Tutankhamum’s Golden Coffin

5 Important Egyptian Archaeological Discoveries that Provided Leaps in Our Knowledge of the Past

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When it comes to archaeological discoveries, very few countries can measure up to the wealth of Egypt. From the Rosetta stone, to the Valley of the Kings, to the great ancient pyramids at Giza, Egypt holds a large trove of history which includes many important and mysterious discoveries. Rich tombs that date back to antiquity and ancient treasures, as well as an alluring assortment of magnificent temples are testament to the richness of the Egyptian dunes. Even though we are yet to see another wonder of the world, archaeologists continue to discover many important ancient artifacts and sites that precede the Middle Ages. Both old and new discoveries reveal that the country can still deliver unexpected historic gems and wonderful Giza-grade delights. With this in mind, we have decided to take an inventory of some of the most amazing findings that have come out from this great civilization. Below is a brief exposition on some of the oldest Egyptian archaeological discoveries.

Tutankhamum’s tomb produced a wealth of items for archaeologists. Harry Burton: Tutankhamun tomb photographs

Tutankhamum’s tomb produced a wealth of items for archaeologists. Harry Burton: Tutankhamun tomb photographs ( Public Domain )

The Tomb of Tutankhamun

The tomb of Tutankhamun is arguably the “well” of ancient treasures which was discovered in 1922 by Howard Carter and his small team . Up till today, the tomb still remains the most popular historic gem to have ever come out from Egypt’s ancient past.

Among the treasures found in the tomb was the mysterious death mask that belonged to the “boy king” whose rulership was clearly committed to restoring the polytheistic religion of his people.

The death mask of Egyptian pharaoh Tutankhamun is made of gold inlaid with colored glass and semiprecious stone

The death mask of Egyptian pharaoh Tutankhamun is made of gold inlaid with colored glass and semiprecious stone ( CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 )

The huge quantity of artifacts found in the tomb of Tutankhamun gave great insights into culture, religion, design and even technology of the time.

Rosetta Stone

Discovered in 1799, the Rosetta Stone, an ancient artifact that dates back to the time of King Pharaoh Ptolemy V who began to reign at a very early age. Written on the stone is a law that confers the right of rulership on the young ruler who was thirteen at the time the decree was made.

Interestingly, the decree appears in three different languages and was written by a council of priests who were custodians of the law.

The most important fact worth mentioning is the decipherment of Egyptian hieroglyphs occurred in the early 19 th century for which the Rosetta Stone supplied the most helpful clues. At that time, only a few Egyptians were capable of reading ancient hieroglyphic scripts and Rosetta Stone gave people an opportunity to extract missing information, thus solving many puzzles including “The riddle of the Sphinx”.

Detail of two of the three languages on the Rosetta Stone

Detail of two of the three languages on the Rosetta Stone ( CC BY 2.0 )

Without the Rosetta Stone, full deciphering of Egyptian hieroglyphs could have been a long way off.

Oxyrhynchus Papyri

Starting from 1896, more than half a million papyri were discovered among the remains of Oxyrhynchus within the space of eleven years by two great archaeologists, Arthur Hunt and Bernard Grenfell. Further investigations revealed that the retro writing materials could have been introduced around 1,800 years ago. It is believed that the town's dry climate is the reason why the fragments were able to survive for so long.

Papyrus Oxyrhynchus 29

Papyrus Oxyrhynchus 29 ( Public Domain )

Administrative documents transcribed and assembled from the Oxyrhynchus excavation so far include:

  • various and sundry old recipes for hemorrhoids, cataracts and hangover treatment
  • the contract of a wrestler that agrees to throw his next match for a certain fee
  • information regarding a corn dole reflecting the same program in the Roman capital

Such titbits give a fascinating insight into the more everyday goings on in antiquity.

Meteoric Jewelry

Dated to 3200 BC, the Meteoric Jewelry were discovered in 1911 from two different tombs in a cemetery. The metal beads which are arguably the oldest iron artifacts on the planet were made by hammering and rolling the meteorite metal into tiny forms. These were mainly used on necklaces with other fine materials like gold and agate.

Comments

Not black, dna does not support it.

All over the walls of ancient Egypt there are paintings depicting the ancient Egyptians and they are black not white, not Arab but black. The bibles says that one of the sons of Ham founded Egypt and well we all know what's said about ham. I'm always wondering why do the ancient Egyptians get played by whites and arabs only. Even with this video game that I just purchased you very rarely see blacks in it. Hollywood is good at casting whites and arabs to play the major roles and blacks to play servants and slaves. Truth be told, it's just straight up racism at play here and it's not cool at all to do this!! People need to know the truth especially the black people so they can know that they do have a history and it's not just slavery. When a person is given something to reach for it gives that person purpose. By know that the history of blacks didn't start with slavery could be all a black child need to get on the path to a better life. When you've been told that your people were slaves and before then lived in mud huts and that's your history, I'm pretty sure that an do some damage to a person's perception of self. All I'm asking is for the truth to be told! The ancient Egyptians were black and it was a lack nation until the Greeks invaded and conquered. And the arabs didn't show up until around 639 ad and have been there pretty much ever since but there are still remnants of those original people, black people in Egypt and it's sounding countries. Let's just be honest for once and give to those what is owed! Thank you! Proof is in the many pictures on the walls and statues that were left behind!

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Human Origins

Map of sites and postulated migratory pathways associated with modern humans dispersing across Asia during the Late Pleistocene.
Most people are now familiar with the traditional "Out of Africa" model: modern humans evolved in Africa and then dispersed across Asia and reached Australia in a single wave about 60,000 years ago. However, technological advances in DNA analysis and other fossil identification techniques, as well as an emphasis on multidisciplinary research

Ancient Technology

Detail of a star chart dating to the Middle Kingdom.
The calendar is one of mankind’s most important inventions. Calendars allowed societies to organize time for religious, social, economic, and administrative purposes. The calendar, or rather, two sets of calendars, were invented by the ancient Egyptians. One of these was a lunar calendar, which was used mainly for the organization of religious festivals.

Ancient Places

Smuts house
The farmstead of General Jan Smuts on the outskirts of Pretoria, is reputed to be one of the most haunted private homes in the country, according to Mr Mark Rose-Christie, raconteur and social scientist, who regularly takes brave visitors on a tour of haunted sites on his mystery ghost bus.

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At Ancient Origins, we believe that one of the most important fields of knowledge we can pursue as human beings is our beginnings. And while some people may seem content with the story as it stands, our view is that there exists countless mysteries, scientific anomalies and surprising artifacts that have yet to be discovered and explained.

The goal of Ancient Origins is to highlight recent archaeological discoveries, peer-reviewed academic research and evidence, as well as offering alternative viewpoints and explanations of science, archaeology, mythology, religion and history around the globe.

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By bringing together top experts and authors, this archaeology website explores lost civilizations, examines sacred writings, tours ancient places, investigates ancient discoveries and questions mysterious happenings. Our open community is dedicated to digging into the origins of our species on planet earth, and question wherever the discoveries might take us. We seek to retell the story of our beginnings. 

Ancient Image Galleries

View from the Castle Gate (Burgtor). (Public Domain)
Door surrounded by roots of Tetrameles nudiflora in the Khmer temple of Ta Phrom, Angkor temple complex, located today in Cambodia. (CC BY-SA 3.0)
Cable car in the Xihai (West Sea) Grand Canyon (CC BY-SA 4.0)
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