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Sudan archaeologists unearth bones in pyramid for DNA testing
蘇丹金字塔骨骸 考古學家將進行DNA鑑定

This picture taken on April 24, shows Meroitic pyramids at the archaeological site of Begraweya, about 250km north of Khartoum, the capital of Sudan.
貝格拉維亞考古遺址區的數座美羅埃金字塔,位於蘇丹首都喀土木市北方約兩百五十公里遠,攝於四月二十四日。

Photo: AFP
照片:法新社

Archaeologists in Sudan have reopened an ancient pyramid and extracted bones and artifacts, in order to carry out further examinations including DNA tests.

The items were found in one of three burial chambers in pyramid No. 9 in Begraweya on the Island of Meroe. Located on the east bank of the Nile, the Island of Meroe used to be the capital of the ancient Kingdom of Kush in the Nubia region. It is now listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage site, where Kush kings and queens from the Meroitic Period are believed to be buried.

Named after the nearest village “Begraweya,” the site is home to a group of pyramids famous for the unique construction style of narrow bases and steep angles on the sides, ranging from six meters to 30m tall.

“Pyramid No. 9 belongs to King Khalmani (Adikhalamani) who reigned between 207 BC and 186 BC,” Mahmoud Suleiman, the head of a team of archaeologists, told journalists in Begraweya, about 250km north of Khartoum, the capital and largest city of Sudan, last Tuesday.

The bones so far discovered are believed to have belonged to more than one person and have been shown to journalists by the team of archaeologists in Begraweya. DNA tests should shed light on the relation between the bones, while further items are expected to be recovered from another of the pyramid’s chambers, the team said.

“In the coming days we will open [another of the three burial chambers],” said Murtada Bushara, another archaeologist from the team. This chamber “contains a coffin,” Bushara added. The dig is raising hopes that the remains of King Adikhalamani himself may be uncovered.

This is not the first time the pyramid has been the site of significant activity. American archaeologist George Reisner presided over a dig in 1923 and took artifacts back to Boston.

Sudan’s remote pyramids are not as grand as their better-known cousins in Egypt. The first archaeological digs in Sudan took place only about 100 years ago, much later than in Egypt or Greece.

(AFP)

蘇丹的考古學家日前重新打開一座古老的金字塔,從中採掘出人骨與工藝品,以進行包括DNA鑑定在內的進一步檢驗。

這些文物被發現於美羅埃島的貝格拉維亞第九號金字塔內三個墓室的其中一間。美羅埃島座落於尼羅河東岸,曾經是努比亞地區古老的庫施王國首都。今日美羅埃島被聯合國教科文組織列為世界文化遺產,咸認是美羅埃時期多位庫施國王與皇后的埋骨之處。

此遺址以距離最近的村落「貝格拉維亞」為名,是一個金字塔群的所在地,它們以底座狹窄、側面角度陡峭的獨特建築式樣聞名,高度各為六公尺到三十公尺不等。

考古團隊的主持人馬穆德‧蘇雷曼上週二在貝格拉維亞告訴記者:「第九號金字塔屬於國王喀拉馬尼(阿迪喀拉馬尼),在位時間為西元前二○七年到西元前一八六年之間。」貝格拉維亞位於蘇丹首都暨最大城喀土木市北方約兩百五十公里處。

貝格拉維亞的這組考古團隊相信,目前發現的骨頭並非屬於同一人,還將骨頭展示給記者群看。團隊表示,DNA鑑定應可讓不同骨頭之間的關係明朗化,他們也預期會在同一座金字塔的另一個墓室中挖掘出更多的物件。

團隊的另一名考古學家穆爾塔達‧布夏拉表示:「在接下來的幾天,我們會打開(三個墓室中的另外一間)。」布夏拉補充說:這間墓室「內含一具棺槨。」這個挖掘行動增加了可能發現國王阿迪喀拉馬尼本人遺體的希望。

這並不是該金字塔第一次成為重大考古活動的地點。美國考古學家喬治‧萊斯納曾在一九二三年主持一次挖掘行動,並將當時挖得的工藝品帶回波士頓。

蘇丹偏遠的金字塔不如埃及那些較為人熟知的同類型建築來得雄偉。首次在蘇丹進行的考古挖掘僅僅是大約一百年前的事,晚於埃及或希臘的考古行動許多。

(台北時報章厚明編譯)

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