Archaeologists have unearthed the first full-color portraits of Egyptian mummies in more than a century. - Media News 48

Archaeologists have unearthed the first full-color portraits of Egyptian mummies in more than a century.

The excavation at Gerzeh archaeological site in Faiyum revealed a huge funerary building, also turned up papyri, pottery, and coffins from the Ptolemaic and Roman periods

First Full-Color Portraits of Egyptian Mummies. One of the newly discovered Fayum mummy portraits. Photo: Egyptian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities.

Egyptian archaeologists completing their 10th season of excavations at Gerzeh, 75 miles southwest of modern day Cairo, have announced the excavation of two full mummy portraits and further fragmentary portraits—the first unique examples of such paintings to meet daylight in more than 115 years.

The team also turned up mummies, papyri, pottery, and coffins all dating back to Gerzeh’s founding as Philadelphia during the Ptolemaic period (ca. 305-30 BC) through the Roman era (ca. 30 BC.-390 CE).

A release from the Egyptian government explains that King Ptolemy II (ca. 309-246 BC) established Philadelphia as a bucolic central village as part of his agricultural reclamation project to secure food resources for his greater empire.

Mummy portrait: A young woman in a crimson tunic and a rich array of jewellery.National Museum of Scotland. A.1951.160

Researchers have been digging at the multicultural site, once inhabited by Greeks and Egyptians alike, since 2016.

According to Adel Okasha, , head of the Central Department of Egyptian Antiquities in Central Egypt, the mission’s latest season explored a semi-subterranean funerary house “with a floor made of colored lime mortar and decorated with interchangeable tiles.”

The building provides access to its own narrow street, and there’s a structure outside its southern facade where archaeologists found the remains of four columns. Inside, the funerary building spans six large-scale mud-brick tombs with “mass graves in the catacomb style.”

There, archaeologists found papyri inscribed with Demotic (Egyptian cursive) and Greek script that recounts the social, economic, and religious conditions of regional inhabitants.

Basem Gehad, the head of Ancient Philadelphia Excavation project who led the latest dig, noted that his team also uncovered “a number of coffins of different styles, some of them in the human form and others in the Greek form with a gabled roof.”

Mummies within showed how much money mattered in ancient Gerzeh—some were embalmed with great care, others were left for dead in “burials of a simple nature,” said Mostafa Waziri, secretary general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities.

A terracotta statue of Isis-Aphrodite, the fertility and love goddess, recovered from the wooden coffin of a young Greek girl stood apart from the cache. Not only is such a relic rare, it also “reflects the influence of Greeks on Egyptian art as a result of [the] new community living there,” Gehad wrote in an email to Artnet News.

Egyptian Mummy (Faiyum) Portraits c. 1st century B.C. – 3rd century A.D.

These are the first mummy portraits discovered at Fayoum during an archaeological dig since Flinders Petrie discovered 146 of them in a Roman-era cemetery in 1910–1911.

Also named Fayum portraits for their plentiful numbers in the Faiyum Oasis, these full-color portraits of the wealthy deceased rank among the most detailed ancient paintings known today.

Gehad told Artnet News that most of the previously discovered portraits ended up with Viennese art collector, dealer, and carpet entrepreneur Theodor Graf, who counted museums across Europe and America and individuals like Sigmund Freud as his clients.

This time, the Fayoum portraits will remain in Egypt for further study. “No one really knows the context of these portraits,” Gehad added. “Now, we can know certainly where they came from, and find more.”

 

Related Posts

Archaeologists Uncover Egypt’s ‘Lost Golden City’ After 3,000 Years: A Majestic Metropolis from the Era of Tutankhamun’s Grandfather Resurfaces

Archaeologists have given a first look inside Egypt’s ‘ɩoѕt golden city’ of Aten, believed to be the greatest find since Tutankhamun’s tomЬ was ᴜпeагtһed a century ago. Scientists…

Unearthing the Lost 4,500-Year-Old Palace of a Mythical Sumerian King: A Forgotten Realm Rises from the Sands

British Museum experts say discovery of ancient ruins and relics in southern Iraq could shed light into origins of civilisation An aerial view of the remains discovered…

Mummified Secrets Revealed: Ten Crocodiles Unearthed from an Ancient Egyptian Tomb!

The mᴜmmіfіed crocodiles found in a tomЬ are seen from above. Patri Mora Riudavets, member of the Qubbat al-Hawā team, CC-BY 4.0 Archaeologists found a tomЬ containing…

Secrets Unearthed: Egypt’s Largest Necropolis Reveals One Million Mummies in Desert Cemetery. Archaeologists Stunned by the Ancient Burial Ground’s Magnitude and Mysteries

A cemetery containing more than a million mᴜmmіfіed human bodies has been ᴜпeагtһed in central Egypt, according to archaeologists. Scientists have already exсаⱱаted more than 1,700 mᴜmmіeѕ,…

Thousands-Year-Old Egyptian Sarcophagus Opening Reveals a Mummified Egyptian High Priest, Shrouded in Gold. An Ancient Mystery Unfolds as the Secrets of the Tomb Spark Awe and Speculation

THE OPENING of an Ancient Egyptian tomЬ has been broadcast live on telly in a world first event. A mᴜmmіfіed high priest was found inside the ɡгаⱱe…

Ready for the Afterlife: Unraveling the Secrets of Ancient Egypt’s Mummification Process. A Mysterious Journey Through Rituals and Preservations of the Dead

When it comes to ancient Egypt and its long lasting and influential сіⱱіɩіzаtіoп, рɩeпtу of its ᴜпіqᴜe characteristics can seem peculiar and otherworldly. Sure, it is no…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *