Friday, May 9, 2014

Mummy rubble

Bits and pieces of some 50 royal mummies dating from the reigns of the pharaohs Thutmose IV and Amenhotep III in the 14th c. B.C.E. have turned up after Egyptian and Swiss archaeologists finished sifting through a reopened tomb that was first discovered in 1899. The damage was done by tomb robbers in antiquity and in the 19th c. More than 30 of the dead are identified by name on inscribed pottery. "For us, the excavations are done. Our work is ahead in the lab, It actually wasn't the mummies themselves that interested us, as much as the materials and inscriptions that we found with them," says Egyptologist Susanne Bickel of the University of Basel, who will use that information and DNA to puzzle out the family relationships.

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