Thursday, January 17, 2008
In the tomb of the Egyptian King Psussenes I was found the mummy of the King Sheshonq II. Though lying in the antechamber, not the burial chamber Sheshonq was encased in a coffin of silver in the shape of a falcon.
When the kings coffin was opened it was noticed that a stalky plant had germinated inside the wrappings of the mummy. Roots from this plant encircled the leg bones of the rotted mummy.
On King Sheshonq's arm a simple bracelet of a gold tube with a central element of a Mesopotamian cylinder seal of lapis lazuli. The seal being nearly 1500 years old by the time the Egyptian King's mummy was encased in 890 bc.
In the burial chamber of the same tomb King Psussenes mummy lay with a beautiful necklace around his neck. The necklace was made up of 56 lapis lazuli balls on 2 strings graduating in size and in the center of the 2 strings 2 balls of gold.
The blue color of one of the lapis balls is far outstanding of the others and contained an Assyrian text engraved on it. This text tells us that the ball had been given to the Gods of Assur by a dignitary for the life of his eldest daughter hundreds of years before Psussenes reigned and died in approximately 991 bc.
How an Assyrian bead from a temple treasury and possibly also the lapis seal ended up in the graves of Pharaoh's of Egypt for the time remains unknown.
Whether by conquest or through trade someone had excavated at an ancient temple site in Assyria in the tenth century bc.