Tag Archives: Funerary Complex of Harwa and Akhimenru Funerary Complex

Egyptian Monument Used to Destroy Plague Corpses

Egypt-epidemic-discovery-1Archaeologists working at the Funerary Complex of Harwa and Akhimenru in the west bank of the ancient city of Thebes uncovered the gruesome remains of a body-clearing operation created during an epidemic that ravaged Thebes in the third century A.D. The epidemic in Egypt was so terrible that one ancient writer believed the world was coming to an end. (The writer – St. Cyprian and Cyprian’s Plague will be featured next week.)

Egypt-epidemic-discovery-coffins used in kilnsThe archaeologists found bodies covered with a thick layer of lime (historically used as a disinfectant). The researchers also found three kilns where the lime was produced, as well as a giant bonfire containing human remains, where many of the plague victims were incinerated.

Egypt-epidemic-discovery-2nd secADcoffinfaceCheck out the pics of the fire pit with skulls and the coffins and coffin fragments that were burned as fuel in the kilns. (So much for living forever. I knew mummies were burned for fuel in Egypt at one time, but really!)

Credit: Photos by N. Cijan.

Tomorrow, All about Harwa

WEBPAGE & BLOG / FACEBOOK / TWITTER/PINTEREST/AMAZON

Leave a comment

Filed under Event of the Week

A Re-purposed Ancient Egyptian Tomb

egyptian-plague-burial-site-617x416 The Funerary Complex of Harwa and Akhimenru on the west bank of the ancient city of Thebes (modern-day Luxor) in Egypt is our story of the week. The Italian Archaeological Mission to Luxor (MAIL) has worked at the Funerary Complex since 1997 under lead investigator Francesco Tiradritti of the Università di Enna Unikore.

The monument  is one of the largest private funerary monuments of Egypt. It had been constructed in the seventh-century BC in honor of Harwa, a powerful Egyptian grand steward. Akhimenru, his successor, also built his tomb there.

Cenotaph of HarwaTiradritti considers the complex a key monument for studying a peak period in Egyptian art known as the “Pharonic Renaissance” that lasted from the start of the seventh century BC until the mid-sixth century BC. During this time, artists created innovative new works that were rooted in older Egyptian artistic traditions.

The monument was used continuously for burial by Egyptians until it was put to a gruesome use in the third-century AD.  More on that Thursday.

Tomorrow, My Rant on “to” vs “than” vs “from”

WEBPAGE & BLOG / FACEBOOK / TWITTER/PINTEREST/AMAZON

Leave a comment

Filed under Discover History