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Egypt antiquity ministry slams US mission after 'million mummy' controversy

Antiquities ministry claims that recent announcements about a 'million mummies' in a Fayoum necropolis are false

Nevine El-Aref , Friday 19 Dec 2014
discovery
Excavation work
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The Egyptian antiquities ministry has decided to halt its cooperation with an American mission working near Fayoum after accusing the mission of making false statements about the discovery of a necropolis.

According to a ministry statement, the decision comes after the Brigham Young University mission gave false information to a British newspaper about its excavations in Fag Al-Gamous village in Upper Egypt.

The BYU mission announced that its excavators were working in an ancient necropolis dating back some 2,000 years which contains an estimated one million burials. Press reports described the burials as mummies.

The mission has been working on the site for 28 years.

Head of the ministry's ancient Egyptian antiquities department, Youssef Khalifa, told Ahram Online that the statement made by the American mission is “unfounded.”

He said that only one mummy has been unearthed at the site, in 1980, and it is now on display at the Egyptian Museum in Cairo. What the mission has discovered, he continued, are thousands of human skeletons and remains of human bones which are very poorly conserved.

Khalifa also stated that the mission had failed to respect the ministry’s regulations and had broken the law, which stipulates that no foreign mission is allowed to announce a discovery without the approval of the ministry’s permanent committee.

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Sam Enslow
23-12-2014 11:40am
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Sectarian divides even here
It is disappointing to read sectarian comments even on a discussion of archaeological research. These prejudices are tearing Egypt and the Arab world apart. For 28 years this university has worked in Egypt without major problems. The study of and subject only advances when new theories are proposed and debated. The entire educational system of Egypt suffers from those who want to control knowledge and fear having their positions challenged, 'We will tell you what to think. Do not think on your own.'
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Sharon Mullins
21-12-2014 07:01pm
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commmon language used
about a million is a very common phrase in america...used for instance like this "there are about a million cars in this damned gridlock" i guess Egypt doesnt like our colloquialisms
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TheTruthIsHidden
19-12-2014 11:06pm
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Egypt wants to control History!
They have been hiding the artifacts still hidden under the Giza plateau as well as the sphynx. There are massive underground tunnel systems linking up under the sand. They want that fact hidden as well. Why would they want to hide this? The pyramids predate Egypt by millennia, however, Egypt wants you to believe they are the ones that achieved these feats. Therefore they control all information about discoveries and filter for what they want released. Hence the Ministry's permanent committee. The Sumerians knew the pyramids existed and they predate the Egyptians. History is completely wrong and thanks to things like this the truth will remain in the dark. Google,about how they told the team that discovered chambers underneath the sphynx that they could no longer investigate there.
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Lucky
19-12-2014 08:05pm
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But Egypt dawt org already confirmed over a million in 2002
See pdf: Secrets of the Ancient World Revealed Through DNA Apr 1, 2002 Reads..: Fag el Gamous, in the Fayyum (west of Saleh, near the Meidum pyramid). In use be- tween   and  ... Eighty percent of the graves con- tained multiple burials. In the limestone shaft graves, corpses were stacked one on top of another. There is a  to  year difference between the bottommost and uppermost burials, with the number of graves conserva- tively estimated to be ,. Does some math.. 1,000,000 divided by 135,000 equals 7.407407407. So we knows there are more than 7 people buried in each during the 400-500 year span. So if 40 bodies times 135,000 equals 5400000 (5 million) and 5400000 times 80% equals 4320000 (4 million). Wow Egypt... you made that announcement years ago...
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TruthIsHidden
19-12-2014 11:14pm
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Egypt wants to control history
The Egyptian ministry's permanent council wants to control every discover because they want you to believe that they are the ones who achieved these feats. the Sumerians knew about the pyramids and they predate the Egyptians. Google how they told the research team in the 80's they could no longer investigate the chambers they discovered underneath the Sphynx. Unfortunately the truth will remain in the dark and many of the vast mysteries of Egypt will remain unsolved.
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Jenny
19-12-2014 06:13pm
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Mormon jealousy
A mormon mission in Egypt. Glad they lost their permit. Trouble makers. They dont belong there.
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Frank I.
20-12-2014 06:32pm
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Jenny your right - mormons dont belong in egypt or digging in general especially since they dont even have a college edication or digrees of science. its proably best they leav it up to actual scientists and people who know what their talking about like jenni amirite?
Reader
19-12-2014 08:10pm
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Mormon mission? Not even close. It was a BYU excavation and research team. I am not sure how they are trouble makers. They have been there 28 years and have done well during that time. It seems they belong there as much as any research team. I think it is unfortunate that stating the density of bodies multiplied by the area of the burial site equals a new discovery and hence a broken law. The bar for breaking the law in Egypt seems pretty low to me.
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