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Egyptian, Russian specialists dig up ‘well-preserved’ Greco-Roman era mummy south of Cairo

November 17, 12:26 UTC+3 CAIRO

The wooden casket was discovered during the course of excavations around a Coptic Christian monastery

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An Egyptian worker brushes dust off a wooden coffin containing mummy near the Illahun Pyramid in Faiyum, southwest of Cairo, 2009

An Egyptian worker brushes dust off a wooden coffin containing mummy near the Illahun Pyramid in Faiyum, southwest of Cairo, 2009

© EPA/KHALED EL-FIQI

CAIRO, November 17. /TASS/. An archeological expedition by Egyptian and Russian researchers led to the discovery of an ancient coffin containing a well-preserved mummy in the village of Al Banat in the province El Faiyum, nearly 100 km south of Cairo, Egypt. The archeologists dated their discovery to the Greco-Roman period, chiefly the last years of the epoch Before Christ (BC) and first decades of the Common Era.

Chief Secretary of Egypt’s Supreme Council of Antiquities Mustafa Vaziri announced that the wooden casket had been discovered during the course of excavations around a Coptic Christian monastery. According to Vaziri, the mummy was very well preserved and fully wrapped in linen. The chest section of the coffin lid is decorated with ceremonial pictures, in particular, containing scenes from the life of the Ancient Egyptian goddess Isis, while a mask covers the head of the coffin, chiefly painted blue and gold. The object itself, however, requires an urgent renovation.

The archeological group took immediate steps at the discovery site to ensure the conservation of the mummy coffin and tried to carefully avoid putting it into contact with the surroundings. In the near future, the relic will be transported to a special center of the Supreme Council of Antiquities located at El Faiyum, about 100 km to the south of Egypt’s capital city of Cairo.There, experts will work on restoring and conducting a detailed investigation of the rare and valuable finding.

The backbone of this archeological expedition to Al Banat is made up of scientists from the RAS (Russian Academy of Sciences) Institute of Oriental Studies. They have been working at the Egyptian province of Al Faiyum for seven years now. During that time, the Russian scientists have made quite a few discoveries, with the disclosed ancient casket ranking high on the list of rare relics found by the Russians during the course of field investigations in Egypt.

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