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Archaeology Watch

Pharaoh’s Sarcophagus Re-Assembled from 250 Fragments
Thursday, April 1 (Issue 6)
by Raymon Kondos

CAIRO ( - Joint Egyptian-US archeological team has recently concluded a difficult task to re-assemble the inner sarcophagus of Pharaonic king Ramesses I (1307 - 1306 BC) at his tomb in the Valley of the Kings in Luxor, Egypt's Antiquities Department had announced on last 21 March.

Ramesses I sarcophagus
Culture Minister Farouk Hosni and
head of Antiquities, Zahi Hawas
inspect the sarcophagus

The two-year project, funded by USAID, had successfully cleaned and collected together 250 available pieces of the 20th dynasty King's sarcophagus and its lid, both made of rare hard greenish stone.

According to Egypt 's antiquities department, this is the first time that a royal sarcophagus of a New Kingdom king is reconstructed and re-exhibited inside its original tomb.

Although many pieces are still missing, there are enough that has been cleaned and assembled to give the sarcophagus its original height.

The head of the anthropoid sarcophagus had to be replaced by a replica cast because the original one is still kept in the British Museum since 1823.

The sarcophagus had once contained the king's mummy, and both fitted in a wider sarcophagus. The whole set was placed in a sunken pit in the king's burial chamber at his tomb, which he was usurped and enlarged from his predecessor Ramesses V.

The project was done by the American Research Center in Egypt in cooperation with Supreme Council of Antiquities and led by Egyptologist Edwin Brock.

Largest Statue of Hippopotamus Unearthed at Luxor
Thursday, April 1 (Issue 6)
by Raymon Kondos

CAIRO ( - A European excavation team has recently discovered at the West bank of Luxor the largest hippopotamus statue of its kind in Egypt.

The alabaster hippo
The alabaster hippo

The alabaster-made statue was found at the Hypostyle Hall of King Amenhotep III’s temple, built about 34 centuries ago.
The statue, retrieved headless, was seen before in the 1970s but was buried again without recording its exact location.

The statue is 180cm long, 73 cm wide and 130 cm high. Hippopotami were considered a representation of SethWho is this deity?, the god of evil, especially in battles portrayed with God Horus. Another contrary representation of the hippos is Taweret, the goddess of birth and protector of children.

This discovery is among a worldly sponsored project to excavate remains of the famous mortuary temple of Amenhotep III which is fronted by the famous Colossi of Memnon.
The technical team on the project includes 12 nationalities from Egypt, Europe and countries as far as Japan.

The sunken temple is enlisted as one of the “100 most endangered monuments of the world” by the World Monument Watch Program in 1998 and again in 2004.

30-Year of Conservation Work at the Temple of Seti I Concluded
Thursday, April 1 (Issue 6)
by Raymon Kondos

CAIRO ( - A German archeological team has recently ended a project to reserve the temple of Seti I at Luxor started in 1970.

Seti I Temple
Temple of Seti I as it appears after conservation

The German Archeological Institute in Cairo has documented the temple photographically and photogrammetrically, copied the inscriptions and analyzed its reliefs.

The conservation was partially obstructed by a devastating thunderstorm in 1994.

The temple was built at the west bank of Luxor by Seti I in dedication to his father Ramesses I and God Amun-ReWho is this deity?.


. 4000-year-old tomb of Egyptian official unearthed at Saqqara
(issue 1)
. Thousands of antiquities retrieved from sunken city at the Mediterranean Sea (issue 2)
. New Kalabsha Island Turns into an Open-Air Museum (issue 3)
. Website Brings Life to Egypt’s Monuments (issue 4)
. Courtiers and Donkeys Buried to Escort Pharaonic Kings in Afterlife, New Discoveries Reveal (issue 5)

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