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Landslide leads to Sohag archaeological find

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Well-preserved underground compartment features relief carvings about the first pharaoh of the Middle Kingdom, Mentuhotep II

The Supreme Council of Antiquities discovered an ornately decorated underground compartment dating back to the 11th dynasty, after looters set off a landslide in the village of Arabat-Abydos in Sohag.

The compartment features relief carvings about the pharaoh Mentuhotep II, the Middle Kingdom’s first pharaoh who ruled Egypt between 2045 and 1995 BC, said Mamdouh Al-Damaty, Minister of Antiquities and Heritage.

The newly-discovered compartment is a rare antiquity belonging to Mentuhotep II, who was interested in building monuments for himself outside the ancient holy city of Abydos. He built many monuments in an attempt to extend his authority north and please the god Osiris Khenti Amentiu, Al-Damaty said.

The compartment was discovered during a survey following an “illegal excavation attempt”, he said.

A team of archaeologists has started working to preserve the compartment walls, which show signs of erosion due to sewage water leaking under the houses in the village, the statement said.

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Marwa Morgan

Marwa Morgan

Arts and Culture Editor

Marwa is a journalist and street photographer interested in cultural identities and contemporary art. Her website is www.marwamorgan.com. Follow her on twitter @marwamorgan.

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