Egyptian Gov’t to upgrade Lahun pyramid


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The Government has agreed to launch an urgent plan for upgrading the historic site of el-Lahun near Fayoum, about 60km south of Cairo, home to Pharaonic treasures, Minister of Antiquities Zahi Hawass said. 


He added that this archaeological site will be developed to preserve its treasures that include a rare collection of mummies, which he stressed are in a good shape. 

Hawass has denied receiving a letter from UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova expressing her concern over reports claiming that some of the mummies were damaged during an excavation by an Egyptian team. 

“These reports are baseless and the Ministry never stood idle while anyone, whether Egyptian or foreign, was seen damaging mummies,” he stressed. 

However, Hawass said that he had ordered the formation of an ad hoc committee to appraise the antiquities in this area and draw up a comprehensive excavation and restoration project for it. 

He laments that some foreigners think Egypt is not interested in protecting its monuments and museums, because it’s not true. 

In 2008, archaeologists unearthed a cache of Pharaonic-era mummies in brightly painted wooden coffins near Egypt’s little-known Lahun Pyramid. 

The mummies were the first to be found in the sand-covered desert rock surrounding the mud-brick Lahun Pyramid, believed to be built by the 12th Dynasty Pharaoh Senusret II, who ruled 4,000 years ago.  

The site, which was first excavated more than a century ago, could give insight into the development of Egyptian funerary architecture and traditions from the Middle Pharaonic Kingdom, all the way to the Roman era. 

Some of the tombs were built on top of graves from earlier eras, and archaeologists have found dozens of mummies, including around 30 that were well preserved. Some were inscribed with prayers intended to help the deceased.  

Author: Hassan Saadallah | Source: The Egyptian Gazette [June 05, 2011]



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