Egyptian mummies almost 3,000 years old found in Kiev
ARCHAEOLOGISTS have discovered Egyptian mummies, believed to be almost 3,000 years old, and a rare mummified crocodile in the depths of a cathedral in Ukraine.
The two mummies, complete with elaborately decorated stone coffins, were found in Kiev’s Pechersk Lavra.
Also known as the Monastery of the Caves, the historic Orthodox Christian monastery revealed its hidden treasures during an audit.
The artefacts were recovered after spending many years hidden in a museum archive with the Egyptian artefacts believed to date as far back as the 11th century BC.
The mummies were discovered during an audit
The search also uncovered a rare mummified 161-centimetre crocodile, believed to be from the Temple of Horus and Sobek at Kom Ombo, as well as several canopies – funerary vessels used to store internal organs.
Mykola Tarasenko, doctor of historical sciences, said: “This mummy comes from the Temple of Horus and Sobek at Kom Ombo.
“Crocodiles were considered to be sacred to Sobek. I know only of two or three crocodiles this big in Italy. And there’s one in the British Museum.”
One of the mummies is yet to be identified
The 3,000-year-old mummy of a woman named Menat, a singer in the temple of Amon in Ancient Egypt was discovered inside one of the stone coffins, or sarcophagi.
Experts say the finding is unusual due to Menat’s hands being positioned in a style commonly used in male burials.
According to historians, her head was accidentally severed from her body during frequent transportations.
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A rare mummified crocodile was also discovered during the audit
A rare mummified crocodile was found during the audit
The second mummy was of a male, whose identity remains a mystery.
However, clues from his coffin suggest he was a member of Egypt’s elite, with the burial style customary of the 11th and 10th centuries BC in Thebes, the capital of ancient Egypt.
Yevhen Nyschuk, minister of culture of Ukraine, said: “For Ukraine, these kinds of findings are a testament to the fact that relics of other world civilisations are stored on our territory.
“This gives the possibility for a whole school of egyptology to develop.
“The finds will be exhibited to a wide audience. Soon we’ll organise either on this complex’s territory, or in another museum, a special hall designed with all the conditions in mind to preserve these artefacts.”
The rare mummies date back 3,000 years
It is believed the mummies came to the Ukraine in the second half of the nineteenth century.
The forgotten relics were last exhibited in Kiev during the 1970s, during a time when Egyptian artefacts were used in atheist propaganda.