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3,300-year-old pink granite sarcophagus of Egyptian 'pyramid keeper' found at Saqqara


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Posted (IP: Staff) ·

Archaeologists in Egypt have unearthed the 3,300-year-old stone sarcophagus of an official whose mummified body was stolen by grave robbers long ago. 

The coffin, carved from pink granite, was crafted for an official named "Ptah-im-wea," who, according to the hieroglyphs inscribed on it, lived during the time of Ramesses II (reign circa 1279 B.C. to 1213 B.C.) and managed a temple that Ramesses II had built at Thebes (modern-day Luxor). 

The hieroglyphic inscription said that Ptah-im-wea supervised the temple's livestock, was head of the temple's treasury and was responsible "for the divine offerings to all the gods," according to a translated statement from the Egyptian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities. 

However, Ptah-im-wea wasn't buried near the temple he managed for Ramesses II. Instead, his coffin was placed beside a pyramid built 1,000 years earlier at Saqqara, an ancient city known for its vast necropolises. 

https://www.livescience.com/pink-granite-sarcophagus-ancient-egypt

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No mention of the fact the sarcophagus was noticeably broken and repaired with butterfly joints. I would think that was one of the more interesting features.

Edited by Oniomancer
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Posted (IP: Staff) ·
On 9/22/2022 at 5:00 PM, Oniomancer said:

No mention of the fact the sarcophagus was noticeably broken and repaired with butterfly joints. I would think that was one of the more interesting features.

Ptah-M-Wia’s mummy was long gone by the time archaeologists from Cairo University discovered his empty sarcophagus. The coffin’s lid was broken, suggesting grave robbers removed the remains, likely in antiquity, reports Live Science’s Owen Jarus. Traces of resin in the sarcophagus testify that it once contained a mummified body.

Archaeologists discovered Ptah-M-Wia’s tomb last year but have only unveiled his sarcophagus now.

https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/sarcophagus-of-a-high-ranking-official-during-ramses-reign-excavated-at-saqqara-180980839/

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The fact they bothered to repair it though suggests one of three primary possibilities:

a. The use of a damaged coffin from the outset due to the cost of replacement (maybe he was a cheapskate and bought it on sale even)

b. A foiled initial intrusion and repair followed by a subsequent intrusion and removal of the body

c. The retention and post-looting repair of the coffin sans body as a cenotaph.

There's a bit of a question to it then that makes it more than just a run-of-the-mill example.

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To add, we can probably rule out c. given that the butterfly members (probably bronze) appear to no longer be in evidence, suggesting they were also removed by looters at some point, unless there was yet another looting after the fact.

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Posted (IP: Staff) ·

Also in the link in my OP and translated.

Quote

 the broken part of the lid was found in the corner of the room near the coffin, and the moth was able to restore it and return it to its original position.

https://www.mota.gov.eg/ar/الأخبار/الكشف-عن-تابوت-من-الجرانيت-الوردي-في-منطقة-آثار-سقارة/?fbclid=IwAR0sIN-izyR-bFH5xkYw90A6N6ok5_TrEMJS3F_URlJVsFkQdOkNBhGZAtY

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Posted (IP: Staff) ·

The coffin of Ptah-em-wia has been found in its underground burial chamber at Saqqara, and features in a TV documentary

National Geographic cameras captured everything while shooting the latest excavation season for an eight-part documentary series, Lost Treasures of Egypt, which begins on 2 October.

https://www.theguardian.com/science/2022/oct/02/egypt-saqqara-ptah-em-wia-archaeologists-discover-sarcophagus-cairo

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