Intact Mass Grave Discovered in Gebel el-Silsila

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Intact Mass Grave Discovered in Gebel el-Silsila

Post by Winged Isis » Thu Dec 13, 2018 8:16 pm

Intact Mass Grave Discovered in Gebel el-Silsila

Today, the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquity went out with the press release of our latest discovery, announced by Dr. Mostafa Waziri, General Secretary. Here is the update!

The Swedish-Egyptian mission at Gebel el-Silsila, Aswan Region, led by Dr. Maria Nilsson and John Ward (Lund University), under the supervision of the inspectorates of Aswan and Kom Ombo, has discovered an undecorated shaft tomb (5 m deep) with two chambers dating to the 18th Dynasty (Thutmosid period). The tomb is water filled and requires pumping to allow excavations. Since a recent looting attempt in the tomb is also filled with sand and silt, and the extent of damage that was caused to the monument is still to be assessed. Mr. Abdel Moniem, General Director of Aswan and Nubia, says that the team is currently estimating the preservation of the tomb, as the movement of water and sand has caused great disturbance to the interior, artefacts and osteological remains, but it appears to be intact and undisturbed from looting. So far, the team has discovered three sandstone sarcophagi, two of which have been excavated, revealing an infant and a young child. The third sarcophagus was also made for an infant; its contents await excavation.

The burial goods contain several artefacts of importance, including dozens of scarabs, amulets, beads, seals, bracelets, large amphorae, beer jugs, bowls, pilgrim flasks, and various storage jars, etc.

Chronologically, there are indications of at least three generations, ranging from Thutmosis II to Amenhotep II (c. 3400 years ago). Exceptionally, the team has documented the remains of so far a minimum of over 60 individuals (2/3 adults and 1/3 children) have been discovered, but with excavations still ongoing the team estimates the amount to increase. No other tomb documented at Gebel el-Silsila previously has contained such a high number of entombed individuals. One of the more important results of the discovery at Gebel el-Silsila is the amount of buried children and women, indicating that there was a complete society with entire families living and working in ancient Kheny. Excavations are scheduled to continue until the end of the year.


Photos here: https://gebelelsilsilaepigraphicsurveyp ... C6YxFRqvS4


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Re: Intact Mass Grave Discovered in Gebel el-Silsila

Post by carrie » Fri Dec 14, 2018 6:32 am

Doesn't say WI which bank, east I am thinking. Yildez and I may try to fit in another visit there I love Silsila.

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Re: Intact Mass Grave Discovered in Gebel el-Silsila

Post by Winged Isis » Fri Dec 14, 2018 8:41 am

Funny, I assumed west. :) I like it too, as it's quite unique, IMHO.
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Re: Intact Mass Grave Discovered in Gebel el-Silsila

Post by Yildez » Fri Dec 14, 2018 8:47 am

I'm pretty sure that they're working on the East Bank, I've been following the excavations, through their newsletters, for some time.

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Re: Intact Mass Grave Discovered in Gebel el-Silsila

Post by Ruby Slippers » Fri Dec 14, 2018 11:08 am

I wonder if it's the same one featured in Tony Robinson's recent TV programme? If it is, it was definitely the West Bank - I think! :lol:

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Re: Intact Mass Grave Discovered in Gebel el-Silsila

Post by Yildez » Fri Dec 14, 2018 12:51 pm

Ruby Slippers wrote:I wonder if it's the same one featured in Tony Robinson's recent TV programme? If it is, it was definitely the West Bank - I think! :lol:
No Ruby Slippers, that's definately the East Bank!! There are several shots of the Speos of Horemheb, across the Nile, in the background from where the archaeologists are working, and the Speos is DEFINITELY on the West Bank!! The Gebel Silsilla Project has been running excavations for several years and made many interesting discoveries. Unfortunately there's no public access to the East Bank site because of safety issues - lots of open shafts etc. I understand that sometimes special groups are able to visit, but not individuals.

A few years ago Carrie and I tried to persuade a boatman, with money!, to take us across, figuring we'd have a wander round and just plead ignorance if caught! We've done this before elsewhere ;) Yes, he'd take us but we had to stay in the boat, no landing! We declined, and kept the baksheesh for another time!

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Re: Intact Mass Grave Discovered in Gebel el-Silsila

Post by Ruby Slippers » Fri Dec 14, 2018 5:00 pm

I stand corrected, Yildez! I wonder where in relation to the town the dig is? :tk

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Re: Intact Mass Grave Discovered in Gebel el-Silsila

Post by Yildez » Sat Dec 15, 2018 6:23 am

Well! Now I'm totally confused!! Just seen a video clip made by John Ward and Maria, talking about the discovery of the shaft tomb, and they're filming themselves standing right in front of the Speos of Horemheb!! Which is on the West Bank!!

The Tony Robinson programme was definately shot on the East Bank, but maybe the new tomb IS on the West Bank? I give up!! I hope for enlightenment in the near future!!

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Re: Intact Mass Grave Discovered in Gebel el-Silsila

Post by Ruby Slippers » Sat Dec 15, 2018 6:42 am

Yildez, the Tombs of the Nobles in Aswan are on the West Bank and the dig in the programme didn't seem far from those - but maybe I'm wrong about that. You can never tell where the cameras are pointing. One shot I particularly remember was Tony Robinson standing on the West Bank looking over at the town, with Elephantine Island between him and the town, which led me to assume that the dig was on the West Bank.

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Re: Intact Mass Grave Discovered in Gebel el-Silsila

Post by Yildez » Sat Dec 15, 2018 11:04 am

Ruby Slippers wrote:Yildez, the Tombs of the Nobles in Aswan are on the West Bank and the dig in the programme didn't seem far from those - but maybe I'm wrong about that. You can never tell where the cameras are pointing. One shot I particularly remember was Tony Robinson standing on the West Bank looking over at the town, with Elephantine Island between him and the town, which led me to assume that the dig was on the West Bank.

Ruby Slippers, just realised that we're talking about DIFFERENT PLACES!!! :a50: :a50: :a50: The new discoveries are at Silsilla, where part of the Tony Robinson programmes was filmed. You're talking about Aswan, and if course you're absolutely correct about THOSE tombs being on the West Bank!!

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Re: Intact Mass Grave Discovered in Gebel el-Silsila

Post by carrie » Sat Dec 15, 2018 1:00 pm

I thought I was going bonkers, not seen the TV programme but was wondering how you could see silsila from Aswan cause they are miles apart. All will become clear in the end.

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Re: Intact Mass Grave Discovered in Gebel el-Silsila

Post by Ruby Slippers » Sat Dec 15, 2018 1:08 pm

Carrie, all DID become clear in the end! Sorry for causing such confusion to you both! :lol:

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Re: Intact Mass Grave Discovered in Gebel el-Silsila

Post by A-Four » Sun Jan 06, 2019 10:08 pm

With reference to those who in the near future who will be visiting Gebel el-Silsila for the first time, may I suggest if they are travelling on the East Bank road, may I bring their attention to a place on the left hand side of the road, a few miles North of the usual destination, there is an area that is known as a closed site.

Half a mile off the main road is a wonderful hidden shrine-temple, where the gold diggers of ancient times visited, for a sort of blessing before going off to the Eastern hills, where rich gold seams were found.

To be able to have a chance of visiting places like this, one must choose a taxi driver of vast experience, and these days must be at least fifty five years old, who as a rule even know the guardians of such closed sites. Do not entertain a young driver, they know little or nothing.

In my time in Egypt, I often visited the Western Desert, where there are so many closed sites it's impossible to count, though absolutely stunning. Good guides to these site do not come cheap, though I must admit there are these days a number of young energetic guides that specialise on such trips, who live on the West Bank, their knowledge at time have even astonished me.

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Re: Intact Mass Grave Discovered in Gebel el-Silsila

Post by carrie » Wed Jan 09, 2019 5:14 pm

Well Yildez and I will be going next week but I have visited that site before and with a taxi driver who was a lot less than 55 years old.

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Re: Intact Mass Grave Discovered in Gebel el-Silsila

Post by A-Four » Wed Jan 09, 2019 10:28 pm

carrie wrote:Well Yildez and I will be going next week but I have visited that site before and with a taxi driver who was a lot less than 55 years old.
I do so sincerely apologise, if for ONE moment you may have thought that the information I have given above was for YOUR own private benefit, may I assure you the information was given to the whole of the forum, to encourage other to visit that site, when they are in the area.

With regards drivers over 55 years old, the reason why I say this is because many sites that were open 25 years ago, were suddenly closed, and drivers who are now over 50 not only remember these sites well, and as a rule, believe it or not, still know the old guardians who still protect these site throughout the country, and especially areas of the Western desert.

I am very pleased that you was able to visit this shrine, and I am sure members would be interested in you giving details, unfortunately as I have written before, my life at the moment is very busy, therefore I wonder if you would be ever so kind to give a little useful information about this shrine,...........and hopefully the small nearby temple.

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Re: Intact Mass Grave Discovered in Gebel el-Silsila

Post by Yildez » Thu Jan 10, 2019 8:26 am

carrie wrote:Well Yildez and I will be going next week but I have visited that site before and with a taxi driver who was a lot less than 55 years old.
I've not visited the site, so make sure you instruct our driver please Carrie!

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Re: Intact Mass Grave Discovered in Gebel el-Silsila

Post by carrie » Fri Jan 11, 2019 4:33 am

Well we be off there next week. See you later Kom Umbo and El Kab today.

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Re: Intact Mass Grave Discovered in Gebel el-Silsila

Post by Yildez » Fri Jan 11, 2019 5:34 am

Carrie, I know it's early, but get a grip! Today is Kom Ombo and Edfu!! :urm: :urm:

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Re: Intact Mass Grave Discovered in Gebel el-Silsila

Post by Yildez » Sat Jan 12, 2019 3:21 pm

Yildez wrote:Carrie, I know it's early, but get a grip! Today is Kom Ombo and Edfu!! :urm: :urm:
Errrr no! This is a PUBLIC APOLOGY to Carrie! She was right, it was Kom Ombo and El Kab! Not sure why I was so convinced it was Edfu :ni: :ni: that's next time!

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Re: Intact Mass Grave Discovered in Gebel el-Silsila

Post by Winged Isis » Sat Jan 12, 2019 7:26 pm

Are you going/have you been to El Silsila this time, as per the OP?
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