Understanding the news: More fascinating finds from Saqqara (OldKingdom) and Gebel el Silsila (New Kingdom)

Understanding the news: More fascinating finds from Saqqara (Old Kingdom) and Gebel el Silsila (New Kingdom)
The big flashy news for December 2018 was the discovery of the (probably) intact tomb of a nobleman from Saqqara (if you missed that see it here: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-46580264)

But another story has emerged from the area of Gebel el Silsila (Aswan Region) where a Swedish-Egyptian mission led by Dr. Maria Nilsson and John Ward (Lund University), discovered what appears to be a mass grave from the New Kingdom (18th Dynasty). I've decided to write about this one, because it's received much less love (or should that be hype?) than the discovery at Saqqara (which, is admittedly much prettier but both these discoveries are very important).

Working at the site is difficult due to the presence of a lot of water, but the team has managed to identify approximately 60 individuals in the "human soup" that has flooded the shafts. It is likely that the burials are representative of a community of families from ancient Kheny for several generations who lived during the reign of Thutmose II - Amunhotep II. This discovery should inform us about the burial of more ordinary people outside the administrative capital of ancient Egypt and other urban areas.

"The burial goods contain several artefacts of importance, including dozens of scarabs, amulets, beads, seals, bracelets, large amphorae, beer jugs, bowls, pilgrim flasks, and various storage jars, etc."
Mission blog:

The team (l-r: Ibrahim, John, Ali, Ahmed) prepare one of the child sarcophagi to be lifted © Gebel el Silsila Project 2018


  1. A little before this was announced, the initial discovery of this was featured in an interesting documentary with Tony Robinson (Baldrick!) shown here in the UK.

    I'm told that it's available to view here, outside the UK:
    youtube.com - Egyptian Tomb Hunting S01E01

    And via Channel 5's site, in the UK:

    (There were two episodes; I'm pretty sure this was in the first episode.)

  2. John Patterson Oh brilliant, thanks that non UK URL works, yes I had an inkling Tony was involved via John Ward :D


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