Dernière minuteBreaking news

Le site Egypt Independent rapporte que, à l'occasion du 115e anniversaire de l'inauguration du Musée Égyptien de la place Tahrir, le Ministre des antiquités, Khaled el-Anani, a déclaré qu'une découverte majeure faite sur la rive ouest à Louxor serait annoncée le 9 décembre.

According to Egypt Independent, the Minister of Antiquities, Khaled al-Anani, said that "a huge archaeological discovery west of Luxor will be announced on December 9", and that "the Holy of Holies compartment in the Mortuary Temple of Hatshepsut, Luxor, will be inaugurated after it has been renovated".

Une vaste cavité dans la grande pyramide de KhéopsDiscovery of a big void in Khufu's Pyramid by observation of cosmic-ray muons

Photo: ScanPyramids

Nous avons parlé à plusieurs reprises depuis de la mission ScanPyramids, qui étudie les pyramides par des techniques très pointues, dont la muographie. La mission vient de publier dans la revue Nature la découverte, dans la grande pyramide de Khéops, d'une cavité allongée d'environ 30 m de long. Elle est située au-dessus de la grande galerie et plus ou moins parallèle à celle-ci. Cette structure semble présenter des caractéristiques semblables à celles de la grande galerie, mais les mesures ne sont pour l'instant pas assez précises pour dire si elle a la même inclinaison, si elle est d'un seul tenant ou composée d'une succession de petites chambres. Avec une prudence remarquable, l'étude de Nature ne se lance dans aucune hypothèse sur ce que pourrait être cet espace vide ; elle se contente de signaler son existence. "Notre but consiste à chercher des cavités avec le taux de certitude très élevé des physiciens des particules, mais ce n'est pas à nous d'interpréter ce dont il s'agit", explique Mehdi Tayoubi, codirecteur de la mission ScanPyramids, président de l'Institut HIP et coauteur de l'article. Il faut s'attendre à une avalanche de théories plus ou moins farfelues : "La pyramide rend les gens fous. C'est un monument tellement mythique qu'ils entrent rarement dans un processus scientifique rigoureux à son sujet". À ce jour, personne ne sait si on pourra accéder à cette cavité et comment.
On trouvera ici l'opinion de Guillemette Andreu-Lanoé, ancienne directrice du département des Antiquités égyptiennes du Louvre et celle de Peter Der Manuelian, professeur d'égyptologie à l'université de Harvard. Zahi Hawass, lui, a déclaré qu'il ne s'agissait pas d'une nouvelle découverte! Ce à quoi un des coauteurs de l'article lui a répondu que, en l'absence de toute ouverture sur les corridors, nul n'était au courant de l'existence de cette galerie depuis plus de 4000 ans.


We have spoken several times since about the ScanPyramids mission which tries to beter understand the internal structure of Khufu's (Cheops) Great Pyramid built on the Giza Plateau. Researchers imaged the pyramid using muons, which are by-products of cosmic rays that are only partially absorbed by stone. The resulting cosmic-ray muon radiography allowed to visualize the known and potentially unknown voids in the pyramid in a non-invasive way. The first results were published this month in the journal Nature. The mission discovered a large void (with a cross section similar to the Grand Gallery and a length of 30 m minimum) above the Grand Gallery, which constitutes the first major inner structure found in the Great Pyramid since the 19th century. This large void has been detected with a high confidence by three different muon detection technologies and three independent analyses. The space's dimensions resemble those of the pyramid's Grand Gallery, the 153-foot-long, 26-foot-tall corridor that leads to the burial chamber of Khufu. However, it remains unclear what lies within the space, what purpose it served, or if it's one or multiple spaces. Previously, ScanPyramids had announced the detection of some intriguing voids and anomalies, which didn't come necessarily as a surprise, as the pyramids' interiors are far more pockmarked and rubbly than people usually imagine.
The purpose of the seemingly empty region remains unclear, and researchers are cautiously avoiding the word "chamber" for the time being. It's not yet known whether it was built with a function in mind. "We don't know for the moment if it's horizontal or inclined, [or] if it is made from one structure or several successive structures," said study coauthor Mehdi Tayoubi.
And now?... It's safe to say that rumors and theories will continue to run rampant as history buffs find their own answers to explain the pyramid's "mistery". To those fantasizing about personally exploring the void, a word of caution. No known corridors connect to the space, and researchers and outside experts alike stress that there are no future plans to drill into the void.
As for Zahi Hawass, he declared that it was not a new discovery! One of the co-authors of the article reminded him that, in the absence of any opening on the corridors, no one was aware of the existence of this gallery for more than 4000 years.

L'expérience en réalité virtuelle ScanPyramids VR permet de découvrir non seulement les salles cachées au public mais aussi les dernières découvertes sur la plus célèbre pyramide d'Égypte.

Using 3D technology the Scan Pyramids Project team allows visitors wearing headsets to explore the Queen's Gallery and other ancient rooms not normally accessible to the public, without leaving Paris.

La tombe d'une femme enceinte découverte sur le site des "Mines du roi Salomon"Archaeologists Startled to Find Remains of Pregnant Woman Buried in King Solomon's Mines

Photos: Central Timna Valley Project

Le squelette a été découvert dans la vallée de Timna en Israël, une région au climat infernal, sans source d'eau, sur un site autrefois connu sous le nom de "Mines du Roi Salomon". Du vivant de la femme (il y a environ 3200 ans), les mines étaient sous domination égyptienne.
La femme était âgée d'une petite vingtaine d'années et se trouvait dans son premier trimestre de grossesse, sans qu'on sache si elle est tombée enceinte à Timna ou si elle l'était déjà à son arrivée. Le corps a été enterré sous un tumulus (tombeau couvert de roches). Cette jeune femme a probablement été chanteuse dans le temple d'Hathor voisin. En effet, les archéologues ont retrouvé dans sa sépulture des perles semblables à celles trouvées sur le site du temple. Rappelons qu'Hathor était la maîtresse de "mefkat" (turquoise, mais aussi malachite et minerai de cuivre) et considérée comme la protectrice des mineurs.
"Il est très rare de trouver des restes humains à Timna, et c'est la première fois que nous trouvons une femme", explique l'archéologue Erez Ben Yosef, qui dirige l'équipe de l'Université de Tel-Aviv qui fouille le site depuis 2012.
Cette femme a probablement accompagné une des expéditions minières envoyées dans la vallée de Timna pour extraire du cuivre; elle aurait servi comme prêtresse dans le temple d'Hathor.


The skeleton was discovered in the Timna Valley in Israel, an area with hellish climate with no water sources, at a location once known as King Solomon's Mines. During her lifetime, the mines were under Egyptian rule. The woman was in the early stages of her 20s and was in her first trimester, and she might have been a singer at the nearby Hathor temple because she was buried with beads similar to those found at the place of worship. The people worshipped Hathor at Timna, and considered her to be the protector of the miners.
Women hadn't been expected to make the arduous trek to the copper mine in the heart of the desert, but this one did. "It is very rare to find human remains in Timna, and it is the first time we find a woman," says archaeologist Erez Ben Yosef, who leads the Tel Aviv University team that has been excavating the site since 2012. The pregnant woman's skeleton was buried in a tumulus (a tomb covered by rocks).
The woman likely accompanied one of the mining expeditions sent to the Timna Valley to extract copper; she would have served in the Hathor temple while mining operations were underway. It's not known whether the woman traveled to Timna from Egypt while she was pregnant or whether she was impregnated localy.
Egypt's power in the Timna area weakened in the century after the woman died, and Egypt eventually lost control of the mines to other groups in the region.

Premier gymnase ptolémaïque découvert en ÉgypteA 2,300-year old Greek-style gymnasium has been discovered in Egypt

Photo: Ministry of Antiquities

On savait, par des inscriptions et des papyri, qu'il existait des gymnases de type grec dans l'Égypte ptolémaïque. Le premier vient d'être découvert par une équipe de l'Institut allemand (DAI) dirigée par le Pr Cornelia Röhmer sur le site de Watfa dans l'oasis du Fayoum. Watfa se trouve sur le site de l'antique Philoteris, cité fondée par Ptolémée II au 3e siècle avant notre ère en l'honneur de sa seconde soeur Philotera.
Le complexe comporte un grand hall qui était orné de statues, une salle à manger et une cour. Une piste d'environ 200 m de long permettait la course, tandis que de vastes jardins ajoutaient une touche de fraîcheur.
Les gymnases étaient des structures privées, fondées et entretenues par de riches personnages désireux de vivre à la mode grecque. On y parlait grec, et les jeunes gens y recevaient une éducation physique et littéraire.

A mission from the German Archaeological Institute (DAI), headed by Professor Cornelia Römer, made the discovery as part of its ongoing excavations at the Watfa site, in the northwest of Fayoum Oasis. Watfa is the location of the ancient Philoteris, founded by king Ptolemy II in the 3rd century BCE and named after his second sister Philotera.
The gymnasium included a large meeting hall, once adorned with statues, a dining hall and a courtyard in the main building. There is also a racetrack of nearly 200 metres in length, long enough for the typical stadium-length races of 180 metres. The building is believed to have been surrounded by "generous gardens" giving it "an ideal layout of a center of Greek learning." Gymnasia were privately founded by rich people who wanted their villages to become even more Greek in aspect. There, the young men of the Greek speaking upper-class were trained in sports, learned to read and write, and to enjoy philosophical discussions.
Inscriptions and papyri had already witnessed the existence of gymnasia in the countryside in the Ptolemaic period, but Watfat's is the first one discovered.

Ouverture de tombes au public à Guiza'Cursed tomb' of the workers who built the Great Pyramid of Giza opened to the public 30 years after it was discovered

Source: EEF NEWS; Photo: Ministry of Antiquities

Le Ministère des Antiquités vient d'ouvrir pour la première fois au public cinq tombes dans le cimetière des ouvriers sur le plateau de Guiza (voir ici). Le cimetière a été découvert en 1990. Y sont enterrés les ouvriers, contremaîtres, ingénieurs... qui ont construit les pyramides. Mais il y a aussi des personnages importants, notamment ceux dont la tombe s'ouvre à la visite : un intendant du palais royal, un superviseur des ouvriers… Les noms rapportés dans la presse étant fantaisistes, nous nous rabattons sur les identifications de AK Eyma (EEF) : Seshemnefer IV (cimetière GIS, LG53); Khoufoukhaef (G 7130-7140) ; Nefer-Tjes qui comporte de beaux hiéroglyphes sculptés ; Petety, dans la tombe duquel se trouve un appel au vivant comportant de nombreuses malédictions pour ceux qui toucheraient à sa tombe ; Ptahshepses.
Les tombes sont ouvertes au public après avoir été restaurées et préparées pour des visites avec des affiches explicatives en arabe et en anglais.


The Ministry of Antiquities has reopened few tombs containing the remains of the people who built the Great Pyramid of Giza. This is the first time they've been open since their discovery almost 30 years ago in the cemetery of workers (see here).
Ptah-Shepsesu's was the first tomb in the cemetery to be uncovered. It is made of mudbrick with a long vaulted chamber and two false doors. Crude hieroglyphs scrawled on the doors identify the name of the tomb-owner and his wife. At the back of the chamber are three burial shafts for the couple and their son. In front of the tomb there is a square courtyard with low walls of broken limestone. The tomb and courtyard are grand in comparison to the others uncovered around it. Pieces of granite, basalt, and diorite, stones used in the pyramid temples, have been incorporated into the walls.
The second tomb belongs to Nefer-Tjes, the ancient supervisor of the bakery in the Pyramids area. It is a simple tomb inscribed with beautiful hieroglyphic texts. It contains three limestone false doors and a stelae inscribed with the name of the deceased, his two wives and his 18 children. The false doors of his tomb are unique for their scenes of grain-grinding, and bread and beer-making. Inside the tomb there is a list of feast days and offerings for the deceased including bread, beer, birds and oxen. On the false door of his first wife Nefer-hetepes there is a list that records offerings of natron used in mummification, sacred water, oil, incense, kohl, 14 types of bread, cakes, onions, beef, grain, figs and other fruits, beer, and wine. On the third false door, two stelae represent Nefer-Theith standing while below him a man makes beer and another person pours it into jars.
The third tomb is for a worker named Petety who was the supervisor of the junior workers on the Pyramids. The tomb has a unique form with three open courts. Petety and his wife Nesy-Sokar are depicted separately because she was a priestess of the goddess Hathor. She is also described as beloved of the goddess Neith, shown standing on the doorjamb of the chapel in the traditional pose, one arm raised on her breast and the other behind her back. On either side of the entrance to the tomb Petety wrote hieroglyphic texts to protect himself and his tomb from tomb-raiders. Petety's curse threatens anyone approaching his tomb that "the priest of Hathor will beat twice anyone who enters this tomb or does harm to it. "Anyone who does anything bad to this tomb… the crocodile, hippopotamus and the lion will eat him," the curse says.
The site has been closed off since 1990. In recent years, experts with the ministry have been working to restore and develop the site as part of a longer-term plan to open up more archaeological sites to the public. As well as opening up the three tombs, Ashraf Mohi, director general of the effects of the Pyramids of Giza, said two other tombs discovered in the same cemetery have been reopened—including the tomb of KhufuKhaf, the son of King Khufu, who ruled between 2589–2566 B.C. The other tomb is Seshemnefer 4, which dates to the Sixth Dynasty, around 2340 B.C. This grave includes images of the cemetery owner with his family, bulls being slaughtered and birds and animals being hunted.

3 épaves romaines retrouvées près d'Alexandrie3 Roman-Era Shipwrecks Found Off Egyptian Coast

Photos: Egypt Ministry of Antiquities

Trois épaves datant de l'ère romaine ont été découvertes au large d'Alexandrie. Les découvertes ont été faites lors de fouilles sous-marines effectuées par une mission conjointe du Département d'archéologie sous-marine du Ministère des Antiquités et de l'Institut européen d'archéologie sous-marine dans la baie d'Aboukir et le port d'Alexandrie. En plus des épaves, les plongeurs ont trouvé une en cristal datant de l'époque romaine, trois pièces d'or du règne de l'empereur Auguste et les restes d'une barque votive probablement dédiée au dieu Osiris.

Three Roman-era shipwrecks have been uncovered just off the coast of Alexandria. The finds were made during underwater excavations carried out by a joint mission from the Ministry of Antiqiuties' Underwater Archaeology Department and the European Institute of Underwater Archaeology in Abukir bay and Alexandria's eastern harbour. In addition to the shipwrecks, divers found a crystal carving of from the Roman era, three gold coins from the rule of Emperor Augustus, and a votive bark likely dedicated to the god Osiris.

Egypte: des archéologues découvrent une nouvelle trace des PtoléméesA block bearing the name of Macedonian King Philip III Arrhidaeus discovered at Kom Ombo

Photo: Egypt Ministry of Antiquities

Kom Ombo abrite un des temples ptolémaïques les mieux conservés, qui daterait du 1er siècle avant Jésus-Christ. Mais le temple abrite des objets plus anciens. Une mission archéologique égyptienne a en effet annoncé la découverte d'un bas relief dans lequel apparaît le visage et le nom de Philippe III Arrhidée, demi-frère d'Alexandre le Grand. Après la mort du conquérant macédonien (-323), il eut un rôle officiel avant de mourir en 317 avant Jésus-Christ.
Le bloc mesure 83 X 55 X 32 cm. La partie supérieure du bloc représente la déesse Nekhbet et sa partie inférieure montre le roi Philippe portant la couronne rouge de Basse Égypte. Les cartouches de Philippe Arrhidée sont gravés ainsi qu'une prière au dieu crocodile Sobek.

During excavation work at the north-eastern area of Komombo temple, an Egyptian mission from the Ministry of Antiquities has recently discovered a Hellenic-era limestone block dating back to the era of Macedonian King Philip III Arrhidaeus, the step brother of Alexander the Great, who succeeded his brother to the throne.
The block is 83cm tall, 55cm wide and 32cm thick. The inscription shows the cartouche of King Philip III and a prayer to the crocodile god Sobek of Komombo. The upper part of the block depicts the goddess Nekhbet and its lower part bears an image of King Philip wearing the red crown of Lower Egypt.