(TMU) — A stunning discovery of 30 ancient wooden coffins has been made along the west bank of the Nile River near Luxor, according to Egyptian archaeologists. The find includes a number of mummies.
The colorful coffins decorated with ornate inscriptions and delicate paintings were discovered in the Asasif Necropolis and are considered the most important finds in over a century, reports the Independent.
The 3,000-year-old coffins remain in “a good condition of preservation, colors and complete inscriptions,” a statement said.
The coffins were for male and female priests and children, and date back to 1,000 B.C. during the rule of the 22nd pharaonic dynasty, said excavation team leader Mostafa Waziri.
Following years of foreign-led archaeological digs, the “distinctive group of 30 colored wooden coffins for men, women and children” is the first significant cache of coffins to be uncovered by an Egyptian mission.
Asasif Cachette: A collection of 30 coffins with mummies of priests and priestesses of Luxor’s deities uncovered. They are 3000 year-old. #Archaeology #Egyptology #Egypte #newspapers #mediaonline #Mummies #Luxor #historyofegypt @ZahiHawass pic.twitter.com/Qwt5ajVoM6
— Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities (@TourismandAntiq) October 20, 2019
In comments reported by CNN, Waziri said:
“The last one was in 1891, [led by] foreigners. 1881, [also] foreigners. But … 2019 is an Egyptian discovery.
This is an indescribable feeling, I swear to God.”
The mummies include 23 adult males, five adult females and two children. Waziri said that their gender is distinguishable thanks to the shape of the mummies’ hands. The official added that ancient women were buried with their hands open while men’s hands were balled into fists.
Archaeologist Zahi Hawass noted that coffins belonging to children are an extremely rare occurrence, and the discovery of two is generating tremendous interest “worldwide.”
The coffins had been sealed, stacked atop one another and arranged in two rows standing roughly three feet below the sand. A priest had apparently collected the coffins and hid them away for fear that they would be looted.
The intricate carvings and designs depict Egyptian deities, hieroglyphics, and scenes from the Book fo the Dead that enabled souls to navigate the afterlife.
The inscriptions are outstanding due to the vivid colors that remain perfectly preserved despite being buried for thousands of years. Waziri said that ancient Egyptians used natural colors from stones, such as limestone, red oak, and turquoise, mixed with egg whites.
The coffins will now undergo a process of being restored before they are transferred to a showroom at the newly-constructed Grand Egyptian Museum, which is located next to the great pyramids of Giza, and will be opened next year.
Egypt has announced a series of major new finds in recent years as it struggles to revive its tourism sector, which once attracted travelers from across the world but has declined in recent years as the country has been awash in political and social instability following the 2011 uprising that toppled the U.S.-backed authoritarian leader Hosni Mubarak.
Earlier this month, the country unveiled two archaeological discoveries in Luxor including an industrial zone in the West Valley of the city known as the Valley of the Monkeys.
UK Boy, 6, Finds Fossil In Family Garden That May be 488 Million Years Old
Children have a natural fascination with rocks, with many of us having spent some days as children standing awe-struck at our museums or science centers looking at dazzling arrays of stones, or learning about the different types that can be found out our local beaches, parks, or hiking trails.
However, none of us managed to make the sort of discovery that one young boy in the U.K. did.
Siddak Singh Jhamat, known as Sid, found a fossil in his garden that dates back millions of years.
Sid found the fossil in his backyard garden in the town of Walsall using a simple fossil-hunting kit he received as a gift, reports the BBC.
His father Vish Singh was then able to identify the fossil as a horn corral that dates back 251 to 488 million years with the help of a Facebook fossil group.
“I was just digging for worms and things like pottery and bricks and I just came across this rock which looked a bit like a horn, and thought it could be a tooth or a claw or a horn, but it was actually a piece of coral which is called horn coral,” Sid explained.
“I was really excited about what it really was.”
His father Vish added:
“We were surprised he found something so odd-shaped in the soil… he found a horn coral, and some smaller pieces next to it, then the next day he went digging again and found a congealed block of sand.
“In that there were loads of little molluscs and sea shells, and something called a crinoid, which is like a tentacle of a squid, so it’s quite a prehistoric thing.”
The father believes that the distinctive markings on the fossil make it a Rugosa coral, meaning it could be up to 488 million years old.
“The period that they existed from was between 500 and 251 million years ago, the Paleozoic Era,” Vish said.
“England at the time was part of Pangea, a landmass of continents. England was all underwater as well… that’s quite significant expanse of time.”
Researchers Find 50,000-Year-Old Frozen Body of Extinct Woolly Rhino in Siberia
Researchers in Siberia have stumbled upon the 50,000 year-old remains of a rare woolly rhinoceros that was trapped in permafrost.
The remains of the woolly rhino were excavated from the Abyisky district of the Sakha Republic. The rhino was first discovered by a local in Siberia named Alexei Savin, Business Insider reported.
Savvin stumbled upon the remarkable find walking near the Tirekhtyakh River in Yakutia, Siberia last August.
It’s worth noting that this woolly rhino was found close to the site where a previous baby woolly rhino named Sasha was discovered back in the year 2014. Woolly Rhinos were once believed to have been prevalent in Europe, Russia and northern Asia thousands upon thousands of years ago until they ended up extinct.
Paleontologist Albert Protopopov of the Academy of Sciences of the Sakha Republic unveiled that the baby woolly rhino would have been approximately three to four years old when it died presumably from drowning.
The only other woolly rhino thus far that has been discovered in these regions — Sasha — was dated to be from around 34,000 years ago. However, Protopopov suggests that the newly discovered body could be anywhere from 20,000 to 50,000 years old.
However, despite the body being there for so long according to Protopopov “among other things, part of the internal organs are preserved, which in the future will make it possible to study in more detail how the species ate and lived.”
Protopopov further added, “Earlier, not even the bone remains of individuals of this age were found, not to mention the preserved carcasses of animals. As a rule, these were either cubs or adults.”
A fellow paleontologist Valery Plotnikov from the Academy of Sciences further adds, “We have learned that woolly rhinoceroses were covered in very thick hair. Previously, we could judge this only from rock paintings discovered in France. Now, judging by the thick coat with the undercoat, we can conclude that the rhinoceroses were fully adapted to the cold climate very much from a young age.”
Isaac Newton’s Secret “Burnt” Notes Included Theory That Great Pyramids Predicted Apocalypse
Sir Isaac Newton, one of the most famous scientists of recorded history, left behind a large body of work that is still vital in our understanding of the world today. However, as with many public intellectuals, he also had plenty of work that was never shared with the public, even after his death.
Now, for the first time ever, some of these unpublished notes are being auctioned off, and these notes contain some of his most wild theories, and includes his thoughts on the occult, alchemy, and biblical apocalypse theory. Newton was known to dabble in the more esoteric realms of study, but very little written evidence remains about his specific thoughts on mystical topics.
Some of the remaining manuscript notes are currently being auctioned by Sotheby’s. The notes have been through a lot, and are obviously burned. The auctioneers claim that the notes were damaged in a fire that is believed to have been started by a candle that was accidentally toppled by Newton’s dog, Diamond.
According to the auction listing, “These notes are part of Newton’s astonishingly complex web of interlinking studies – natural philosophy, alchemy, theology – only parts of which he ever believed were appropriate for publication. It is not surprising that he did not publish on alchemy, since secrecy was a widely-held tenet of alchemical research, and Newton’s theological beliefs, if made public, would have cost him (at least) his career.”
The notes currently have a leading bid of £280,000, the equivalent of about $375,000.
In the notes, Newton speaks on some far-out topics that would surprise modern thinkers. For example, Newton’s notes include a theory that ancient Egypt’s Great Pyramid of Giza predicted the apocalypse. While it is unclear what logic he used to get to his conclusion, the theory began with his study of how the pyramids were designed according to an ancient Egyptian unit of measurement called the royal cubit.
While studying the pyramids and the cubit, Newton believed he developed an insight into sacred geometry, which somehow aligned with the apocalypse predictions in the bible.
“He was trying to find proof for his theory of gravitation, but in addition the ancient Egyptians were thought to have held the secrets of alchemy that have since been lost. Today, these seem disparate areas of study – but they didn’t seem that way to Newton in the 17th century,” Gabriel Heaton, Sotheby’s manuscript specialist, told The Guardian.
“It’s a wonderful confluence of bringing together Newton and these great objects from classical antiquity which have fascinated people for thousands of years. The papers take you remarkably quickly straight to the heart of a number of the deepest questions Newton was investigating,” Heaton added.
Interest in alchemy and mysticism was not unusual for serious scholars at the time, in fact, it was recognized as a legitimate field of scientific study.
“The idea of science being an alternative to religion is a modern set of thoughts. Newton would not have believed that his scientific work could undermine religious belief. He was not trying to disprove Christianity – this is a man who spent a long time trying to establish the likely time period for the biblical apocalypse. That’s why he was so interested in the pyramids,” Heaton said.
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