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Ancient Cemetery Reveals Artifacts

Posted on Aug, 19, 2014
Contributed to WCHV by Alex Ellis
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trayAs reported by Huffington Post and other media outlets last week, a 2,000-year-old cemetery has been discovered near the Nile River in Sudan. The cemetery which contains several underground tombs is located near the Nile River in Sudan. Archaeologists excavated several of the underground tombs, finding artifacts such as a silver ring, engraved with an image of a god, and a faience box, decorated with large eyes, which researchers believe protected against the evil eye.

The cemetery dates back to a time when a kingdom called Kush flourished in Sudan. Based in the ancient city of Meroe (just south of Dangeil) Kush controlled a vast territory; its northern border stretched to Roman-controlled Egypt. At times, it was ruled by a queen. Although the Kushites built hundreds of pyramids, this particular cemetery contains no structures on the surface; the tombs are underground.

Even though the villagers discovered the cemetery accidently in 2002 while digging a ditch near the modern-day village of Dangeil, the archaeological excavations have been ongoing since then by Berber-Abidiya Archaeological Project; a collaboration between Sudan’s National Corporation for Antiquities and Museums and the British Museum and the finds have recently been reported in a new book.

The team has discovered a wide range of artifacts meant to aid the deceased in the afterlife, including several large, a silver ring with an image of a horned deity, an interesting “party tray,” which consists of seven bowls attached together; six of the bowls, engraved with an image of a god, and a faience box, decorated with large eyes. The evil eye is a curse believed to be cast by a malevolent glare, usually given to a person when they are unaware. Many cultures believe that receiving the evil eye will cause misfortune or injury.

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