Archaeology: Spanish mission finds tomb from 1600 BC

Belonging to a man called Neb, XVII dynasty ancient Egypt

17 February, 14:38

    The sarcophagus of Neb The sarcophagus of Neb

    (by Paola Del Vecchio)

    (ANSAmed) - MADRID - A tomb dating back to 1600 BC of a man called Neb, which is practically intact, sheds new light on the XVII dynasty of ancient Egypt.
    It is the important finding made by researchers with the Djehuty project, led by the Spanish superior council of scientific research (Csic) and carried out far north in the Dra Abu el-Naga necropolis in Luxor, ancient Thebes, sources with Csic told ANSAmed.
    The sarcophagus, Csic researcher Jose' Manuel Galan, who works for the Institute of languages and cultures if the Mediterranean and Middle East and directs the project, contributes to improve knowledge of a little-known historic period, the XVII dynasty, when Thebes became capital of the kingdom, contributing to the futuret empire and the Egyptian domination of Palestine, Syria and Nubia.
    Neb's corpse was found in the sepulchral chamber, excavated inside rock and four-metres deep. The sarcophagus, which is two-meter-long and wide half a meter, is in good shape with the colours of the original decoration.
    The entrance to the chamber, the Csic researcher said, was perfectly closed with ornaments so it is supposed it was never been opened after the body was laid to rest. The small room also contained a wooden sarcophagus decorated with the 'rishi' style, which means 'ali' in Arabic and is characteristic of the XVII dynasty. ''For this reason, on the coffin were painted a pair of spread wings as if a winged goddess embraced the dead man from his back, ensuring him protection in afterlife'', said Galan.
    The researcher stressed that ''the style of the sarcophagus was used very moderately and for a short period of time, when Egypt was not unified yet. Few pieces of this kind have been found in their original place and have been well documented in their archaeological context''. An inscription on the top part of the coffin contains an invocation of offer to a man called Neb, whose mummy is still inside the coffin and apparently in good condition.
    The finding occurred during archaeological excavations with 16 Spanish and 4 foreign experts, confirming that Dra Abu el-Naga was the place in which members of the royal family and courtiers of the XVII dynasty were buried, in 1.600 BC. It is a key period to understand the origins of the Egyptian empire, the structure and operating principles of the administration of Thebes. The dynasty ruled in an historic era called Intermediate Period - between 1800 and 1550 BC - characterized by the rule of governors of Syrian-Palestinian origins in the eastern Delta. It is an era of great political complexity when the effective power was in the hands of local rulers. (ANSAmed).

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