When the Egyptian government dispatched a group of archaeologists to excavate a previously unexplored section of the desert, they were ecstatic to discover the ancient treasures buried beneath the sand. And boy, did they strike gold: the ground-breaking discovery not only left experts scratching their heads, but it also has the potential to change everything we know about Ancient Egypt.
Hidden In The Deserts
Archaeologists and Egyptologists have been searching for and discovering thousands of ancient relics and secrets hidden in Egypt’s deserts since the early 1800s. However, there are numerous treasures that we have yet to discover.
They Got Lucky
However, while researchers occasionally come across rare historical gems just beneath the surface, they aren’t always so fortunate. The archaeologist’s job is a delicate scavenger hunt due to the care and crafty of the ancient people that created these tombs.
Fixing The Damage
In recent years, Egypt’s Ministry of Antiquities has tried to lead new explorations across the country, probably to make new discoveries, but also to help repair the damage caused by tomb raiders and robbers over time.
Many areas, such as the Great Pyramids, have been totally unguarded since the Egyptian revolution in 2011. As a result, grave robbers ransack the area and make off with artifacts, some with major connections to the criminal underworld while others just common thieves.
Robbers Of Tomb
When some tomb shafts were too small for adults to enter, they used children, resulting in injury and even death. If the loss of life wasn’t bad enough, a large number of tombs have been damaged beyond repair as a result of the thefts.
The necropolis of Saqqara, an ancient historic site, was one of the newly excavated sites. The groundbreaking treasures discovered by the Ministry of Antiquities in 2018 were well-preserved and one-of-a-kind. “The most beautiful tomb discovered this year,” according to one discovery.
Coffin Of Saqqara
What distinguishes this website from others? Many of the important ancient relics were damaged or stolen, but a gold-plated silver mask was hidden inside a wooden coffin. Excavators prepared for the other treasures waiting to be discovered within Saqqara’s depths, as only a few of this kind exist.
Ancient Mask Was Found
The discovery of the mask sparked excitement among archaeologists. In fact, it was the first quest in the location since 1900, implying that there was a good chance that more meaningful artifacts were on the way.
Archaeologists discovered more ancient artifacts not long after the mummy was discovered. A set of seven tombs were tucked away inside a stone ridge, one of which housed mummified kittens and rare scarab beetles.
Animals were fossilized as part of religious offerings, but human bodies were mummified to safeguard them for the afterworld. The scientists were overjoyed to explore the doorway to an undisturbed tomb assumed to contain human remains after accumulating the immaculately preserved creatures.
The intricately carved burial place of a high priest — Wahtye — was left completely undamaged and out of sight for 4,400 years. He was assigned by royalty, King Neferirkare Kakai, as a high-ranking member of the priesthood in the Fifth Dynasty.
The tomb, which was 33 feet long, 9 feet wide, and 10 feet high, held many hints about the man buried within its walls. Wahyte’s life was depicted in intricate carvings, paintings, and hieroglyphics. The high priest, in reality, was a touch of a “mummy’s boy”…
His Love For His Mother
Wahyte was buried with his beloved mama, Merit Meen, and archaeologists had a hard time finding a spot in the tomb where he’s not paying homage to her. The walls were covered in drawings, paintings, and even monuments of his mother.
Wahyte had a wife, Weret Ptah, according to inscriptions, but there was little fanfare for her. Millennia after the elaborate scenes depicted on the limestone walls were first painted, new people were finally able to see them.
The Saqqara site revealed a wealth of information about Ancient Egyptian everyday life. Sketches of musical acts, pottery and winemaking, as well as sailing and furniture making, make Ancient Egypt seem like a modern-day young, educated city dweller’s modern society.
The Last Tomb
They learned more about Wahtye as they studied the inside of the tomb. Of course, learning about Wahtye’s life, family, and place in the fifth dynasty was interesting, but the team was also on the lookout for the crown jewel: Wahtye’s hidden final resting place.
They Were Lucky
On December 13th, 2018, the excavation team received a lucky break. They removed the last surface of debris, and lo and behold, five shafts were revealed. As a result, they began the slow and methodical process of gaining access…
What’s Inside The Tomb?
The first shaft had been unsealed, much to their surprise. Which made sense because it was completely empty when they pulled it open. The four other shafts, on the other hand, had the potential to contain discoveries that modern society had yet to see.
Finally Seeing What’s Inside
Mostafa Waziri, the general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, said, “I can imagine that all of the objects can be found in this area,” He said the biggest answers were in the leftover shafts. “This shaft should lead to a coffin or a sarcophagus of the owner of the tomb.”
Revealing More Chambers
Officials predicted that as the excavation progressed in the coming months, more would be discovered in the preserved chambers. The archaeologists dug by hand, sifting through rocks and sand, hoping to uncover more relics from the past.
What Else Was Found?
Meanwhile, not far from Wahtye’s, construction personnel in Alexandria, Egypt, hit something beyond bedrock throughout a routine excavation. They were well aware that this was a significant event.
It Was A Hot Spot
Artifacts in the pyramids of King Tut’s tomb can be spectacular discoveries in Egypt. The old city of Alexandria, in particular, was a hub of activity.
Place For Trading
Since the city was a thriving place full of ships, traders, and merchants during its ancient glory days. Alexander the Great founded the city, which served as a link between Greece and Egypt’s Nile Valley.
There Was A Huge Change
Evidently, today’s Alexandria is not the same as it used to be. It’s now a densely populated city with many businesses and apartments.
It Was Quite Massive
Construction crews discovered a huge tomb 16 feet beneath the ground while excavating the foundation for a new building. Specialists later discovered that the tomb was built between 305 and 30 B.C. during the Ptolemaic period!
They Were Surprised
A giant black sarcophagus rested calmly in the tomb’s corner. This one was unusually large in comparison to others discovered throughout Egypt, leaving archaeologists baffled as to what could be in there.
There Was An Alabaster Head
A large alabaster head accompanied the massive black sarcophagus. The head’s features had eroded over time, but no one could tell if it was intended to be modeled for somebody significant, so they decided to look into it…
They Tried To Pry It
Nearly a half-dozen men attempted to pry the lid off the sarcophagus, but the weight was enormous! They’d have to bring in some heavy equipment. An expert on the subject was also contacted by the crew…
They Brought The Expert
His name was Ayman Ashmawy, and he worked for Egypt’s Ministry of Antiquities for many years. He was no stranger to examining historical artifacts. He was the only one who could shed light on the situation!
He immediately noticed a surface of mortar between the lid and the body, indicating that it had been perfectly sealed for over 2,000 years. It was also made of black granite, which was a very uncommon material at the time. This prompted a crucial question…
Something That’ll Attract Thieves
Was the person buried inside a high-ranking official or a well-known figure? The tomb was cordoned off right away. Now that word of the discovery was spreading, it was likely to become a target for would-be vandals and thieves.
The goal was to eventually remove the lid, but there were some who were skeptical of the whole thing. There were many stories about the Pharaoh’s curse being released when certain tombs were opened. Was there a nefarious curse inside?
The Endless Possibilities
Due to its size and unique black granite material, most people assumed there was someone extremely important buried inside. Is it possible that it was Alexander the Great himself? They’d find out soon enough…
Safely Opening The Tomb
The workers were able to secure the lid with the help of massive cranes and thick rope. It can not only ruin whatever was inside of it fell mid-lift, but it could also severely harm those engaged. They slowly opened the casket with the crane’s force…
Foul Smell Greeted Them
The workers rushed to get away from the foul fumes that moved out of the now-open tomb almost instantly. However, after a few minutes, the majority of the scent had dissipated, and workers were left staring at the inside remains.
Sewage & Skeletons
Three deformed skeletons were submerged in a thick red liquid. The skeletons were said to be soldiers, and the red liquid was revealed to be toxic waste that had leaked into the tomb and had fermented into a foul-smelling goo over time.
Turning It Into A Drink
Innes McKendrick launched a campaign to change the red goo into a carbonated energy drink that could be consumed! He was convinced that by drinking the liquid, people would gain “powers.” Fortunately, despite signatures, the corpse juice will not be consumed.
Five Long Years
The discoveries in Egypt show no signs of slowing down. Researchers discovered a 2,000-year-old network of tombs beneath the city of Cairo! However, excavating this massive find could take up to five years!
Tomb Of Soldiers
The mysterious black sarcophagus’s entrance was obviously an underwhelming event. Experts expected to find something more historically significant, but all they found were the sewage-covered remains of unidentified soldiers.
Digging California Desert
When another team started digging in the California desert, they discovered the usual trash: old bottles, tobacco tins, and makeup trays. Then they unearthed what showed up to be an ancient Egyptian artifact in a mysterious manner.
Something Was Strange
The explorers were greeted by a curved nose, delicate ears, and the ridges of a grand crown as they brushed away dirt and sand. The features weren’t from a centuries-old American statue, but from something a little more exotic: a sphinx’s head.
It’s The California Sphinx
Of course, the archaeologists were instantly bombarded with questions, the most pressing of which was: How? What did an ancient Egyptian sphinx head have to do with Santa Barbara? Fortunately, the archaeologists didn’t need much time to figure out that something wasn’t quite right about the sphinx head.
Or Is It A Fake One?
An authentic sphinx head from ancient Egypt would have been sculpted out of bedrock. Although imposing, the one found in California was made of a much lightweight material that left powder on the archaeologists’ hands.
Where Did It Come From?
This is when they noticed the sphinx head is not from Egypt’s deserts. It hadn’t been sneaked or teleported to Santa Barbara by robbers or aliens. The 300-pound head, on the other hand, came from the most unlikely of places.
It’s A Prop
The sphinx head was initially thought to be from the 1956 Cecil B. DeMille film The Ten Commandments, starring Charlton Heston. The head, however, had to come from an even older film, which it did, because the film is recognized for its groundbreaking visual effects.
For Special Effects
The 1956 adaptation wasn’t DeMille’s first time working with The Ten Commandments. He attempted to turn the biblical story into one of the first “epic” movies ever made in 1923. He can not depend on computer-generated effects as he could in the 1956 version of the film.
The Guadalupe-Nipomo Dunes in Santa Barbara, which DeMille thought looked like the Egyptian desert, were used to film DeMille’s 1923 adaptation. Moses’ world was built entirely by hand by set designers, and it was enormous.
Massive Props Were Used
The movie’s props are legendary in size: four 35-foot Pharaoh statues, 110-foot gates, eight lions, an Egyptian temple, and, of course, 21 sphinxes were all reportedly constructed by over 1,600 working people.
It Was A Strange Sphinx
The set was one of the most massive and expensive ever constructed at the time. It was built with 25,000 nails and 250 tons of plaster and stood 12 stories tall and 800 feet wide. The way the sphinx heads were decorated was the strangest of all.
After 100 Years
The sphinxes were colored in just such a way that lighting and shadows on set will also make them shine out without Technicolor, as much of the movie was shot in black-and-white. They looked a little different in person than they did on film when they were discovered nearly a century later.