May 23, 2024
Egyptian Mummy

Egyptian Mummy

Twenty miles south of Cairo, on the outskirts of Memphis, once the capital of ancient Egypt, is the Saqqara Necropolis, simply the burial place of the ancient Egyptians. This necropolis on the west bank of the Nile houses the first Egyptian pyramid, Pharaoh Djoser’s Step Pyramid. Its construction was at least two thousand seven hundred years before the birth of Christ.

The necropolis also contains other structures besides the pyramids. Notable among these are many ancient tombs and ruins of temples. It’s a gold mine for archaeologists, because they often find something new. After almost a year of digging in that direction, a very large list was published in January this year. One of them is a mummy about 4500 years old.

The place in the necropolis where the mummy was found is called the Great Enclosure (Gisr-el-Mudir). It is probably the oldest of the ancient Egyptian stone structures known to us. The tombs here date to the fifth and sixth dynasties of ancient Egypt.

Their time is estimated to be between 25th and 21st BC. Zahi Hawass, Egypt’s renowned archaeologist and former antiquities minister, and his colleagues were working here. The credit for this discovery belongs to them.

Near the Step Pyramid, Hawass and his team found the mummy at the bottom of a pit about fifty feet deep. According to him, as they peered into the hole, their eyes were caught by a large limestone coffin or sarcophagus. Hawass also measured the weight of the coffin, about twenty-five tons. The weight of the lid itself was at least five tons.

However, the contents of the sarcophagus came as a surprise to Hawass. They found an almost intact ancient Egyptian whose head was wrapped in gold. After testing, he came to the conclusion – its age is not more than four thousand three hundred years.

But what is the identity of the mummy? He is not a pharaoh, then who? His name is said to be Djed Sepsh, or Hekashepes. He was very wealthy in his time, but died only 35 years old. The practice of mummifying moneyed people had just begun. But someone so rich can not be mummified! So the mummy of Hekashepes was covered with gold. The sarcophagus was then lowered into the pit with great pomp.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wgAluDYypnQ

Several images of Hekashepes are available online. From there it can be seen that he has been dressed in a loose robe like other mummies without twisting bandages. A necklace around the neck and a belt around the waist.

According to Professor Francesco Tiradritti of the University of Enna in Italy, Hekashepes’ relatives chose this route so that they would appear alive even after death. It may be related to the Egyptian religion of the time. As a result, Hekashepes can enrich our knowledge of ancient Egypt.

Hekashepes was initially promoted by several media outlets as the oldest known Egyptian mummy. But Zahi Hawass quickly corrected that. According to him, Hekashepes is the oldest, but not the oldest, of the gilded mummies. Some 5,000-year-old mummies, the oldest known to date, have been found 25 miles from the present-day city of Luxor. But none of them are as golden as Hekashepes.

It is worth noting that the Hekashepes is not the only result of a year of excavation. A few new tombs have been discovered. One of them is inhabited by a priest named Khnumdjedef. According to the tomb inscription, he was an employee of Unas, the last king of the fifth dynasty. The tomb of another royal servant named Mary, who performed important duties for the pharaoh, was also discovered. Apart from this, idols, talismans or amulets have been found.

Our interest in ancient Egypt is endless. New discoveries are being made in many visible areas using modern technology. And it is difficult to say how many things remain behind the eyes! But there will definitely be more great discoveries in Egypt, we will also know the unknown things of history.

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