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Thursday, August 14, 2014

Unique treasures in the Sudan underground cemetery

A 2,000-year-old cemetery found near the Nile river in Sudan. The villagers accidentally discovered the cemetery in 2002, while digging a ditch in the Dangeil village. Since then archaeologists continue excavation there. Interestingly, some of the tombs there lies underground.
The Meroe desert, north of Khartoum. (Picture from: http://bit.ly/1pNraXs)
Archaeologists who excavated a numbers of tombs said that they were found a treasure trove artifacts such as silver ring engraved with images of gods, also decorated ceramic box with a large eye shape - which, experts believe, as a protection against the 'evil eye'.

The cemetery was derived from the time when the kingdom called Kush flourished in Sudan. The kingdom was centered in the ancient city of Meroe, which are close to Dangeil, and the Kush was control wide area. Its northern border stretched to Egypt which was then controlled by the Romans. In those Kush led by a queen.
Ancient tomb in Dangeil - Sudan. (Picture from: http://bit.ly/1sXwGIl)
Although Kush nations built hundreds of pyramids, the underground cemetery that did not contain a structure on it. "Until now we do not know the exact size of the cemetery," said Mahmoud Suliman Bashir, an archaeologist from the National Corporation for Antiquities and Museums (NCAM) Sudan to the LiveScience, on Wednesday, August 13, 2014.

NCAM in collaboration with the British Museum for the cemetery excavated. The two institutions have recently published an online book titled 'Excavations in the Meroitic Cemetery of Dangeil, Sudan' - to reveal more details what they find there.
A ceramic box decorated with eyes was found in Dangeil ancient cemetery. (Picture from: http://bit.ly/1sXwGIl)
"The tradition of Kush funeral describe beliefs about life after death spread there. It was why the objects and the food included with the bodies," writes Bashir and his colleagues from the British Museum, Julie Anderson in their book. "The items were believed to be needed late in the life after death." The team also found a number of objects that are intended to be a provision in the hereafter. Includes a large bottle of beer that was once made ​​from sorghum.

In one of the tombs, they found a silver ring engraved image of horned god. The object is restored and cleaned in the British Museum. Experts believe, so the jewelry depicting the Amun god - which in the Kingdom of Kush - often depicted with a head that looks like a ram. A temple for the worship of Amun from the same period have also been found in the Dangeil cemetery. Also found a treasure ceramic box decorated with eyes, which by the Kush and Ancient Egyptians called "udjat". "Some sort of ritual rules to protect yourself from the 'devil eyes'," said Bashir

At the funeral, the archaeologists also found the 'tray party' is interesting, which is composed of 7 dishes are laid out together - where 6 bowls surrounding the existing one in the middle. "It's very unique, we've never found anything like it anywhere," said Bashir. "It could be used for food, 7 types in one place."

In the other tomb contains a bow and the body of a man who uses a stone ring on his thumb. "The ring on the thumb is known as an object that is associated with archery, which is used to draw the bowstring back."

In Kush, archery has an important role in the society. The king and queen even wear a ring on the thumb. The war god of Kush, Apedemak, who headed lion is also engraved on the bow were found.

Dangeil, the site location of the Kingdom of Kush located in fifth 'cataract' of the Nile. There excavations conducted by Berber-Abidiya Archaeological Project, a collaboration between NCAM and the British Museum. *** [EKA | FROM VARIOUS SOURCES | LIVESCIENCE]
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