New tombs discovered at Gebel Al-Silsila area in Aswan
The Swedish excavation mission from Lund University at Gebel el Silsila in Upper Egypt led by Dr. Maria Nilsson and John Ward, discovered 12 rock cut tombs from the reign of the New Kingdom kings Thutmose III and Amenhotep II.
|Skeletons found within the tomb [Credit: Ministry of Antiquities]|
Afifi describes such discovery as "important" because it continues to change the perception of history in the ancient quarried landscape of Al-Silsila
Nasr Salama, General Director of Aswan Antiquities said that the individual tombs excavated this season reveal multiple burials within the same chamber or crypt, possibly complete families, and individuals of varying ages and sex. In addition, the newly discovered child burials present another aspect to the cemetery, clearly indicating family life at Silsila.
|The tomb entrances [Credit: Ministry of Antiquities]|
Fossils of sheep and goats as well as a couple of Nile perch and almost complete crocodile were found along with sandstone sarcophagi, sculptured and occasionally painted pottery coffins, painted cartonnage, textile and organic wrapping, ceramic vessels and plates, as well as an array of jewellery, amulets and scarabs.
Nilsson asserted that the large amount of human remains recovered from the necropolis indicates the individuals were generally healthy. At this time, very little evidence of malnutrition and infection has been discovered. Fractures of the long bones and increased muscle attachments amongst the skeletal remains indicate behaviours related to occupational hazards and an extremely labour intensive environment. Furthermore, many of the injuries appear to be in an advanced stage of healing, suggesting effective medical care.
|Scarab found within the tomb [Credit: Ministry of Antiquities]|
In 2015 the Swedish mission uncovered 43 tombs, and five tombs were chosen to be cleared of sand and the damaging layer of salt in order to study their subsequent conservation. Returning to site eight months later, the previous work proved successful as both external and interior walls and to some extent also the ceiling, have become stabilized and secured by exposing them to the sun, drying previous wetness.
Source: Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities [January 11, 2017]