Amazing mummification workshop Discovered in Egypt  

FI 2

silver facemask gold mummy egypt

A mummification workshop, dating back to ancient Egypt near the country’s Giza pyramids has been unearthed after 2,500 years and includes a gold cast mask, featuring a mask-making technique that was only followed by ancient Greeks.

The discovery of the workshop along with a shaft, used as a communal burial place, was made at the Saqqara necropolis of Memphis, the first capital of ancient Egypt.

Memphis, a Unesco World Heritage Site, is home to a wide range of temples and tombs as well as the three renowned Giza pyramids.

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The latest find, announced at a press conference on Saturday, dates back to the Saite-Persian Period, from 664-404 BC.

The site, which lies south of the Unas pyramid, was last excavated more than 100 years ago.

Archaeologists also discovered a large collection of pottery vessels, bowls and measuring cups, which they hope will reveal more about the mummification process.

"We are in front of a goldmine of information about the chemical composition of these oils," said Ramadan Hussein, the head of the German-Egyptian mission.

Among the artefacts found were fragments of mummy masks, jars used to keep the organs removed from the dead during mummification and an array of ancient pottery.

Archaeologists also found a gilded silver mask on the face of a mummy in a badly-damaged wooden coffin.

Hussein said: "The finding of this mask could be called a sensation."

According to Hussein, the technique of making the mask is also interesting. The ornaments and the way the gold cast is on silver is excellent. "Such a technique was not widespread in Egypt," Hussein says. "This was more of a technique that was followed in ancient Greece".

"Very few masks of precious metals have been preserved to the present day, because the tombs of most Ancient Egyptian dignitaries were looted in ancient times,” added Hussein.

Many findings will be displayed at the Grand Egyptian Museum, the first phase of which is expected to be inaugurated later this year.