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Posts tagged Egypt

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4,600-Year-Old Step Pyramid Excavated in Egypt

Owen Jarus, LiveScience:

Archaeologists working near the ancient settlement of Edfu, in southern Egypt, have uncovered a step pyramid that dates back about 4,600 years, predating the Great Pyramid of Giza by at least a few decades.

The step pyramid, which once stood as high as 43 feet (13 meters), is one of seven so-called “provincial” pyramids built by either the pharaoh Huni (reign ca. 2635-2610 B.C.) or Snefru (reign ca. 2610-2590 B.C.). Over time, the step pyramid’s stone blocks were pillaged, and the monument was exposed to weathering, so today, it’s only about 16 feet (5 m) tall.

So this isn’t one of the enormous burial tomb pyramids, but it’s still a pretty neat find. The folks still haven’t figured out why exactly any of these pyramids exist, and I’m always hoping that one of these days the answer to an ancient mystery will turn out to be “just to mess with people 4,000 years in the future.”

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Egypt recovers ancient stolen statue

BBC News:

Egyptian police say they have recovered an ancient statue of Tutankhamun’s sister, stolen during unrest in August.

The limestone figurine believed to be of Ankhesamon was among hundreds of artefacts taken from the museum in Mallawi, amid the unrest following the overthrow of President Mohammed Morsi.

Good news. Before reading this, I had no idea that museums were raided during the august turmoil.

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9 questions about Egypt you were too embarrassed to ask

Max Fisher on The Washington Post's WorldViews blog with background info on the protests in Egypt and the political situation that lead to them:

There are two things to understand here. The first is that Morsi, and there’s no sugar-coating this, did not do a good job as president. He had a difficult task, sure, but he really bungled the economy, which was already in free fall. He did precious little to include non-Islamists. And he took some very serious steps away from democracy, including arresting journalists and pushing through an alarming constitutional change that granted him sweeping powers.

But the second thing to understand is that Egypt is starkly divided, and has been for decades, between those two very different ideologies I mentioned. Many Egyptians don’t just dislike Morsi’s abuses of power, they dislike the entire Islamist movement he represents.

There aren’t nine actual questions on the topic in the post, but there’s some good background there nevertheless.

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Egypt's presidential race: An unexpected lineup

Hamza Hendawi and Sarah El Deeb, AP:

A year ago, anyone from the old regime seemed too tainted to ever hope for power. Though rising to political prominence, the Muslim Brotherhood promised it wouldn’t run for the presidency, wary of seeming too dominant.

Now, the two main contenders to rule Egypt are the Brotherhood’s top strongman and the most feared and powerful figure of Hosni Mubarak’s inner circle - marking how far the nation has changed from the heady days of revolution in the name of liberal democracy.

Good rundown of the current state surrounding the election happening next month.

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Hidden Egyptian pyramids found by infra-red satellite images

Seventeen lost pyramids are among the buildings identified in a new satellite survey of Egypt.

More than 1,000 tombs and 3,000 ancient settlements were also revealed by looking at infra-red images which show up underground buildings.

Sweet.

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