Thursday, August 24, 2017

New Discovery, Western Desert: New Roman Tombs Discovered in Egypt's Dakhla Oasis

The Funerary Mask & One Of The Discovered Ostraca
Five mud-brick tombs uncovered in Beir Al-Shaghala necropolis in the Western Desert. Written By/ Nevine El-Aref.

An Egyptian archaeological mission from the Ministry of Antiquities has uncovered five Roman tombs during excavation works carried out in Beir Al-Shaghala site in Dakhla Oasis in Egypt's Western Desert.

Ayma Ashmawi, head of the Ancient Egyptian Antiquities Department, explained that the tombs are built in mud brick and have different architectural style.

The first tomb has an entrance leading to a rectangular hall with two burial chambers while the second has a vaulted ceiling and its entrance leads to a burial chamber.

The third tomb is a pyramid-shaped tomb. The mission has succeeded in uncovering its upper part while the lower part is still buried in sand. 

The fourth and fifth tombs share one entrance and each tomb has a separate burial chamber with a vaulted ceiling. Ashmawy pointed out that the mission's excavations in the area will continue.

Bei'r Al-Shaghala Necropolis, Some Of The Clay Pots Discovered,
The Tomb With Vaulted Ceiling & The Tomb With Pyramid Shaped End
Gamal Al-Semestawi, general director of antiquities of the Middle Egypt, said that a number of artifacts were found inside the tombs, including the remains of a funerary mask depicting a human face painted in yellow, a set of pottery vessels of different shapes and sizes, as well as two ostraca, one of which contains hieroglyphic text while the second bears text written in Hieratic.

A clay incense burner and remains of a small sandstone sphinx, 14 centimetres by 12.7 centimetres tall, have also been found within the tombs.

Magdi Ibrahim, director general of Dakhla Oasis and head of the mission, said the mission succeeded in its six previous excavation seasons to discover eight Roman tombs in a good state of conservation and with similar architectural design. They are composed of a rectangular hall and two side chambers with sandstone vaulted ceilings. The hall has a mud brick ceiling.

Al-Shaghala area is located to the west of Mout city almost 3 kilometres from Dakhla Oasis in a mid-point between three other archaeological sites.

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