month and will tour the world.

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Here is how Republicans are reacting when confronted with the new rape allegation against Trump

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Once again, President Donald Trump has been accused of a sexual assault — one of the most severe charges yet, in fact — and yet the Republican Party continues to make clear that it will not take these allegations seriously.

Journalist E. Jean Carroll detailed her account of Trump raping her in a Bergdorf Goodman dressing room more than two decades ago in an article, in her new book, and in TV interviews. New York Magazine reported that it contacted two of her friends who confirmed that she told them about the assault shortly after it happened.

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‘He should be hospitalized’: Internet stunned after Trump goes off on completely incoherent Mt Rushmore rant

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President Donald Trump was asked on Tuesday whether his face should appear on Mount Rushmore along with other major American presidents.

“If I answer that question yes, I will end up with such bad publicity,” Trump told The Hill, before pivoting to an incoherent rant about fireworks.

The president's rambling shocked many people on Twitter:

Apart from Trump’s apparent inability to string together coherent English sentences on the fly, note also the sheer ignorance and apathy toward the idea that there might be legitimate reasons why fireworks are not detonated around the Black Hills. https://t.co/jja2XD19Mw

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Trump: Immigrants didn’t want to come to America before I was president because ‘Obama wasn’t a cheerleader’

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President Donald Trump's strange rant about fireworks at Mt. Rushmore wasn't the only head-scratching exchange that occurred during his recent interview with reporters from The Hill.

During another part of the interview, Trump was asked about Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's (D-NY) criticism of the internment camps he's been using to house immigrant children.

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