Treasures - Masks of Chantresses
An archaeological team digging at the site of Abydos, in Egypt, has unearthed numerous treasures, including a half dozen examples of these yellow wooden masks. Each of them would have been part of a female coffin, possibly those of chantresses. They date back more than 2,000 years.
Much to Be Discovered
An image of the Terrace of the Great God. While the area appears desolate, and a good portion of it has been plundered, there are still discoveries to be made.
A Monumental Find
One structure the team explored was this "monumental" building. The walls are about six feet (two meters) thick. Researchers think that it may be a temple. The few inscriptions found inside refer to Seti I, a pharaoh who ruled more than 3,200 years ago.
In one chamber of the tomb the team found a cache of animal mummies, at least 83 of them, all of them sacrificed. Most of them are dogs whose mummy wrappings have fallen off. Researchers think that the mummies are from a large, undiscovered, tomb and were tossed into the monumental building when it was robbed. This image shows some of the dog skulls. They would also date back more than 2,000 years.
One of the dog skulls, with some of the mummy wrapping still on it.
Royal Wooden Statue
In another chamber of the monumental building the team found a wooden statue with a Nemes headdress on it. At about 25 inches (65 cm) tall it depicts a pharaoh. The narrow waist size raises the possibility that this is Hatshepsut, a female pharaoh who ruled Egypt about 3,500 years ago.
Nemes Headdress Restored
Another image of the royal wooden statue. When it was first found it was encrusted with mud and termite droppings. An Egyptian wood conservation expert was brought in to work on it.
The Tomb of a Priest
Inside the monumental structure the team found a vaulted tomb that dates back around 3,000 years. It would have originally belonged to a priest whose name was combined with the goddess Isis. It had been robbed in antiquity with robbers entering through a hole.
Faience shabtis found in the tomb, they would have done the work of the deceased in the afterlife.
An offering chapel, found at the terrace, it dates back more than 3,600 years. It was found located near the processional route for Osiris.