Egypt

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Egyptian medicine

To early Orientalists, they were exotic people who used arcane ritual and repulsive medicines; but in Antiquity, Egyptian doctors were regarded as the epitome of medical excellence. Prof. Rosalie David tells CWA how recent investigations are revealing their exceptional pioneering practices.

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Egyptian iron-working: out of this world

Ancient Egypt’s oldest iron artefacts were made from meteorite, new research has confirmed. The 9 small, tubular beads were found in graves at Gerzeh, a  Pre-Dynastic cemetery about 70km (43 miles) south of Cairo, in 1911-1912. Dated to c.3600-3350 BC, they significantly pre-date the earliest evidence for iron smelting in Egypt, which is thought to have […]

Egypt Mummy's leather and wood toe

Toeing the line: the world’s oldest prosthetics?

Given the importance that the Ancient Egyptians placed on entering the afterlife intact, it is unsurprising that replacement body parts have been found in tombs. Whether these were used in life, or had a purely cosmetic purpose, has long been the subject of debate, however. Now an experimental archaeology project at the University of Manchester’s […]

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Back in fashion

Egyptian blue, the world’s oldest artificial pigment, could have a range of modern uses from medical imaging devices to remote controls for televisions. First produced 5,000 years ago by the ancient Egyptians, the pigment was used to decorate tombs, sculptures, furnishings, and jewellery until the 4th century AD. Now, chemical analysis led by Tina Salguero […]

Egypt: First Pharaonic Portrait

Stylised scenes of boats and animals etched into rocks on the banks of the River Nile include the oldest known depictions of a pharaoh yet discovered. Stan Hendrickx tells CWA how a Victorian drawing and an old photograph led archaeologists to these extraordinary carvings just north of Aswan.

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Gebelein Man: stabbed in the back

Another mummy recently identified as a victim of ancient Egyptian violence is Gebelein Man, one of the best-known occupants of the British Museum’s Early Egypt gallery. Found in 1896 at Gebelein, about 40km (25 miles) south of Thebes, the individual had been buried in a shallow pit, his crouched body wrapped in linen and matting. […]

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Unwrapping pharaonic foul play

Ramesses III was murdered, probably during an attempted coup, say archaeologists following new analysis of the Egyptian king’s mummified remains. They believe they have also identified his son, one of the conspirators. The Turin Judicial papyrus records an attempt on the life of the 20th-Dynasty pharaoh in 1155 BC, the final year of his reign. […]

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Decoding Demotic

A 37-year project to compile a dictionary of Demotic – the language of ordinary ancient Egyptians – has been completed, opening a window on everyday life 2,500 years ago. Taking its name from the Greek demos, or ‘common people’, Demotic was used between 500 BC-AD 500. Its flowing script was much faster and easier to […]

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Ancient Egypt in Manchester

A hundred years after its first Egyptian exhibition, Manchester Museum has reopened its Ancient Egypt and Archaeology collections to the public following a £1.57m revamp. Three new ‘Ancient Worlds’ galleries showcase the museum’s collections, ranging from prehistoric Egypt (c.10,000 BC) to the Byzantine era (c.AD 600), introducing the people and stories behind the ancient objects, […]

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Ancient Egyptian teething problems

High-resolution CT scans of an ancient Egyptian mummy have revealed that the young man suffered from terrible dental problems – and that he used a unique treatment to try to soothe his toothache. Aged in his 20s or early 30s, the man had a mouth full of cavities and abscesses that would have caused him […]

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Egypt’s lonely princess

Excavations at Abusir, south of Cairo, have identified the 4,500-year-old tomb of an ancient Egyptian princess called Sheretnebty. More than a mile from the burials of the rest of her dynasty, she had been laid to rest in a complex of rock-cut tombs, in a part of the site dedicated to the graves of non-royal […]

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