Em formação

Tumba egípcia faraônica da família de elite e incontáveis ​​artefatos encontrados!


Os principais achados arqueológicos no Egito continuam a ser desenterrados e este envolve uma tumba de uma família inteira de elite. Os arqueólogos encontraram uma nova tumba faraônica do antigo Egito, pertencente a um importante oficial real, com cerca de 2.500 anos. A tumba faraônica egípcia recentemente desenterrada inclui os túmulos de membros da família e um tesouro de importantes obras de arte funerárias e sepulturas.

A equipe de arqueólogos egípcios fez uma descoberta notável ao escavar um local na área de antiguidades de al-Ghuraifah, no centro do Egito. Esta é a quarta temporada de escavações na área, que já foi uma necrópole e hoje é conhecida como Tuna el-Gebel. Eles já fizeram várias descobertas importantes no local, incluindo um caixão de calcário do sumo sacerdote de Djehuty, deus egípcio da lua e da sabedoria. A recente descoberta do túmulo faraônico egípcio em Tuna el-Gebel é um dos achados mais importantes no Egito neste ano, porque o túmulo não foi saqueado por ladrões, ao contrário de tantos achados do passado.

Apenas uma pequena seleção dos artefatos e túmulos encontrados recentemente no Egito. ( Ministério do Turismo e Antiguidades )

Tumba Faraônica Egípcia do Tesoureiro de Faraó

Mostafa Waziri, Secretário-Geral do Conselho Supremo Egípcio de Antiguidades, disse a Albawaba.com que a equipe encontrou uma área de sepultamento que "consiste em um cemitério de 10 metros de profundidade que leva a uma grande sala com nichos esculpidos na rocha". O poço ou poço é revestido por blocos de pedra de formato regular. Foi relatado pelo Ministério do Turismo e Antiguidades egípcio em uma postagem no Facebook que os especialistas encontraram “A tumba do supervisor do tesouro real,‘ Badi Eset ’.” Seu nome também é escrito como Badi Est ou Pa Di Eset em algumas fontes.

  • Sarcófagos de elite egípcios e tesouros de ouro exclusivos desenterrados
  • Tumba de Kaires, o ‘Guardião do Segredo’ e o ‘Único Amigo’ do Faraó desenterrado no Egito
  • Fazendo o cobre parecer ouro: túmulos moche de 1.400 anos revelam ricos artefatos da elite antiga

Como supervisor do tesouro real, Badi Eset teria sido um dos homens mais poderosos do Egito naquela época, com imensa influência na sociedade real. Essencialmente, Badi Eset teria sido o encarregado da riqueza pessoal do faraó. Suas responsabilidades incluiriam a custódia do tesouro e a manutenção da casa e dos palácios do faraó.

Uma estátua de um bezerro Apis, um touro sagrado, que era adorado em Memphis, foi encontrada na tumba faraônica egípcia. ( Ministério do Turismo e Antiguidades )

A tumba faraônica egípcia de Badi Eset estava cheia de bens sepulcrais

A antiga tumba faraônica foi datada do período tardio da história egípcia, que é a era do século 26 º aos 30 º dinastia. Também foram encontradas na tumba duas belas estátuas de calcário. Um deles tem a forma do bezerro Apis, um touro sagrado que era adorado em Memphis. A outra estátua é de uma mulher, possivelmente uma deusa. As figuras estão em notável estado de conservação.

“Também foi encontrado um vaso canópico, feito de alabastro na forma dos quatro filhos de Hórus”, segundo o egípcio Independent. Este é um frasco selado que geralmente continha as vísceras do falecido. A página do Facebook do Ministério do Turismo e Antiguidades citou Wazari dizendo que os potes canópicos, feitos de calcário, são “alguns dos potes mais bonitos que já foram encontrados”. Estas eram estatuetas funerárias e foram enterradas com os mortos para que pudessem atuar como servos na vida após a morte.

A tumba também continha cerca de 1000 estatuetas de Ushabti feitas de cerâmica esmaltada de estanho. Alguns amuletos, incluindo muitos escaravelhos, também foram desenterrados na tumba, que se acredita terem sido usados ​​para ajudar os mortos na vida após a morte. E um conjunto de vasos de cerâmica, possivelmente utensílios de cozinha, também foram encontrados na tumba de Badi Eset.

A tumba do supervisor do tesouro real também incluía os sarcófagos de membros da família de Badi Eset.

Sarcófagos de pedra da família encontrados na tumba faraônica egípcia

A página do Facebook do Ministério do Turismo e Antiguidades informa que “Além disso, 4 sarcófagos de pedra foram encontrados” na tumba faraônica egípcia. Eles estão todos intactos e ainda selados com argamassa. Esta é uma descoberta empolgante e pode indicar que mais sepulturas intactas estão esperando para serem descobertas.

A descoberta da tumba de Badi Eset e dos sarcófagos de sua família é uma oportunidade única para os pesquisadores compreenderem os costumes funerários do período tardio do Egito e podem fornecer informações sobre as relações sociais da elite neste período. De acordo com a página do Facebook do Ministério do Turismo e Antiguidade, “ainda há mais para descobrir e tesouros para revelar em El-Ghorefa”. As escavações continuam no local.


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No mito egípcio, a magia (heka) foi uma das forças usadas pelo criador para fazer o mundo. Por meio do heka, as ações simbólicas podem ter efeitos práticos. Acreditava-se que todas as divindades e pessoas possuíam essa força em algum grau, mas havia regras sobre por que e como ela poderia ser usada.

Os usuários de magia mais respeitados eram os sacerdotes leitores.

Os sacerdotes eram os principais praticantes de magia no Egito faraônico, onde eram vistos como guardiões de um conhecimento secreto dado pelos deuses à humanidade para 'repelir os golpes do destino'. Os usuários de magia mais respeitados eram os sacerdotes leitores, que podiam ler os antigos livros de magia mantidos nas bibliotecas de templos e palácios. Em histórias populares, esses homens eram creditados com o poder de dar vida a animais de cera ou de fazer recuar as águas de um lago.

Estátua de Sekhmet © Os sacerdotes leitores reais realizaram rituais mágicos para proteger seu rei e ajudar os mortos a renascer. No primeiro milênio aC, seu papel parece ter sido assumido por mágicos (hekau). A magia de cura era uma especialidade dos sacerdotes que serviam a Sekhmet, a temível deusa da peste.

Em status inferior estavam os encantadores de escorpiões, que usaram magia para livrar uma área de répteis e insetos venenosos. Parteiras e enfermeiras também incluíam magia entre suas habilidades, e mulheres sábias podiam ser consultadas sobre qual fantasma ou divindade estava causando problemas a uma pessoa.

Os amuletos eram outra fonte de poder mágico, obtidos de 'fabricantes de proteção', que podiam ser homens ou mulheres. Nenhum desses usos da magia foi reprovado - seja pelo estado ou pelo sacerdócio. Apenas estrangeiros eram regularmente acusados ​​de usar magia maligna. Não é até o período romano que há muitas evidências de mágicos individuais praticando magia prejudicial para recompensa financeira.


Conteúdo

Embora nenhum escrito tenha sobrevivido do Período Predinástico no Egito (c. 6000 - c. 3150 aC), os estudiosos acreditam que a importância do corpo físico e sua preservação se originou lá. Isso provavelmente explica por que as pessoas daquela época não seguiam a prática comum de cremação, mas sim enterravam os mortos. Alguns também acreditam que podem ter temido que os corpos ressuscitariam se maltratados após a morte. [3]

Os primeiros corpos foram enterrados em covas ovais simples e rasas, com alguns bens funerários. Às vezes, várias pessoas e animais eram colocados na mesma sepultura. Com o tempo, os túmulos se tornaram mais complexos. Em um ponto, os corpos foram colocados em uma cesta de vime, mas eventualmente os corpos foram colocados em caixões de madeira ou terracota. As últimas tumbas feitas pelos egípcios eram sarcófagos. Esses túmulos continham bens funerários como joias, comida, jogos e talas afiadas. [4]

Entre o período pré-dinástico e a dinastia ptolomaica, houve um foco constante na vida eterna e na certeza da existência pessoal além da morte. Essa crença na vida após a morte se reflete no enterro de bens mortais em tumbas. As crenças dos egípcios em uma vida após a morte tornaram-se conhecidas em todo o mundo antigo por meio do comércio e da transmissão cultural, tendo influência em outras civilizações e religiões. Notavelmente, essa crença se tornou bem conhecida por meio da Rota da Seda. Acreditava-se que os indivíduos eram admitidos na vida após a morte por serem capazes de servir a um propósito ali. Por exemplo, pensava-se que o faraó tinha permissão para entrar na vida após a morte por causa de seu papel como governante do Egito Antigo, o que seria um propósito traduzido em sua vida após a morte.

Os sacrifícios humanos encontrados nas primeiras tumbas reais reforçam a ideia de servir a um propósito na vida após a morte. Os sacrificados provavelmente serviam ao faraó em sua vida após a morte. Eventualmente, estatuetas e pinturas de parede começam a substituir as vítimas humanas. [5] Algumas dessas estatuetas podem ter sido criadas para se parecer com certas pessoas, para que pudessem seguir o faraó após o fim de suas vidas.

Não apenas as classes mais baixas dependiam do favor do faraó, mas também as classes nobres. Eles acreditavam que, quando ele morreu, o faraó se tornou uma espécie de deus que poderia conceder a certos indivíduos a capacidade de ter uma vida após a morte. Essa crença existia desde o período pré-dinástico até o Reino Antigo.

Embora muitos feitiços dos textos anteriores tenham sido carregados, os novos Textos do Caixão também tiveram novos feitiços adicionais adicionados, junto com pequenas mudanças feitas para tornar este novo texto funerário mais relacionado à nobreza. [6] No primeiro período intermediário, no entanto, a importância do faraó diminuiu. Textos funerários, antes restritos ao uso real, tornaram-se mais amplamente disponíveis. O faraó não era mais um deus-rei no sentido de que apenas ele era permitido na próxima vida devido ao seu status aqui, agora ele era apenas o governante da população que, após sua morte, seria nivelado em direção ao plano dos mortais . [7]

Pré-história, edição de enterros mais antigos

Os primeiros funerais no Egito são conhecidos nas aldeias de Omari e Maadi, no norte, perto do atual Cairo. As pessoas dessas aldeias enterravam seus mortos em uma cova redonda simples com uma panela. O corpo não foi tratado nem arranjado de uma maneira particular que mudaria mais tarde no período histórico. Sem qualquer evidência escrita, há pouco para fornecer informações sobre as crenças contemporâneas sobre a vida após a morte, exceto para a inclusão regular de um único pote na sepultura. Devido aos costumes posteriores, a panela provavelmente se destinava a conter comida para o falecido. [8]

Período pré-dinástico, desenvolvimento de edição alfandegária

Os costumes funerários foram desenvolvidos durante o período pré-dinástico a partir do período pré-histórico. No início, as pessoas escavaram sepulturas em volta com um pote no Período Badariano (4400–3800 aC), continuando a tradição das culturas Omari e Maadi. No final do período pré-dinástico, havia um número crescente de objetos depositados com o corpo em sepulturas retangulares, e há evidências crescentes de rituais praticados pelos egípcios do período Naqada II (3650–3300 aC). Nesse ponto, os corpos eram regularmente dispostos em posição agachada ou fetal, com o rosto voltado para o leste, o sol nascente, ou para o oeste (que nesse período histórico era a terra dos mortos). Os artistas pintaram potes com procissões fúnebres e talvez danças rituais. Figuras de mulheres de seios nus com rostos de pássaros e as pernas escondidas sob as saias também apareceram. Algumas sepulturas eram muito mais ricas em bens do que outras, demonstrando o início da estratificação social. As diferenças de gênero no sepultamento surgiram com a inclusão de armas nos túmulos dos homens e paletas de cosméticos nos túmulos das mulheres. [9]

Por volta de 3.600 aC, os egípcios começaram a mumificar os mortos, envolvendo-os em bandagens de linho com óleos de embalsamamento (resina de coníferas e extratos de plantas aromáticas). [10] [11]

Período Dinástico Inferior, Tumbas e Caixões Editar

Na Primeira Dinastia, alguns egípcios eram ricos o suficiente para construir tumbas sobre seus túmulos, em vez de colocar seus corpos em simples fossas escavadas na areia. A tumba retangular de tijolos de barro com uma câmara mortuária subterrânea chamada mastaba desenvolveu-se neste período. Esses túmulos tinham paredes com nichos, um estilo de construção chamado de motivo da fachada do palácio porque as paredes imitavam as que cercavam o palácio do rei. Uma vez que plebeus, bem como reis, no entanto, tinham tais tumbas, a arquitetura sugere que, na morte, algumas pessoas ricas alcançaram um status elevado. Mais tarde no período histórico, é certo que o falecido foi associado ao deus dos mortos, Osíris.

Os bens de sepultura se expandiram para incluir móveis, joias e jogos, bem como as armas, paletas de cosméticos e suprimentos de comida em potes decorados conhecidos anteriormente, no período pré-dinástico. Agora, no entanto, nas tumbas mais ricas, os bens mortuários somavam aos milhares. Apenas os caixões recém-inventados para o corpo foram feitos especificamente para o túmulo. Também há algumas evidências inconclusivas para a mumificação. Outros objetos nas tumbas que foram usados ​​durante a vida diária sugerem que os egípcios já na Primeira Dinastia previam a necessidade na próxima vida. Continuidade adicional desta vida para a próxima pode ser encontrada no posicionamento dos túmulos: aquelas pessoas que serviram ao rei durante suas vidas escolheram sepultamentos perto de seu senhor. O uso da estela em frente ao túmulo teve início na Primeira Dinastia, indicando o desejo de individualizar o túmulo com o nome do falecido. [12]

Reino Antigo, Pirâmides e Mumificação Editar

No Reino Antigo, os reis primeiro construíram pirâmides para suas tumbas, cercadas por tumbas de pedra de mastaba para seus altos funcionários. O fato de a maioria dos altos funcionários também serem parentes reais sugere outra motivação para tal colocação: esses complexos também eram cemitérios familiares.

Entre a elite, os corpos eram mumificados, envoltos em ataduras de linho, às vezes cobertos com gesso moldado, e colocados em sarcófagos de pedra ou caixões de madeira simples. No final do Império Antigo, surgiram também máscaras múmias em cartonagem (linho embebido em gesso, modelado e pintado). Os potes canópicos agora continham seus órgãos internos. Amuletos de ouro, faiança e cornalina apareceram pela primeira vez em várias formas para proteger diferentes partes do corpo. Há também as primeiras evidências de inscrições dentro dos caixões da elite durante o Império Antigo. Freqüentemente, relevos de itens do dia-a-dia eram gravados nas paredes, complementados por bens mortuários, que os tornavam disponíveis por meio de sua representação.

A nova porta falsa era a escultura em pedra de uma porta que não funcionava, encontrada no interior da capela ou no exterior da mastaba, servia de local para fazer oferendas e recitar orações pelos defuntos. Estátuas do falecido foram agora incluídas em tumbas e usadas para fins rituais. As câmaras mortuárias de alguns particulares receberam suas primeiras decorações, além da decoração das capelas. No final do Império Antigo, as decorações da câmara mortuária representavam oferendas, mas não pessoas. [13]

Primeiro período intermediário, edição de variação regional

A situação política no Primeiro Período Intermediário, com muitos centros de poder, se reflete nos muitos estilos locais de arte e sepultamento dessa época. Os vários estilos regionais de decoração de caixões tornam as suas origens fáceis de distinguir umas das outras. Por exemplo, alguns caixões têm inscrições de uma linha e muitos estilos incluem a representação de Wadjet olhos (o olho humano com as marcas de um falcão). Existem também variações regionais nos hieróglifos usados ​​para decorar caixões.

Ocasionalmente, os homens tinham ferramentas e armas em seus túmulos, enquanto algumas mulheres tinham joias e objetos cosméticos, como espelhos. As pedras de amolar às vezes eram incluídas nas tumbas das mulheres, talvez para serem consideradas uma ferramenta para a preparação de alimentos no outro mundo, assim como as armas nas tumbas dos homens implicam na atribuição dos homens a um papel na luta. [14]

Reino Médio, Nova Edição de Conteúdo da Tumba

Os costumes de sepultamento no Império do Meio refletem algumas das tendências políticas desse período. Durante a Décima Primeira Dinastia, os túmulos foram escavados nas montanhas de Tebas ao redor do túmulo do rei ou em cemitérios locais no Alto e Médio Egito. Tebas era a cidade natal dos reis da Décima Primeira Dinastia, e eles preferiam ser enterrados lá. Mas na Décima Segunda Dinastia, altos funcionários serviam aos reis de uma nova família que agora governava do norte em Lisht, esses reis e seus altos funcionários preferiam o sepultamento em uma mastaba perto das pirâmides pertencentes a seus mestres. Além disso, a diferença na topografia entre Tebas e Lisht levou a uma diferença no tipo de tumba: no norte, nobres constroem tumbas de mastaba nas planícies planas do deserto, enquanto no sul, dignitários locais continuaram a escavar tumbas na montanha.

Para os de escalões inferiores aos dos cortesãos reais durante a Décima Primeira Dinastia, os túmulos eram mais simples. Os caixões podiam ser simples caixas de madeira com o corpo mumificado e embrulhado em linho ou simplesmente embrulhado sem mumificação, e a adição de uma máscara de múmia de cartonagem, um costume que perdurou até o período greco-romano. Algumas tumbas incluíam sapatos de madeira e uma estátua simples perto do corpo. Em um enterro havia apenas doze pães, uma perna de boi e uma jarra de cerveja para oferendas de comida. Jóias podiam ser incluídas, mas apenas raramente objetos de grande valor eram encontrados em túmulos de não-elite. Alguns enterros continuaram a incluir os modelos de madeira que eram populares durante o Primeiro Período Intermediário. Modelos de madeira de barcos, cenas de produção de alimentos, artesãos e oficinas e profissões como escribas ou soldados foram encontrados nos túmulos deste período.

Alguns caixões retangulares da Décima Segunda Dinastia têm inscrições curtas e representações das ofertas mais importantes que o falecido solicitou. Para os homens, os objetos representados eram armas e símbolos de ofício, além de comida. Os caixões femininos representavam espelhos, sandálias e potes contendo comida e bebida. Alguns caixões incluíam textos que eram versões posteriores dos textos reais das pirâmides.

Outro tipo de modelo de faiança do falecido como múmia parece antecipar o uso de shabti estatuetas (também chamadas Shawabti ou um ushabti) mais tarde na décima segunda dinastia. Essas primeiras estatuetas não têm o texto direcionando a figura para trabalhar no lugar do falecido que é encontrado em estatuetas posteriores. As pessoas mais ricas tinham estatuetas de pedra que parecem antecipar shabtis, embora alguns estudiosos os tenham visto como substitutos de múmias, em vez de figuras de servos.

No final da Décima Segunda Dinastia, mudanças significativas ocorreram nos enterros, talvez refletindo mudanças administrativas promulgadas pelo Rei Senwosret III (1836-1818 aC). O corpo agora era regularmente colocado de costas, em vez de de lado, como acontecia há milhares de anos. Textos de caixão e modelos de madeira desapareceram de novos túmulos do período, enquanto escaravelhos e estatuetas em forma de múmias eram agora frequentemente incluídos em sepultamentos, como seriam pelo resto da história egípcia. A decoração do caixão foi simplificada. A décima terceira dinastia viu outra mudança na decoração. Diferentes motivos foram encontrados no norte e no sul, um reflexo do poder governamental descentralizado da época. Houve também um aumento marcante no número de sepultamentos em uma tumba, uma ocorrência rara em períodos anteriores. A reutilização de uma tumba por uma família ao longo de gerações parece ter ocorrido quando a riqueza era distribuída de forma mais equitativa. [15]

Segundo período intermediário, edição de enterros de estrangeiros

Túmulos conhecidos do Segundo Período Intermediário revelam a presença de não egípcios enterrados no país. No norte, os túmulos associados aos hicsos, um povo semita ocidental que governa o norte a partir do delta do nordeste, incluem pequenas estruturas de tijolos contendo o corpo, vasos de cerâmica, uma adaga nas sepulturas de homens e, muitas vezes, um enterro de burro próximo. Acredita-se que sepulturas simples em forma de pan em várias partes do país pertençam a soldados núbios. Esses túmulos refletem costumes muito antigos e apresentam fossos redondos e rasos, corpos contraídos e ofertas mínimas de comida em potes. A inclusão ocasional de materiais egípcios identificáveis ​​do Segundo Período Intermediário fornece as únicas marcas que distinguem esses sepultamentos daqueles dos períodos pré-dinásticos e até anteriores. [16]

Novo reino, edição de novos objetivos de objeto

A maioria das tumbas de elite no Novo Reino eram câmaras escavadas na rocha. Os reis foram enterrados em tumbas escavadas na rocha com vários cômodos no Vale dos Reis, e não mais em pirâmides. Os padres realizavam rituais funerários para eles em templos de pedra construídos na margem oeste do Nilo, oposta a Tebas. Pelas evidências atuais, a Décima Oitava Dinastia parece ser o último período em que os egípcios incluíam regularmente vários objetos de suas vidas diárias em suas tumbas a partir da Décima Nona Dinastia. As tumbas continham menos itens da vida diária e incluíam objetos feitos especialmente para o outro mundo . Assim, a mudança da Décima Oitava para a Décima Nona Dinastia formou uma linha divisória nas tradições funerárias: a Décima Oitava Dinastia lembrava mais de perto o passado imediato em seus costumes, enquanto a Décima Nona Dinastia antecipou os costumes do Período Tardio.

Pessoas de escalões de elite na Décima Oitava Dinastia colocavam móveis, bem como roupas e outros itens em seus túmulos, objetos que eles sem dúvida usaram durante a vida na Terra. Camas, encostos de cabeça, cadeiras, banquinhos, sandálias de couro, joias, instrumentos musicais e baús de madeira estavam presentes nesses túmulos. Embora todos os objetos listados fossem para a elite, muitas pessoas pobres não colocavam nada além de armas e cosméticos em seus túmulos.

Nenhuma tumba de elite sobreviveu não pilhada do período Ramesside. Nesse período, os artistas decoravam tumbas pertencentes à elite com mais cenas de eventos religiosos, ao invés da cena cotidiana que tinha sido popular desde o Império Antigo. O funeral em si, a refeição funerária com vários parentes, a adoração aos deuses, até mesmo as figuras do submundo eram temas em decorações de tumbas de elite. A maioria dos objetos encontrados nas tumbas do período Ramesside foram feitos para a vida após a morte. Além das joias, que também poderiam ter sido usadas durante a vida, os objetos nas tumbas de Ramesside foram fabricados para o outro mundo. [17]

Edição do terceiro período intermediário

Embora a estrutura política do Novo Império tenha entrado em colapso no final da Vigésima Dinastia, a maioria dos sepultamentos na Vigésima Primeira Dinastia reflete diretamente os desenvolvimentos do período anterior. No início dessa época, os relevos se assemelhavam aos do período Ramesside. Apenas no final do Terceiro Período Intermediário as novas práticas funerárias do Período Tardio começaram a ser vistas.

Pouco se sabe sobre tumbas desse período. A própria falta de decorações nos túmulos parece ter levado a uma decoração muito mais elaborada dos caixões. Os demais bens graves do período mostram produtos de fabricação bastante barata shabtis, mesmo quando a dona era uma rainha ou princesa. [18]

Período Tardio, Monumentalidade e Retorno às Tradições Editar

Os sepultamentos no período tardio poderiam fazer uso de tumbas em grande escala, semelhantes a templos, construídas pela primeira vez para a elite não real. Mas a maioria das tumbas neste período eram em poços enterrados no solo do deserto. Além de belas estátuas e relevos que refletem o estilo do Reino Antigo, a maioria dos bens foram feitos especialmente para o túmulo. Os caixões continuaram a conter textos e cenas religiosas. Alguns eixos foram personalizados pelo uso de estelas com as orações e os nomes dos falecidos. Shabtis em faiança para todas as classes são conhecidas. Os potes canópicos, embora muitas vezes não funcionais, continuaram a ser incluídos. Cajados e cetros representando o cargo do falecido em vida também estavam frequentemente presentes. Uma figura de madeira do deus Osíris [19] ou da divindade composta Ptah-Sokar-Osíris pode ser encontrada, [20] [21] junto com escaravelhos de coração, exemplos de colunas djed em ouro e faiança, amuletos do Olho de Horus , figuras de deuses e imagens do falecido BA. Poderiam ser incluídas ferramentas para o ritual do túmulo chamado de "abertura da boca", bem como "tijolos mágicos" nos quatro pontos cardeais. [22]

Período ptolomaico, edição de influências helenísticas

Após a conquista do Egito por Alexandre, o Grande, o país foi governado pelos descendentes de Ptolomeu, um de seus generais. A família grega macedônia fomentou uma cultura que promoveu modos de vida helenísticos e egípcios antigos: enquanto muitos falantes de grego que viviam em Alexandria seguiam os costumes da Grécia continental, outros adotavam os costumes egípcios, enquanto os egípcios continuavam a seguir seus próprios costumes já antigos.

Muito poucas tumbas ptolomaicas são conhecidas. Belas estátuas de templo do período sugerem a possibilidade de escultura em tumba e mesas de oferecimento. Os enterros da elite egípcia ainda faziam uso de sarcófagos de pedra. Livros dos Mortos e amuletos também eram populares. [23]

Período Romano, Influências Romanas Editar

Os romanos conquistaram o Egito em 30 aC, encerrando o governo do último e mais famoso membro da dinastia ptolomaica, Cleópatra VII. Durante o domínio romano, um estilo de enterro híbrido de elite se desenvolveu incorporando elementos egípcios e romanos.

Algumas pessoas foram mumificadas e enroladas em bandagens de linho. A frente da múmia era freqüentemente pintada com uma seleção de símbolos egípcios tradicionais. Máscaras de múmia em estilo tradicional egípcio ou romano podem ser adicionadas às múmias. Outra possibilidade era um retrato de múmia em estilo romano, executado em encáustica (pigmento suspenso em cera) em um painel de madeira. Às vezes, os pés da múmia ficavam cobertos. Uma alternativa a isso era uma mortalha completa com motivos egípcios, mas um retrato em estilo romano. Os túmulos da elite também podem incluir joias finas. [24]

Os historiadores gregos Heródoto (século 5 aC) e Diodorus Siculus (século 1 aC) fornecem as evidências mais completas de como os antigos egípcios abordavam a preservação de um cadáver. [25] Antes de embalsamar ou preservar o cadáver para atrasar ou prevenir a decomposição, os enlutados, especialmente se o falecido tivesse um status elevado, cobriam o rosto com lama e desfilavam pela cidade enquanto batiam no peito. [25] Se a esposa de um homem de alto status morresse, seu corpo não era embalsamado até três ou quatro dias, porque isso evitou o abuso do cadáver. [25] No caso de alguém se afogar ou ser agredido, o embalsamamento era realizado imediatamente no corpo, de forma sagrada e cuidadosa. Esse tipo de morte era considerado venerado, e apenas os sacerdotes tinham permissão para tocar o corpo. [25]

Após o embalsamamento, os enlutados podem ter realizado um ritual envolvendo uma encenação de julgamento durante a Vigília da Hora, com voluntários para desempenhar o papel de Osíris e seu irmão inimigo Set, bem como os deuses Ísis, Néftis, Hórus, Anúbis e Thoth . [26] Conforme a história continua, Set tinha inveja de seu irmão Osíris por ter recebido o trono antes dele, então ele planejou matá-lo. A esposa de Osiris, Isis, lutou para frente e para trás com Set para obter a posse do corpo de Osiris, e através desta luta, o espírito de Osiris foi perdido. [27] No entanto, Osíris ressuscitou e foi reintegrado como um deus. [28] Além da reconstituição do julgamento de Osíris, numerosas procissões fúnebres foram conduzidas em toda a necrópole próxima, que simbolizava diferentes jornadas sagradas. [26]

O cortejo fúnebre até o túmulo geralmente incluía o gado puxando o corpo em um carrinho do tipo trenó, com amigos e familiares para acompanhá-lo. Durante a procissão, o sacerdote queimava incenso e derramava leite diante do cadáver. [26] Após a chegada ao túmulo, e essencialmente na próxima vida, o sacerdote realizou a cerimônia de abertura da boca no falecido. A cabeça do falecido foi voltada para o sul, e o corpo foi imaginado como uma réplica da estátua do falecido. Abrir a boca do falecido simbolizava permitir que a pessoa falasse e se defendesse durante o processo de julgamento. Bens foram então oferecidos ao falecido para a conclusão da cerimônia. [26]

Edição de embalsamamento

A preservação de um cadáver era crítica se o falecido quisesse uma chance de aceitação na vida após a morte. Dentro do antigo conceito egípcio de alma, ka, que representava vitalidade, deixa o corpo assim que a pessoa morre. [29] Somente se o corpo for embalsamado de uma maneira específica ka retorne ao corpo falecido, e o renascimento ocorrerá. [25] Os embalsamadores receberam o corpo após a morte e, de forma sistematizada, prepararam-no para a mumificação. A família e os amigos do falecido tinham opções que variavam de preço para o preparo do corpo, semelhante ao processo nas funerárias modernas. Em seguida, os embalsamadores escoltaram o corpo para ibw, traduzido como "local de purificação", uma tenda na qual o corpo era lavado, e então por nefer, “A Casa da Beleza”, onde a mumificação ocorria. [25]

Processo de mumificação Editar

Para viver por toda a eternidade e ser apresentado diante de Osíris, o corpo do falecido deveria ser preservado por mumificação, para que a alma pudesse se reunir com ele e ter prazer na vida após a morte. O principal processo de mumificação era preservar o corpo desidratando-o com natrão, um sal natural encontrado no Wadi Natrun. O corpo foi drenado de quaisquer líquidos e deixado com a pele, cabelo e músculos preservados. [30] Diz-se que o processo de mumificação levou até setenta dias. Durante esse processo, sacerdotes especiais trabalharam como embalsamadores enquanto tratavam e embrulhavam o corpo do falecido em preparação para o enterro.

O processo de mumificação estava disponível para qualquer pessoa que pudesse pagar. Acreditava-se que mesmo aqueles que não podiam pagar por esse processo ainda podiam aproveitar a vida após a morte com a recitação correta de feitiços. A mumificação existia em três processos diferentes, variando do mais caro, moderadamente caro e mais simplista ou mais barato. [25] O método mais clássico, comum e mais caro de mumificação remonta à 18ª Dinastia. O primeiro passo era remover os órgãos internos e o líquido para que o corpo não se deteriorasse. Depois de ser colocado sobre uma mesa, os embalsamadores retiraram o cérebro por meio de um processo denominado excerebration, inserindo um gancho de metal na narina, penetrando-o no cérebro. Eles removeram o máximo que puderam com o anzol e o resto foi liquefeito com drogas e drenado. [25] Eles jogaram fora o cérebro porque pensaram que o coração fazia todo o pensamento. A próxima etapa foi remover os órgãos internos, os pulmões, fígado, estômago e intestinos, e colocá-los em potes canópicos com tampas em forma de cabeça de divindades protetoras, os quatro filhos de Horus: Imsety, Hapy, Duamutef e Qebhseneuf. Imsety tinha cabeça humana e protegia o fígado Hapy tinha cabeça de macaco e protegia os pulmões Duamutef tinha cabeça de chacal e protegia o estômago Qebhseneuf tinha cabeça de falcão e protegia os intestinos delgado e grosso. [25] Às vezes, os quatro potes canópicos eram colocados em um baú canópico e enterrados com o corpo mumificado. Um baú canópico parecia um "caixão em miniatura" e era intrincadamente pintado. Os antigos egípcios acreditavam que, ao enterrar o falecido com seus órgãos, eles poderiam se reunir com eles na vida após a morte. [26] Outras vezes, os órgãos eram limpos e limpos e, em seguida, devolvidos ao corpo. [25] The body cavity was then rinsed and cleaned with wine and an array of spices. The body was sewn up with aromatic plants and spices left inside. [25] The heart stayed in the body, because in the hall of judgement, it would be weighed against the feather of Maat. After the body was washed with wine, it was stuffed with bags of natron. The dehydration process took 40 days. [27]

The second part of the process took 30 days. This was the time where the deceased turned into a semi divine being, and all that was left in the body from the first part was removed, followed by applying first wine and then oils. The oils were for ritual purposes, as well as for preventing the limbs and bones from breaking while being wrapped. The body was sometimes colored with a golden resin, which protected the body from bacteria and insects. Additionally, this practice was based on the belief that divine beings had flesh of gold. Next, the body was wrapped in linen cut into strips with amulets while a priest recited prayers and burned incense. The linen was adhered to the body using gum, opposed to a glue. [25] The dressing provided the body physical protection from the elements, and depending on how wealthy the deceased's family was, the deceased could be dressed with an ornamented funeral mask and shroud. [25] Special care was given to the head, hands, feet, and genitals, as contemporary mummies reveal extra wrappings and paddings in these areas. [31] Mummies were identified via small, wooden name-tags tied typically around the deceased's neck. [25] The 70-day process is connected to Osiris and the length the star Sothis was absent from the sky. [28]

The second, moderately expensive option for mummification did not involve an incision into the abdominal cavity or the removal of the internal organs. Instead, the embalmers injected the oil of a cedar tree into the body, which prevented liquid from leaving the body. The body was then laid in natron for a specific number of days. The oil was then drained out of the body, and with it came the internal organs, the stomach and the intestines, which were liquefied by the cedar oil. The flesh dissolved in the natron, which left only skin and bones left of the deceased body. The remains are given back to the family. [25] The cheapest, most basic method of mummification, which was often chosen by the poor, involved purging out the deceased's internal organs, and then laying the body in natron for 70 days. The body was then given back to the family. [25]

Animal mummification Edit

Animals were mummified in Ancient Egypt for many reasons. Household pets that held a special important to their owners were buried alongside them. However, animals were not only viewed as pets but as incarnations of the gods. Therefore, these animals were buried to honor ancient Egyptian deities. Some animal mummifications were performed to serve as sacred offerings to the gods who often took the form of animals such as cats, frogs, cows, baboons, and vultures. Other animals were mummified with the intention of being a food offering to humans in the afterlife. Additionally, household pets that held a special important to their owners were buried alongside them.

Several kinds of animal remains have been discovered in tombs all around Dayr al-Barsha, a Coptic village in Middle Egypt. The remains found in the shafts and burial chambers included dogs, foxes, eagle owls, bats, rodents, and snakes. These were determined to be individuals that had entered the deposits by accident. Other animal remains that were found were more common and recurred more than those individuals that wound up accidentally trapped in these tombs. These remains included numerous gazelle and cattle bones, as well as calves and goats which were believed to have been in result of human behavior. This was due to finding that some remains had fragments altered, missing, or separated from their original skeletons. These remains also had traces of paint and cut marks on them, seen especially with cattle skulls and feet. Based on this, the natural environment of the Dayr al-Barsha tombs, and the fact that only some parts of these animals were found, the possibility of natural deposition can be ruled out, and the cause of these remains in fact are most likely caused by animal sacrifices, as only the head, foreleg, and feet were apparently selected for deposition within the tombs. According to a study by Christopher Eyre, cattle meat was actually not a part of the daily diet in Ancient Egypt, as the consumption of meat only took place during celebrations including funerary and mortuary rituals, and the practice of providing the deceased with offerings of cattle going back to the Predynastic Period. [32]

After the mummy was prepared, it would need to be re-animated, symbolically, by a priest. The opening of the mouth ceremony was conducted by a priest who would utter a spell and touch the mummy or sarcophagus with a ceremonial adze – a copper or stone blade. This ceremony ensured that the mummy could breathe and speak in the afterlife. In a similar fashion, the priest could utter spells to reanimate the mummy's arms, legs, and other body parts.

The priests, maybe even the king's successor, proceeded to move the body through the causeway to the mortuary temple. This is where prayers were recited, incense was burned, and more rituals were performed to help prepare the king for his final journey. The king's mummy was then placed inside the pyramid along with enormous amount of food, drink, furniture, clothes, and jewelry which were to be used in the afterlife. The pyramid was sealed so that no one would ever enter it again. However, the king's soul could move through the burial chamber as it wished. After the funeral the king becomes a god and could be worshipped in the temples beside his pyramid. [33]

In ancient times Egyptians were buried directly in the ground. Since the weather was so hot and dry, it was easy for the bodies to remain preserved. Usually the bodies would be buried in the fetal position. [34] Ancient Egyptians believed the burial process to be an important part in sending humans to a comfortable afterlife. The Egyptians believed that, after death, the deceased could still have such feelings of anger, or hold a grudge as the living. The deceased were also expected to support and help their living family. [35] They believed that the Ba e Ka are what enabled the dead to support their family. o Ba made it possible for an invisible twin to be released from the body to support the family, while the Ka would recognize the twin when it would come back to the body. [36] With the ideas of the dead being so valuable, it is clear why the Egyptians treated the deceased with respect. The less fortunate Egyptians still wanted their family members to be given a proper burial. A typical burial would be held in the desert where the family would wrap the body in a cloth and bury it with everyday objects for the dead to be comfortable. [37] Although some could afford mummification, most commoners were not mummified due to the expense. [38] Often the poor are found in mass graves where their bodies are not mummified and only with minimal household objects, spread out throughout the desert, often in areas that are now populated. [ citação necessária ]

The tomb was the housing for the deceased and served two crucial functions: the tomb provided infinite protection for the deceased to rest, as well as a place for mourners to perform rituals in which aided the deceased into eternal life. Therefore, the ancient Egyptians were very serious about the way in which the tombs were built. [39] Two hallmarks of the tomb included: a burial chamber, which housed the physical body of the deceased (inside a coffin) as well as funerary objects deemed most important, and a "cult place," which resembled a chapel where mourners, family, and friends could congregate. The tomb of a king included a full temple, instead of a chapel. [39]

Typically, the tomb of a deceased person was located somewhere close by their home community. The ancient Egyptians opted to bury the deceased in land that was not particularly fertile or useful for vegetation. Therefore, tombs were mostly built in desert areas. Tombs were usually built near each other and rarely stood alone. For a deceased king, however, the tomb was located in a place of utmost sacredness. [39]

In the Prehistoric Egypt, bodies were buried in deserts because they would naturally be preserved by dehydration. The "graves" were small oval or rectangular pits dug in the sand. They could give the body of the deceased in a tight position on its left side alongside a few jars of food and drink and slate palettes with magical religious spells. The size of graves eventually increased according to status and wealth. The dry, desert conditions were a benefit in ancient Egypt for burials of the poor, who could not afford the complex burial preparations that the wealthy had.

The simple graves evolved into mudbrick structures called mastabas. Royal mastabas later developed into step pyramids and then "true pyramids." [40] As soon as a king took the throne he would start to build his pyramid. Rituals of the burial, including the "Opening of the mouth ceremony" took place at the Valley Temple. [33] [41] While a pyramid's large size was made to protect against robbery, it may also be connected to a religious belief about the sun god, Ra. [42]

A majority of cemeteries were located on the west bank of the Nile, which was metaphorically viewed as "the realm of the dead." The tomb was said to represent the deceased's place in the cosmos, which ultimately depended on the social class of the deceased. If the deceased was of a notably high-class, they were buried near the king, whereas middle and lower class individuals were simply buried near the communities in which they had lived. [39] In many cases, the tombs of the high-class were situated in accordance with the tombs of the lower classes so that they would be viewed as a "focal point." For example, one burial site was designed so that the tombs of the governors were placed alongside the slope of a hill, whereas the tombs of the governor's attendants were placed at the foot of the hill. [39]

After having been preserved, the mummy was placed into a coffin. Although the coffins that housed the deceased bodies were made simply of wood, they were intricately painted and designed to suit each individual. During the Old Kingdom, the following was included on each coffin: the title of the deceased, a list of offerings, a false compartment through which ka could pass through, and painted eyes so that the deceased could look through the coffin. [43] The decorations on the coffin usually fit the deceased's status.

During the Middle Kingdom, the coffin was treated as if it were a "miniature tomb" and was painted and inscribed like so. Goddesses Isis and Nephthys were painted on the coffins, and were said to guard the deceased in the afterlife. Along the sides of the coffins, the four sons of Horus were painted, amongst other gods. Prayers were often inscribed on the coffins as well. [43]

Anthropoid coffins soon emerged, which were tailored to the contour of the deceased's body. The deceased's face and hair was painted onto the coffin so to personalize it further. [43] A sarcophagus, which is a large, stone container, was used to house the coffin, and provide supplementary protection to the dead body. The Ancient Egyptians translated the word "sarcophagus" to mean "possessor of life," and therefore, the sarcophagus would aid the deceased into the afterlife. [44]

One of the funerary practices followed by the Egyptians was preparing properly for the afterlife. Ka, the vital force within the Ancient Egyptian concept of the soul, would not return to the deceased body if embalming was not carried out in the proper fashion. [29] In this case, the body decayed, and possibly became unrecognizable, which rendered the afterlife unattainable for the deceased person. [25] If the proper precautions were not taken, damnation would occur. Damnation meant that Egyptians would not experience the glories of the afterlife where they became a deified figure and would be welcomed by the Gods. [45] Instead, damnation was depicted in the books of the underworld. It was a place of opposites chaos, fire, and struggle. [45] Different pages of the books of the underworld depict different perspectives of what happens during damnation. It discusses cutting out humanity and individuality from the person and reversing the cosmic order. [45]

The idea of judgement went as follows: in order to be considered for the admittance into the afterlife, those who died were obligated to undergo a multi-step judgement by certain gods. [39] The concept and belief in judgement is outlined in the Book of the Dead, a funerary text of the New Kingdom. The Book of the Dead is composed of spells relating to the deceased and the afterlife. Spell 125, in particular, is understood to be delivered by the deceased at the outset of the judgement process. [39]

The visual picture of what judgement looks like has been discovered through ancient Egyptian ruins and artefacts. The procedure was depicted as follows: the deceased's heart was weighed in comparison to the feather of Maat, while Ammit awaited to eat the heart (if the deceased was found to be a sinner). [39] Osiris was the judge (among others), and represented an ideal output of the judgement process for the deceased who entered his judgement hall. This is because he resurrected and regained his godly status after he was justified against his brother Set, who wrongly murdered him. [28] The deceased pleaded to Osiris that they had not committed sin, which is known as a "negative confession." [28] The forty-two Assessors of Maat judged how virtuous the life of the deceased was, and this represented the principal element of the deceased entering the afterlife. After passing judgement, the family and friends of the deceased celebrated them and boasted about their righteousness to attain entry into the afterlife. [25]

Many mummies were provided with some form of funerary literature to take with them to the afterlife. Most funerary literature consists of lists of spells and instructions for navigating the afterlife. During the Old Kingdom, only the pharaoh had access to this material, which scholars refer to as the Pyramid Texts. The Pyramid Texts are a collection of spells to assure the royal resurrection and protect the pharaoh from various malignant influences. The Pharaoh Unas was the first to use this collection of spells, as he and a few subsequent pharaohs had them carved on the walls of their pyramids. [46] These texts were individually chosen from a larger bank of spells.

In the First Intermediate Period and in the Middle Kingdom, some of the Pyramid Text spells also are found in burial chambers of high officials and on many coffins, where they begin to evolve into what scholars call the Coffin Texts. In this period, the nobles and many non-royal Egyptians began to have access to funerary literature. Although many spells from the earlier texts were carried over, the new coffin texts also had additional spells, along with slight changes made to make this new funerary text more fit for the nobility. [6]

In the New Kingdom, the Coffin Texts became the Book of the Dead, or the Funeral Papyri, and would last through the Late Kingdom. The text in these books was divided according to chapters/ spells, which were almost two-hundred in number. Each one of these texts was individualized for the deceased, though to varying degrees. If the person was rich enough, then they could commission their own personal version of the text that would include only the spells that they wanted. However, if one was not so wealthy, then one had to make do with the pre-made versions that had spaces left for the name of the deceased.

If the scribe ran out of room while doing the transcription, he would just stop the spell wherever he was and would not continue. [47] It is not until the Twenty-sixth Dynasty that there began to be any regulation of the order or even the number of spells that were to be included in the Book of the Dead. At this time, the regulation is set at 192 spells to be placed in the book, with certain ones holding the same place at all times. [48] This makes it seem as if the order of the texts was not what was important, so the person could place them in an order that he was comfortable with, but rather that it was what was written that mattered.

Although the types of burial goods changed throughout ancient Egyptian history, their purpose to protect the deceased and provide sustenance in the afterlife remained.

From the earliest periods of Egyptian history, all Egyptians were buried with at least some goods that they thought were necessary after death. At a minimum, these consisted of everyday objects such as bowls, combs, and other trinkets, along with food. Wealthier Egyptians could afford to be buried with jewelry, furniture, and other valuables, which made them targets of tomb robbers. In the early Dynastic Period, tombs were filled with daily life objects, such as furniture, jewelry and other valuables. They also contained many stone and pottery vessels. [49] One important factor in the development of Ancient Egyptian tombs was the need of storage space for funerary goods.

As burial customs developed in the Old Kingdom, wealthy citizens were buried in wooden or stone coffins. However, the number of burial goods declined. They were often just a set of copper models, tools and vessels. [50] Starting in the First Intermediate period, wooden models became very popular burial goods. These wooden models often depict everyday activities that the deceased expected to continue doing in the afterlife. Also, a type of rectangular coffin became the standard, being brightly painted and often including an offering formula. Objects of daily use were not often included in the tombs during this period.

At the end of the Middle Kingdom, new object types were introduced into burials, such as the first shabtis and the first heart scarabs. Shabtis were little clay statues made to perform tasks on command for the pharaoh. Now objects of daily use appear in tombs again, often magical items already employed for protecting the living. Scarabs (beetles) collect animal dung and roll it into little balls. To the Egyptians, these balls looked like the life-giving Sun, so they hoped that scarabs would bring them long life. Scarabs have been found in tombs and graves. [51]

In the New Kingdom, some of the old burial customs changed. For example, an anthropoid coffin shape became standardized, and the deceased were provided with a small shabti statue, which the Egyptians believed would perform work for them in the afterlife. Elite burials were often filled with objects of daily use. Under Ramesses II and later all daily life objects disappear from tombs. They most often only contained a selection of items especially made for the burial. Also, in later burials, the numbers of shabti statues increased in some burials, numbering more than four hundred statues. In addition to these shabti statues, the deceased could be buried with many different types of magical figurines to protect them from harm.

Funerary boats were a part of some ancient Egyptian burials. [52] Boats played a major role in Egyptian religion because they were conceived as the main means by which the gods traveled across the sky and through to the netherworld. One type of boat used at funerals was for making pilgrimages to holy sites such as Abydos. A large funerary boat, for example, was found near the pyramid of the Old Kingdom Pharaoh Khufu. The funerary boats were usually made of wood the Egyptians used a collection of papyrus reeds and tied them together with the wood very tightly. [53] The most common route for funerary boats was the River Nile to the afterlife. The boat carried the coffin and often had a dog in the boat since they believed a dog would lead the deceased to the afterlife. [54] The boats usually measured about 20 feet or longer. These however did not match those of the great pharaohs like Pharaoh Khufu (who built the Great Pyramid). His funerary boat was approximately 144 foot long with 12 oars. Common funerary boats were smaller sized with few oars. [55]

At the Ure Museum, there is an Egyptian funerary boat on display that represents a typical tomb offering. This boat symbolizes the transport of the dead from life to the afterlife. In Ancient Egypt death was seen as a boat journey. More specifically, it was seen as a trip across their River Nile that joined the North and South. This funerary boat offering was added to the museum's collection in 1923 from the Liverpool Institute of Archaeology from the Tomb of the Officials at Beni Hassan.

Through the study of mummies themselves in addition to ancient writers and modern scientists, a better understanding of the Ancient Egyptian mummification process is promoted. The majority of what is known to be true about the mummification process is based on the writing of early historians who carefully recorded the processes-- one of which was Herodotus. Now, modern day archaeologists are using the writings of early historians as a basis for their study. The advancement of new technology including x-rays has allowed for the analysis of mummies without destroying the elaborate outer wrappings of the body. In addition to the use of x-rays, autopsies are also being performed in order to gain a better understanding of the diseases suffered by Ancient Egyptians as well as the treatments used for these diseases. A pregnant mummy sheds light on pregnancy complications and prenatal care and treatments. [56] [57] In learning their age of death, experts are able to create a timeline of the dates regarding the ruling of Egyptian kings. In looking at the bones of the mummified bodies, experts get a better idea of the average height and life span. Studying Ancient Egyptian Mummies, archaeologists are able to learn about the past.


Ancient genomes uncover Irish passage tomb dynastic elite

Archaeologists and geneticists, led by those from Trinity College Dublin, have shed new light on the earliest periods of Ireland's human history.

Among their incredible findings is the discovery that the genome of an adult male buried in the heart of the Newgrange passage tomb points to first-degree incest, implying he was among a ruling social elite akin to the similarly inbred Inca god-kings and Egyptian pharaohs.

Older than the pyramids, Newgrange passage tomb in Ireland is world famous for its annual solar alignment where the winter solstice sunrise illuminates its sacred inner chamber in a golden blast of light. However, little is known about who was interred in the heart of this imposing 200,000 tonne monument or of the Neolithic society which built it over 5,000 years ago.

The survey of ancient Irish genomes, published today in leading international journal, Natureza, suggests a man who had been buried in this chamber belonged to a dynastic elite. The research, led by the research team from Trinity, was carried out in collaboration with colleagues from University College London, National University of Ireland Galway, University College Cork, University of Cambridge, Queen's University Belfast, and Institute of Technology Sligo.

"I'd never seen anything like it," said Dr Lara Cassidy, Trinity, first author of the paper. "We all inherit two copies of the genome, one from our mother and one from our father well, this individual's copies were extremely similar, a tell-tale sign of close inbreeding. In fact, our analyses allowed us to confirm that his parents were first-degree relatives."

Matings of this type (e.g. brother-sister unions) are a near universal taboo for entwined cultural and biological reasons. The only confirmed social acceptances of first-degree incest are found among the elites -- typically within a deified royal family. By breaking the rules, the elite separates itself from the general population, intensifying hierarchy and legitimizing power. Public ritual and extravagant monumental architecture often co-occur with dynastic incest, to achieve the same ends.

"Here the auspicious location of the male skeletal remains is matched by the unprecedented nature of his ancient genome," said Professor of Population Genetics at Trinity, Dan Bradley. "The prestige of the burial makes this very likely a socially sanctioned union and speaks of a hierarchy so extreme that the only partners worthy of the elite were family members."

The team also unearthed a web of distant familial relations between this man and other individuals from sites of the passage tomb tradition across the country, including the mega-cemeteries of Carrowmore and Carrowkeel in Co. Sligo.

"It seems what we have here is a powerful extended kin-group, who had access to elite burial sites in many regions of the island for at least half a millennium," added Dr Cassidy.

Remarkably, a local myth resonates with these results and the Newgrange solar phenomenon. First recorded in the 11th century AD, four millennia after construction, the story tells of a builder-king who restarted the daily solar cycle by sleeping with his sister. The Middle Irish place name for the neighbouring Dowth passage tomb, Fertae Chuile, is based on this lore and can be translated as 'Hill of Sin'.

"Given the world-famous solstice alignments of Brú na Bóinne, the magical solar manipulations in this myth already had scholars questioning how long an oral tradition could survive," said Dr Ros Ó Maoldúin, an archaeologist on the study. "To now discover a potential prehistoric precedent for the incestuous aspect is extraordinary."

The genome survey stretched over two millennia and unearthed other unexpected results. Within the oldest known burial structure on the island, Poulnabrone portal tomb, the earliest yet diagnosed case of Down Syndrome was discovered in a male infant who was buried there five and a half thousand years ago. Isotope analyses of this infant showed a dietary signature of breastfeeding. In combination, this provides an indication that visible difference was not a barrier to prestige burial in the deep past.

Additionally, the analyses showed that the monument builders were early farmers who migrated to Ireland and replaced the hunter-gatherers who preceded them. However, this replacement was not absolute a single western Irish individual was found to have an Irish hunter-gatherer in his recent family tree, pointing toward a swamping of the earlier population rather than an extermination.

Genomes from the rare remains of Irish hunter-gatherers themselves showed they were most closely related to the hunter-gatherer populations from Britain (e.g. Cheddar Man) and mainland Europe. However, unlike British samples, these earliest Irelanders had the genetic imprint of a prolonged island isolation. This fits with what we know about prehistoric sea levels after the Ice Age: Britain maintained a land bridge to the continent long after the retreat of the glaciers, while Ireland was separated by sea and its small early populations must have arrived in primitive boats.

This work was funded by a Science Foundation Ireland/Health Research Board/Wellcome Trust Biomedical Research Partnership Investigator Award to Dan Bradley and an earlier Irish Research Council Government of Ireland Scholarship to Lara Cassidy.


Artifact Trove at Egyptian Tomb Illuminates Life Before Pharaohs

Archaeologist uncovers human sacrifices and evidence of strife.

A recently discovered tomb at a key Egyptian settlement has yielded the largest trove of artifacts ever found in a tomb there—including a young man's burned and scattered bones—and is shedding new light on the ancestors of the pharaohs.

Part of a cemetery complex that predates the formation of the ancient Egyptian state, the find is one of the richest "predynastic" burials archaeologists have ever seen.

The tomb, at the site known as Hierakonpolis, yielded 54 objects, including combs, spearheads, arrowheads, and a figurine made of hippopotamus ivory. Arrayed around the tomb are dozens more burials, including possible human sacrifices and exotic animals.

The latest find, announced earlier this month, is adding to the remarkable story coming out of the Hierakonpolis cemetery, which has been under investigation since 1979.

"It demonstrates the importance of this cemetery, with its high-status burials," says Boston University archaeologist Kathryn Bard. "They have some very interesting secondary burials of humans and animals and wooden structures that are unique to Hierakonpolis."

Hierakonpolis, located on the Nile River about 300 miles (500 kilometers) south of Cairo, was the most important settlement in Egypt's predynastic period, a five-century stretch that began around 3,500 B.C. and preceded the formation of the ancient Egyptian state.

The finds at Hierakonpolis show that the roots of ancient Egyptian civilization stretched back centuries. There are clear signs of social divisions, with elite tombs that are richer and larger than others. "There must have been a whole dynasty of predynastic kings," says Renee Friedman, a British Museum archaeologist who is director of the expedition.

The Hierakonpolis elite erected elaborate wooden structures over their tombs, parts of which have been preserved for more than 6,000 years by the dry climate. Their graves were surrounded by retainers, wild animals, and other accoutrements for their journey into the afterlife, foreshadowings of the mighty civilization that followed.

Human Sacrifices, Posthumous Desecration

The man buried in what's known at Hierakonpolis as Tomb 72 was between 17 and 20 years old when he died. His high status in life is reflected in the deadly ceremony that must have accompanied his death: He was buried with at least 20 people.

"It's unlikely their deaths were natural," Friedman says. Analysis of their skeletons suggests most were well nourished and unusually tall for the time, between five feet eight and five feet ten. Two of them were dwarfs, which were a fascination for ancient Egyptians.

Because the tomb hadn't been disturbed for many millennia, Friedman's team was able to reconstruct a shocking act of desecration that took place there.

The occupant's skeleton had been scattered, and the tomb's wood posts show evidence of fire damage. Friedman thinks the grave had been violated soon after the owner's death, and the body and the wooden structure over the tomb deliberately set on fire.

The many grave goods left inside indicate that the grave robbers' goal wasn't loot, but some sort of postmortem vengeance. "The owner of the tomb had been yanked out, while the other objects had been left alone," Friedman says. "That's not plundering—this was an act of aggression. The point wasn't to take goodies, it was to destroy this person."

The destruction may have had something to do with political and social changes Friedman says rocked the Egyptian world not long after the man in Tomb 72 died. "There are no more elite burials, and the middle class seems to be getting richer," Friedman says. "There's a real change in the status quo. There must have been some kind of revolution."

Could the destruction of Tomb 72 and its owner have been an early form of class warfare? "Maybe this is about anger at those who have kept you down," Friedman suggests. "Is there something going on where the elite at Hierakonpolis are being called to book?"

Others are more cautious. The evidence for social upheaval is limited, and Bard says it's a stretch to even call the man buried in the tomb a king.

With no inscriptions or other written evidence in the tomb, "no one knows his exact political role, other than that he was a very high-status person," she cautions. "There's no way you can attribute a political role to a prehistoric burial."


Ancient Egyptian Artifacts

o ancient Egyptian civilization has been blessed with a vast long history so when it comes to archaeological discoveries, very few countries can measure up to the ancient Egyptian artifacts.

For more than 4000 years the ancient Egyptian civilization created some of the most enchanting and beautiful artifacts the world has ever seen that remains virtually unchanged until over the current day.

The sense of artistic design was mainly affected by their profound reverence for the gods & holy pharaohs and was also used to tell the story of the elite upper class.

Egypt holds a massive trove of history which includes many incredible and mysterious discoveries within the tombs and temples of the Egyptian dunes.

All the ancient Egyptian artifacts were designed to fit an absolute vision of order, perfection, and symmetric imagery to showcase stories that would last forever.

Over the countless centuries, many archeologists and Egyptologists wondered across Egypt to search for the hidden heavenly treasures all across this holy country.

Many majestic artifacts have been discovered that attract travelers from all over the world which come in different shapes, functions, and sizes which can be found in the Egyptian museum such as:


Nut and Geb

Nut Raised Above Geb. Image © Bernard Perroud

Nut, the goddess of the night sky, and her brother Geb, the god of the earth, were originally thought to be in a constant state of love making. Ra grew angry with his grandchildren, and commanded their father Shu to separate the two lovers. The god of the air took his place, and trampled on the ithyphallic Geb, and lifted Nut high into the air. Nut was found to be pregnant, and was then cursed by Ra – she would never be able to bear her children on any month of the 360 day year. Thoth managed to win a game against Khonsu, god of the moon, and used some of the light of the moon to create five extra days (making the year 365 days). During those days Nut gave birth to her five children – Isis, Osiris, Nephthys, Set and Horus the Elder (not to be confused with Horus, the child of Isis and Osiris).


Rich legacy

Tomb painting of dignitary of ancient Egypt © Our fascination with ancient Egypt is, to a large extent, a product of the vast amount of material information available. We know so much about the daily lives of the ancient Egyptians - we can read their words, meet their families, feel their clothes, taste their food and drink, enter their tombs and even touch their bodies - that it seems that we almost know them. And knowing them, maybe even loving them, we feel that we can understand the very human hopes and fears that dominated their lives.

Some of these myths passed from Egypt to Rome, and have had a direct effect on the development of modern religious belief.

Preserved in their writings and coded into their artwork the Egyptians asked, and answered, the questions that all societies ask. What happens after death? How was the world created? Where does the sun go at night? Lacking any real scientific understanding they answered their own questions with a series of myths and legends designed to explain the otherwise inexplicable.

Some of these myths passed from Egypt to Rome, and have had a direct effect on the development of modern religious belief. Reading and understanding the ancient stories allows us to abandon our modern preconceptions, step outside our own cultural experiences and enter a very different, life-enhancing world.

But, by no means everything about ancient Egypt is fully understood. This lack of certainty over some issues simply adds to the subject's appeal. There are enough unanswered questions - How were obelisks raised? Who was Nefertiti? Where is the lost capital of Itj-Tawi? What exactly are the curious fat cones that élite Egyptian party guests wore on their heads? - and enough published reference books, to allow every Egyptologist, amateur or professional, the hope that he or she might one day solve one of the many outstanding puzzles.


Who Was Sattjeni? Tomb Reveals Secrets About Ancient Egyptian Elite

Two eyes painted on a newly discovered Egyptian coffin seem to stare out from across millennia, conveying the secrets of the ancient Egyptian elite.

The coffin, discovered this year in the necropolis at Qubbet el-Hawa across the Nile River from Aswan, belonged to an important local woman, Sattjeni, daughter of one governor, wife of another and mother of two more, said excavation leader Alejandro Jiménez-Serrano, an Egyptologist at the University of Jaén in Spain.

Sattjeni's mummified body was buried in two cedar coffins made of wood imported from Lebanon. Though the outer coffin had degraded over the nearly 4,000 years since Sattjeni's death, her inner coffin was in excellent condition, according to Egypt's antiquities ministry, which announced the discovery May 24. [See Photos of Sattjeni's Elaborate Burial]

Sattjeni was not a royal, but her family practiced royal strategies to hold on to their governing power: She married her sister's widower, and the family also associated itself with the ram-headed deity Khnum, much as pharaohs intermarried to keep power in the family and claimed to be descended from the gods.

In an email interview with Live Science, Jiménez-Serrano revealed more about the excavations at Qubbet el-Hawa and the life of Sattjeni.

Live Science: Tell us about the excavations at west Aswan. What kinds of artifacts and structures do you find at this site? What was this area used for during the Middle Kingdom (between about 2000 B.C. and 1700 B.C.)?

Jiménez-Serrano: Qubbet el-Hawa is one of the most important nonroyal necropolises of ancient Egypt. Its importance lies in the great quantity and quality of the biographical inscriptions carved in the façades of the funerary complexes. The necropolis was mainly used to bury the highest officials of the nearby town of Elephantine, the capital of the southernmost province of Egypt, at the end of the third millennium and the beginning of the second (2200 B.C. to 1775 B.C). The governors were buried together with their relatives the members of their courts (officials and domestic service) were buried in other smaller and less-decorated tombs. Thus, today, we know the existence of 100 tombs, of which only 80 have been completely cleared.

During the Middle Kingdom, especially during the 12th Dynasty (1950 B.C. to 1775 B.C.), the governors of Elephantine built giant funerary complexes in the necropolis of Qubbet el-Hawa. Some of them are beautifully decorated and have important inscriptions.

Live Science: How did you uncover the burial of Sattjeni? What was that moment like?

Jiménez-Serrano: In 2013, we discovered the upper part of a chamber, which belonged to a tomb that was probably quarried in the Byzantine period (fifth century A.D.). In the walls of this chamber, there was a Christian prayer painted by the Coptics. Thus, we thought that the area was disturbed. However, that chamber at the end was not a chamber, but the beginning of a shaft. During this year, we began the excavation of the shaft, and the more that we excavated, the more we got the sensation that a great discovery might appear . and it appeared!

The worker called me, and I went to the bottom of the shaft, where there was a tiny aperture. With a torch, I could have a look inside, and the first thing that I could see were hieroglyphs. Later, we could determine that those hieroglyphs were on the coffins of the Lady Sattjeni. [Photos: More Than 40 Tombs Discovered in Upper Egypt]

Live Science: Who was Sattjeni, and why was she an important figure?

Jiménez-Serrano: Sattjeni was the second daughter of one of the most important figures of the 12th Dynasty, the governor Sarenput II. Unfortunately, her brother Ankhu died shortly after his father, and there were no male successors. So she and her sister Gaut-Anuket had the rights of the rule in Elephantine. The latter married a certain official called Heqaib and converted him into the new governor of Elephantine: Heqaib II. However, we suspect that Gaut-Anuket did not live much time, because Sattjeni married Heqaib II. They had at least two children, who became the governors of Elephantine successively, as Heqaib III and Ameny-Seneb.

Live Science: What does this discovery tell you about 12th Dynasty society?

Jiménez-Serrano: This discovery shows that the local dynasties of the periphery of the State emulated the royal family. In this concrete case, we can confirm that women were the holders of the dynastic rights. Probably, the members of these families married as the royal family — brother with sister — in order to keep the divine blood "pure." We must not forget that Sattjeni's family declared themselves heirs of a local god.

Live Science: What were the coffins like, and was there anything interesting about their construction or preservation?

Jiménez-Serrano: We are still investigating why the outer coffin was so decayed compared to the inner [one], which was in perfect condition. Both were made with the same foreign wood: cedar from Lebanon. Perhaps the inner coffin was treated with an organic substance that we have not yet detected.


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