‘Invasion’ of ancient Egypt may have actually been immigrant uprising
Ancient Egypt’s first “foreign” takeover may actually have been an inside job. About 3600 years ago, the pharaohs briefly lost control of northern Egypt to the Hyksos, rulers who looked and behaved like people from an area stretching from present-day Syria in the north to Israel in the south. The traditional explanation is that the Hyksos were an invading force. But a fresh analysis of skeletons from the ancient Hyksos capital suggests an alternative: The Hyksos were Egyptian-born members of an immigrant community that rose up and grabbed power.
The pharaohs ruled Egypt from about 3100 B.C.E. to 30 B.C.E., but they weren’t always in complete command of their territory. One period of vulnerability began around 1800 B.C.E., with a succession of ineffectual pharaohs who struggled to maintain order. The Hyksos took advantage of the power vacuum by seizing control of northern Egypt, according to ancient texts, leaving the pharaohs in charge of only a tiny strip of land to the south. Read more.
13 mummy coffins stacked in a well unearthed in ancient Egyptian necropolis
Archaeologists have discovered more than 13 ancient Egyptian coffins piled one on top of the other within a burial well at the desert necropolis of Saqqara, according to the Egyptian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities.
The 2,500-year-old wooden coffins are so well preserved that the intricate designs on them, painted in blue, gold, white, black and red, are still visible.
The identity of the deceased who were buried within the coffins remains a mystery; archaeologists have yet to look inside the sealed coffins, which haven’t been opened since the bodies were interred within, the Egyptian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities reported in a Sept. 6 Facebook post.
Archaeologists found the coffins in a well measuring nearly 40 feet (11 meters) deep. It’s likely that more of these coffins will be found within the niches located along the sides of the well, the ministry noted. Read more.
Lost for more than 2,000 years, the tomb of Cleopatra, the last queen of Egypt, has long been a source of intrigue for archaeologists and the public alike. And though media reports have suggested the discovery of a lifetime is near, the chances of finding Cleopatra’s tomb are pretty low, experts say.
The lover of Julius Caesar and Marc Antony, who found herself on the losing end of a war, Cleopatra killed herself in 30 B.C., after being captured by Roman emperor Octavian. She did so by having a venomous snake called an asp bite her, according to ancient writers. She was buried with Antony in a mausoleum (a large tomb), ancient writers claimed.
Recent media reports have claimed that archaeologists are on the verge of discovering this tomb at a site called “Taposiris Magna,” located about 31 miles (50 kilometers) west of Alexandria. For the past 15 years, a team led by Kathleen Martinez has been excavating the site, finding remains that date back to the time of Cleopatra, including a hoard of coins minted during her reign. Similar reports of an imminent tomb discovery also appeared in the news in 2019.
But nearly a dozen scholars with expertise in Cleopatra told Live Science that it’s unlikely that Cleopatra was buried at Taposiris Magna. Read more.