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George Dvorsky George Dvorsky Jul 06, 2019. 21 comments

King Tut Sculpture Sells for $6 Million at Auction Despite Ownership Controversy

King Tut Sculpture Sells for $6 Million at Auction Despite Ownership Controversy

A 3,300-year-old sculpture of Tutankhamun’s head has been auctioned off at Christie’s for $6 Million, despite claims from the Egyptian government that the relic was stolen.

The 11-inch-tall bust, made from brown quartzite, has damage to the nose, ears, and chin, but is in otherwise excellent condition, according to Christie’s, a London-based auction house. The sculpture is a depiction of the...

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George Dvorsky George Dvorsky Jan 29, 2019. 16 comments

See Inside the Newly Renovated King Tut's Tomb

See Inside the Newly Renovated King Tut's Tomb

Years of steadily accumulating dust and grime had taken a toll on King Tut’s tomb, but a recently completed restoration project has revitalized the historic chamber, while making much-needed infrastructure improvements to prevent ongoing decay.

It’s been nearly a century since British archaeologist Howard Carter first peered into the Tomb of Tutankhamun. Since then, the site has attracted...

16 Comments

George Dvorsky George Dvorsky Nov 13, 2018. 11 comments

Ancient Cat Mummies and More Discovered in Egyptian Tombs

Ancient Cat Mummies and More Discovered in Egyptian Tombs

Archaeologists working at a pyramid complex south of Cairo have discovered dozens of cat mummies, along with troves of wooden statues and a rare collection of mummified scarab beetles.

The secretary general of Egypt’s Supreme Council of Antiquities, Mostafa Waziri, shared details of the remarkable finding at a press conference held this past Saturday, the Irish Times reports. Waziri said a...

11 Comments

George Dvorsky George Dvorsky Sep 28, 2018. 3 comments

Scientists Can Now Peek Inside Mummies in a Whole New Way

Scientists Can Now Peek Inside Mummies in a Whole New Way

A revved-up version of traditional CT scanning shows it’s possible to acquire microscopic-scale images of ancient Egyptian mummies, revealing previously unseen features such as blood vessels and nerves.

Non-destructive x-ray and CT scans are a boon to medical scientists and healthcare practitioners, but they’re also an indispensable tool for archaeologists who try not to disturb ancient...

3 Comments

George Dvorsky George Dvorsky Aug 21, 2018. 20 comments

We’re Learning More About the Contents of that Mysterious Egyptian Sarcophagus

We’re Learning More About the Contents of that Mysterious Egyptian Sarcophagus

Back in July, Egyptian archaeologists dared to open a strange granite sarcophagus, finding three skeletons soaking in an unsightly reddish-brown liquid. Scientists have now completed a preliminary analysis of the coffin’s contents, offering new insights into the tomb’s 2,000-year-old occupants.

The granite sarcophagus was discovered in the Sidi Gaber district of Alexandria, Egypt, on July 1,...

20 Comments

George Dvorsky George Dvorsky Aug 17, 2018. 22 comments

World's Oldest Cheese, Found in Ancient Tomb, Was Also Very Dangerous

World's Oldest Cheese, Found in Ancient Tomb, Was Also Very Dangerous

Humans have been producing and consuming cheese for a very long time, as the recent discovery of 3,200-year-old cheese in an ancient Egyptian tomb attests. Delicious though this cheese may have been, it was also a potential source of disease.

New research published this week in the science journal Analytical Chemistry describes what is “probably the most ancient archeological solid residue of...

22 Comments

George Dvorsky George Dvorsky Aug 16, 2018. 3 comments

Ancient Egyptians Mastered Mummification Long Before the Time of Pharaohs

Ancient Egyptians Mastered Mummification Long Before the Time of Pharaohs

The earliest mummies are typically associated with the Old Kingdom of ancient Egypt, but as an intensive examination of a 5,600-year-old mummy confirms, the methods used for this iconic funeral practice date back to well before the age of pharaohs.

The practice of mummification and the techniques used for embalming (such as the use of resins) were thought to have originated in ancient Egypt’s...

3 Comments

George Dvorsky George Dvorsky Jun 02, 2018. 8 comments

Ancient Egyptian Mummified 'Hawk' Is Actually a Stillborn Human Baby

Ancient Egyptian Mummified 'Hawk' Is Actually a Stillborn Human Baby

High-resolution micro-CT scanning has shown that an Egyptian mummy thought to be a bird is really a stillborn human baby, a surprising discovery that’s providing a rare glimpse into the complex cultural practices that existed some 2,100 years ago.

For the Western University anthropologists who analyzed the mummy, it’s a fascinating glimpse into ancient Egypt, but for the family who endured...

8 Comments

George Dvorsky George Dvorsky May 08, 2018. 15 comments

There's No Secret Chamber Behind King Tut's Tomb, Investigation Concludes

There's No Secret Chamber Behind King Tut's Tomb, Investigation Concludes

Using ground-penetrating radar, three independent teams of researchers failed to detect the presence of doors or empty spaces behind the walls of King Tut’s funeral chamber. It’s a disappointing result, as archaeologists were hoping to find the final resting place of Queen Nefertiti.

“We conclude, with a very high level of confidence, that the hypothesis concerning the existence of hidden...

15 Comments

George Dvorsky George Dvorsky Mar 28, 2018. 10 comments

Supposedly Empty Egyptian Coffin Actually Contains a Mummy

Supposedly Empty Egyptian Coffin Actually Contains a Mummy

For the past 150 years, the cedar coffin of an ancient Egyptian priestess has been on display at a museum in Australia. Records suggested the 2,500-year-old sarcophagus was empty, so no one bothered to look inside. Last year, museum curators finally opened the lid, and to their shock, the coffin contained an actual mummy—bandages and all.

When the lid of the coffin was removed, the Nicholson...

10 Comments

George Dvorsky George Dvorsky Mar 02, 2018. 11 comments

5,000-Year-Old Mummy Is Earliest Known Tattooed Woman

5,000-Year-Old Mummy Is Earliest Known Tattooed Woman

A new analysis of two ancient Egyptian mummies has uncovered the earliest known examples of “figural” tattoos on human beings—that is, tattoos that are meant to represent a real things, rather than abstract symbols. What’s more, at around 5,000 years old, it’s the earliest evidence of tattoos on a woman.

The two mummies, one female and one male, have been on display at the British Museum for...

11 Comments

George Dvorsky George Dvorsky Dec 17, 2017. 12 comments

Child Graves Paint a Complex Picture of Life at Ancient Egyptian Work Site 

Child Graves Paint a Complex Picture of Life at Ancient Egyptian Work Site 

Archaeologists in Egypt have uncovered four unique child graves at Gebel el-Silsila—the site of a former Egyptian quarry that dates back some 3,500 years. The discovery is shedding new light on what life was like at this ancient work site, and the complex social hierarchy that likely existed.

The Gebel el-Silsila quarry dates back to the Thutmosid period of ancient Egypt, running from the...

12 Comments

George Dvorsky George Dvorsky Dec 14, 2017. 13 comments

Decades After Discovery, 3,500-Year-Old Mummy Found in Egyptian Tomb

Decades After Discovery, 3,500-Year-Old Mummy Found in Egyptian Tomb

Egyptian archaeologists working in Luxor have explored two tombs dating back to the 18th Dynasty, uncovering colorful figurines, funeral masks, a stunning mural—and a linen-wrapped mummy.

As National Geographic reports, these two tombs, found in the necropolis of Dra’ Abu el-Naga in Luxor, Egypt, were originally discovered in the 1990s by the German archaeologist Friederike Kampp-Seyfried. On...

13 Comments

George Dvorsky George Dvorsky Nov 03, 2017. 21 comments

Stunned Scientists Detect Suspected Hidden Chamber Within Great Pyramid of Giza

Stunned Scientists Detect Suspected Hidden Chamber Within Great Pyramid of Giza

Though they were constructed nearly 5,000 years ago, the Great Pyramids of Egypt are still packed with secrets. Using a technique that leverages the power of cosmic rays, scientists have confirmed the presence of a large empty space within Khufu’s pyramid—a void that’s signaling the presence of a possible hidden chamber.

It’s tempting to think that all the great archaeological discoveries from...

21 Comments

George Dvorsky George Dvorsky Sep 16, 2017. 9 comments

Archaeologists Have Uncovered The Tomb Of An Unknown Egyptian Queen 

Archaeologists Have Uncovered The Tomb Of An Unknown Egyptian Queen 

Czech archaeologists working in Egypt have discovered the tomb of a previously unknown queen. Named Khentakawess III, she is thought to have been the wife of Pharaoh Neferefre who reigned 4,500 years ago.

The discovery was made by Miroslav Barta and his team from the Czech Institute of Egyptology, reports Agence France-Presse. The tomb is located in Abu Sir, an Old Kingdom necropolis southwest...

9 Comments

George Dvorsky George Dvorsky Sep 15, 2017. 18 comments

King Tut's Burial Mask Has Been "Irreversibly Damaged"

King Tut's Burial Mask Has Been "Irreversibly Damaged"

The most famous archaeological relic in the world has been damaged during a botched cleaning attempt. After being knocked off, the blue and gold braided beard on King Tut's burial mask was "hastily" glued back on with an inappropriate adhesive, damaging the item even further.

Above: King Tut's burial mask before the incident. (Egyptian Museum in Cairo)

Brace yourselves, folks. This story is...

18 Comments

George Dvorsky George Dvorsky Sep 12, 2017. 21 comments

New Scans Made a Surprising Discovery in King Tut’s Tomb

New Scans Made a Surprising Discovery in King Tut’s Tomb

Late last year, radar scans at King Tut’s tomb revealed the possible presence of a secret chamber. A more detailed analysis of this data shows not just the presence of a hidden room—but also unidentified objects that are comprised of metal and organic materials.

As reported in National Geographic, the announcement was made earlier today at a press conference in Cairo, where Egyptian...

21 Comments

George Dvorsky George Dvorsky Sep 12, 2017. 13 comments

This Threadbare Garment Is Officially the World's Oldest Dress

This Threadbare Garment Is Officially the World's Oldest Dress

It doesn’t look like much, but this tattered piece of clothing found buried in an ancient Egyptian cemetery has been confirmed as the world’s oldest dress as well as the oldest woven garment known to archaeologists.

Called the Tarkhan dress, the remarkable garment has now officially been dated by University College London researchers to between 5,100 and 5,500 years old. That places it way...

13 Comments

George Dvorsky George Dvorsky Sep 12, 2017. 7 comments

King Tut’s Mask is Back On Display Following That Botched Repair Attempt

King Tut’s Mask is Back On Display Following That Botched Repair Attempt

King Tut’s iconic burial mask was damaged in 2014 during a failed attempt to reattach the mask’s beard with glue. Now, after a $110,000 restoration, the iconic relic has been put back on display at the Egyptian Museum in Cairo.

To quickly recap, the Egyptian Museum admitted last year that members of its staff accidentally knocked off the mask’s blue and gold beard while trying to change the...

7 Comments

George Dvorsky George Dvorsky Sep 12, 2017. 21 comments

New Clues Point to Hidden Chambers at King Tut’s Tomb

New Clues Point to Hidden Chambers at King Tut’s Tomb

There may be treasures still waiting to be discovered at the site of King Tut’s tomb, nearly a century after it was first discovered in 1922. After inspecting the site yesterday, a team of archaeologists say they’ve found evidence of two previously undiscovered rooms—rooms that may hold the remains of Queen Nefertiti.

The inspection occurred because of a paper published by archaeologist...

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