ARCENCPostings

Monday, November 14, 2016

Coastweek - The most from the coast


http://www.coastweek.com/3946-culture-08.htm

FAIYUM, (Xinhua) -- A visitor views the Sobek’s Temple while a visitor takes pictures of the artefact with mobile phone at Kom Aushim Museum in Faiyum, Egypt, Nov. 3, 2016. Amid the ruins of the Ptolemaic town of Karanis in Egypt’s Faiyum governorate, a graceful museum that houses hundreds of priceless artifacts illustrating the daily life of the ancient inhabitants of the city was reopened after 10-year closure. XINHUA PHOTO: MENG TAO AND AHMED GOMAA
Eye-catching Egyptian antiquities of Greco-Roman
eras shine again as museum reopens in Faiyum 

by Ahmed Shafiq FAIYUM, Egypt (Xinhua) -- Amid the ruins of the Ptolemaic town of Karanis in Egypt’s Faiyum governorate, a graceful museum that houses hundreds of priceless artifacts illustrating the daily life of the ancient inhabitants of the city was reopened after 10-year closure.

“It might be small but in terms of value, this museum is very rich,” Egypt’s Antiquities Minister Khaled al-Anany told Xinhua during the opening ceremony of Kom Aushim Museum, which was first built in 1974.

Located at a large oasis 50 miles southeast of the capital Cairo, Kom Auhsim is the only museum in Faiyum governorate and it was closed in 2006 for restorations. The two-storey museum now showcases 314 pieces found in Faiyum which date from the prehistoric to Roman periods.

“Today we are opening this rich museum which has been closed for 10 years...this could have been restored and reopened years ago as it did not cost much to renovate it, but we had to meet some security demands and in the end the museum is opened now,” the minister said as he toured the corners of the museum.

The museum is located on the edge of the ancient site of Karanis which was founded as a military settlement by Ptolemy II Philadelphus in the 3rd Century B.C.

The town flourished as a center of agriculture and trade for more than seven hundred years. Now, the remnants of a once bustling rural community, including the foundations of mud-brick homes, courtyards, and the two main avenues that once ran through the town, remain standing.

Just near the museum, two stone temples from the Ptolemaic period are located on a mound at the edge of the Faiyum desert, one of which dates back to the 1st century B.C. and is dedicated to the crocodile god Sobek (or Souchos, as the Greeks called him).

The museum is now home to artifacts that demonstrate these eras such as glassware, potteries, jewelries and ornaments used by the ancient residents of the town.

On the second floor of the red-wall building, visitors can find and admire the treasure of the museum, the famous “Faiyum Personal Portraits.” Those portraits were painted on wood to cover the face of the mummy during the Greco-Roman times as ancient Egyptians at that time had a belief of resurrection. They believed that painting the features of the dead will help the spirits recognize the body.

Egypt has been working hard to preserve its archaeological heritage and discover the secrets of the archaeologies of Pharaohs and other ancient civilizations across the country in a bid to revive the country’s ailing tourism sector which has been suffering an acute recession over the past few years due to political turmoil and relevant security issues.   

The ministry of antiquities announced in October that scientists discovered two anomalies inside Khufu Great Pyramid, which was built 4,500 years ago, adding that one is located at the upper part of the entrance gate and the second at its northeastern side.

Last year, Egypt conducted several radar scans of the tomb of Egypt’s ancient King Tutankhamen in Luxor in Upper Egypt after British Egyptologist Nicholas Reeves suggested that Queen Nefertiti’s crypt may be buried in hidden doorways behind the King’s 3,300-year-burial place.

The scans revealed that there are two hidden chambers behind the tomb, and scientific research operations are still ongoing at the site.

“We have a unique heritage and we are the protectors of the international heritage in Egypt...it is our duty and it is also a big responsibility because we have the richest cultural heritage all over the world and I hope tourists will come again very soon with big numbers because my ministry needs the income of the tourists to be able to protect and restore the monuments,” the minister told Xinhua.


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