Brilliant discovery in Egypt

By Paul Garwood, Associated Press

Mummy unveiled at pyramids

 

A brilliantly colored mummy dating back more than 2,300 years lies on its wooden coffin yesterday at Egypt's Saqqara Pyramids complex south of Cairo. The mummy, from the 30th pharaonic dynasty, had been buried by sand in a 20-foot shaft. AP photos/Amr Nabil

 

SAQQARA, Egypt - A superbly preserved 2,300-year-old mummy bearing a golden mask and covered in brilliantly colored images of gods and goddesses was unveiled yesterday at Egypt's Saqqara Pyramids complex south of Cairo.

The mummy, from the 30th pharaonic dynasty, was discovered recently by an Egyptian-led archaeological team.

"We have revealed what may be the most beautiful mummy ever found in Egypt," said Zahi Hawass, chief of Egypt's Supreme Council of Antiquities.

Hawass said experts will use CT scanning technology to reveal more details about the Egyptian's identity and how he had lived and died.

The mummy will be displayed at Saqqara's museum of Imhotep, the famed architect who designed the Stepped Pyramid.

The mummy, found two months ago, was covered from head to toe in burial cloth painted in bright colors that depicted a range of graphic scenes, including the goddess Maat of balance and truth.

Also shown were the four children of the falcon-headed god Horus and the rituals and processes to mummify the person, who Hawass believes must have been wealthy considering his burial location and the fine gold used for the mummy's mask.

"The artists who made this mummy more than 2,000 years ago demonstrated the brilliance of the ancient Egyptians by using stunning colors and depicting his face so graphically," Hawass said.

The mummy was buried within the necropolis of King Teti, an area containing dozens of burial chambers, false doors that ancient Egyptians said the souls of the dead would use to leave their tombs, and temples.