Archives for September 2012

Great Sphinx’s Missing Nose Mystery

The Great Sphinx of Giza is one of the most extraordinary monuments of Egypt. This large human headed lion guards the front of the Khafra’s pyramid. It is the largest surviving sculpture from the ancient world. Carved from a mound of natural rock is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Egypt.

The actual reason behind the creation of this sculpture is still a mystery. Many believe it was built to guard over the Giza plateau. Some define it as the portrait of Pharaoh Khafre. As it aligns with the rising sun every morning Egyptian rulers thought of it as sun god and worshipped. They named it Hor-Em-Akhet “Horus of the Horizon”. Still inscribed stelae can be found in its small chapel which the Egyptian rulers placed to honor the god.

There’s hardly any person who stand before this great monument and didn’t think about why its nose is broken. If you ask anyone you will hear several stories about the missing nose. Many may refer Napoleon’s archaeologists as culprit. You’ll hear the story of their investigation on this monument and how they couldn’t find anything and broke the nose. At some point you may hear the Mamelukes army’s raid and target practicing on it. But history denied these rumors.

The most probable story is it was removed by a Sufi in the 8th century AD considering it as blasphemous idol. It can’t be certain for sure but the marks clearly showed that the nose was deliberately pried off with chisels. When the Sphinx was built by King Khufu, father of Khafre it was painted dark red and was decorated with stone beard. Also it had a sculpted cobra in its forehead. But it is considered, the Sufi ripened them off and now it looks like a woman’s face.

Mystery of Egyptian Mummies Will be Unraveled in Australia

The mystery of mysterious Egyptian mummies will be unraveled soon. Australian nuclear scientists are working in collaboration with an international team of archaeologists and historians to unravel this mystery. A collection of Egyptian mummies will be checked by this group of experts and they will unravel their gender and age.

Dr Karin Sowada, Honorary Associate at Macquarie University’s Department of Ancient History started her research on origins of these mummies. She was an Assistant Curator at the University of Sydney’s Nicholson Museum where these mummies are now. Through several years of research she found some surprising information about these mummies.

On her research in 2010 and 2011’s she published name and time of death of two mummies. Australian nuclear scientists and international team of experts will help on her future research. The NM R27.3 is the subject of research to this group.

19th centurion western tourists brought lots of mummies, coffins and artifacts during their visit on Egypt. This team will examine the artifacts and date the time of death or civilization. They will analyze coffin style, embalming techniques and wrapping methods. Also techniques like DNA sampling, CT scans and carbon dating will be used to understand the real origin of these artifacts.

The Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organization is the most advanced research reactor in the world. ANSTO scientists will use radiocarbon technique to understand the date and age of these mummies.

This group of experts is tirelessly trying to find out the origin of these artifacts. Most of them were brought around a century ago in Europe. After a long journey they are placed in museums. Hopefully, in the next year this team will publish their search result.