- Title: EGYPT: CZECH ARCHAEOLOGISTS OPEN BASALT SARCOPHAGUS OF PHARAONIC PRIEST
- Date: 28th February 1998
- Summary: ABU SIR, GIZA, EGYPT (FEBRUARY 27, 1998) (RTV - ACCESS ALL) 1. LV/CU OF SANDS/ PYRAMIDS IN BACKGROUND/ GENERAL VIEW OF TOMB SIGN READING "NO ENTRY" (2 SHOTS) 0.07 2. LV EGYPTIAN ANTIQUITIES OFFICIALS OBSERVING SITE 0.12 3. TRACKING SHOT OF STAIRS LEADING TO THE BURIAL CHAMBER 0.20 4. SV PEOPLE WALKING DOWN THE STAIRS 0.25 5. SV WORLERS AND MEDIA GATHERED (2 SHOTS) 0.36 6. TV/CU OF WORKERS UNCOVERING IUFAA'S SARCOPHAGUS/SARCOPHAGUS FACE (4 SHOTS) 0.52 7. TV OF IUFAA'S SARCOPHAGUS WORKERS TYING THE COVER OF THE SARCOPHAGUS WITH ROPES IN ORDER TO LIFT IT 0.59 8. SV MEDIA 1.02 9. SV/CU WORKERS USING A PULLEY TO LIFT OFF THE COVER OF THE SARCOPHAGUS (7 SHOTS) 1.39 10. SV/CU OF THE WOODEN COVER OF THE IUFAA'S MUMMY (3 SHOTS) 1.55 11. MCU ZAHI HAWAS, DIRECTOR OF THE GIZA PYRAMIDS PLATEAU, SAYING "THIS DISCOVERY IS ALSO IMPORTANT BECAUSE IT REVEALS LOTS OF SECRETS, THE SECRETS OF A MAN WHO WAS THE DIRECTOR OF THE PALACE WHICH HIS SARCOPHAGUS WAS OPENED, WAS OPENED AND IT WAS COMPLETELY SEALED. IT WAS A LARGE SARCOPHAGUS MADE OF LIMESTONE, 50 TONNES. INSIDE THAT AS YOU SEE WE FOUND A BASALT SARCOPHAGUS INSCRIBED IN HIEROGLYPHIC AND INSIDE THE INNER SARCOPHAGUS MADE OF WOOD AND INSIDE THAT IS THE MUMMY. ALL OF THIS WAS DECORATED AROUND WITH BEAUTIFUL SCENES FROM THE PYRAMID TEXT AND THE BOOK OF THE DEAD. IT'S VERY IMPORTANT ALSO YOU KNOW BECAUSE THIS IS LIKE A MYSTERY AND IT'S LIKE SOMETHING REALLY THAT YOU DON'T KNOW, THE UNKNOWN. ALL OF US WERE LOOKING THE UNKNOWN, AND THIS IS WHY IT'S WONDERFUL AND I BELIEVE THAT THE SAND OF EGYPT ALWAYS REVEALS LOTS OF SECRETS." (ENGLISH) 2.50 12. SV OF THE WOODEN COFFIN CONTAINING THE MUMMY 2.57 13. SV SAND AND PIT 3.06 14. MCU MIROSLAV VERNER, HEAD OF THE CZECH INSTITUTE FOR EGYPTOLOGY SAYS "WE HAVE ALREADY SUCCEEDED IN TRACING ALL THE INSCRIPTIONS CRAFT IN VERY FINE RELIEF, IN TOTAL, ABOUT 65 SQUARE METERS OF INSCRIPTIONS AND BEAUTIFUL REPRESENTATIONS CONCERNING THE LIFE IN ANOTHER WORLD" (ENGLISH) 3.27 15. SLV OF MEDIA 3.32 Initials Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
- Reuters ID: LVA5FIW3FLM6MXVKSBWV822B2PV7
- Location: ABU SIR, GIZA, EGYPT
- Country: Egypt
- Duration: 00:04:03
- Story Text: In what has become one of the most exciting discoveries of the decade, Czech archaeologists have opened the basalt sarcophagus of a Pharaonic priest who had remained undisturbed since his burial over 2,500 years ago.
Journalists on Friday (February 26) crammed into the 13 square metre (140 square foot) underground tomb of Iufaa, which was discovered by the Czech mission in 1995.
They were waiting for their first glimpse of the coffin belonging to the Pharaonic priest which dates back to 525 BC.
Inside the tomb shaft, labourers dusted off the four-tonne basalt coffin lid with its benign-looking depiction of Iufaa before wrapping it in chains and lifting it.
Spectators gasped as they saw the decorated wooden lining of the tomb and the fragile wooden box containing Iufaa's mummy.Workers removed the canopic jars, furniture and wealth of pottery around the tomb before it was opened.
Archaeologists said that while no gold or jewels were found in the priest's tomb, the richly inscribed sarcophagus and the limestone walls were invaluable for Egyptologists.
Archaeologists said Iufaa probably practised under 26th dynasty Pharaoh Ankhkaenre Psamtik who was dethroned by Persian ruler Cambyses.
Zahi Hawas, director of the Giza pyramids plateau, said the discovery was important becuse it revealed many secrets about not only Iufaa, but about ancient Egypt.
Czech Egyptologist Miroslav Barta said Iufaa's tomb was the first to be discovered intact after British archaeologist Howard Carter opened Pharaoh Tutankhamen's gold-filled burial chamber in 1923.
Barta said the Pharaonic cults had many Persian followers and Iufaa's tomb showed he was highly regarded.
Miroslav Verner, head of the Czech Institute for Egyptology, said the tomb contains about 65 square metres of inscriptions and repesentations of the Egyptian belief in another world.
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