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Friday, January 25, 2008

Graeco-Roman mummies found in the Fayum

Graeco-Roman mummies, painted wooden sarcophagi, jewellery and papyri have been unearthed in Deir Al-Banat necropolis in Fayoum, reports Nevine El-Aref

Deir Al-Banat necropolis, which lies in the southern Fayoum, comprises a series of rock hewn tombs dating from the Graeco-Roman period through to early Christian times. To the north is a well preserved ruin of a mediaeval monastery with a fired brick church at its centre, a mud brick residential area and a refectory where the monks would have communal meals.

Between 1980 and 1995 the necropolis was the site of major excavations by the Egyptian Antiquities Authority, now the Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA). A collection of intact Roman burials were discovered along with disturbed Coptic graves containing bones and skulls. The necropolis was then neglected until 2002 when a joint Russian-American mission was given permission to conduct excavations and an anthropological survey.
etc. at Al-Ahram.
If the Al Ahram site is still down, the article is cached here

Source: Egyptology News
Russian Academy of Sciences, Center for Egyptological Research

A source for information on pervious excavations at Deir al-Banat: Christianity and Monasticism in the Fayoum Oasis
Essays from the 2004 International Symposium of the Saint Mark Foundation and the Saint Shenouda the Archimandrite Coptic Society in Honor of Martin Krause
Edited by Gawdat Gabra

Deir al Bant is also transliterated: Deir / Dair / Dayr, el / al; not to be confused with Qasr al Banat (Greek Euhemeria).