Register for an account

X

Enter your name and email address below.

Your email address is used to log in and will not be shared or sold. Read our privacy policy.

X

Website access code

Enter your access code into the form field below.

If you are a Zinio, Nook, Kindle, Apple, or Google Play subscriber, you can enter your website access code to gain subscriber access. Your website access code is located in the upper right corner of the Table of Contents page of your digital edition.

Planet Earth

Priceless Egyptian Sarcophagi Lids Were Sawn in Half by Smugglers

80beatsBy Veronique GreenwoodApril 4, 2012 7:52 PM

Newsletter

Sign up for our email newsletter for the latest science news

egyptian-mummy-cover-2-600.jpg

Two wooden coffin lids, painted with Egyptian symbols, were recently seized by the Israeli Antiquities Authority

. Carbon dating of the lids has revealed that they are truly ancient: one is between 2,800 and 3,000 years old, dating from the Iron Age, the other between 3,600 and 3,400 years old, from the late Bronze Age. The lids were found during an inspection of a shop in Jerusalem's Old City, and the authorities suspect that they were looted from Egypt sometime during last year's revolution. What were they doing in Israel? Well, it seems there is a loophole in Israeli law that allows antiquities there to receive official papers that allow their sale without any explanation of where they came from. The IAA thinks the smugglers, who sawed the plaster-covered wood lids in half, likely in order to fit them into a suitcase, brought them to Israel to be "laundered" in this fashion. No one has any idea what happened to the sarcophagi the lids covered, or the mummies that rested within. Here is the above lid, at full size:

egyptian-mummy-cover-2-vertical.jpg

2 Free Articles Left

Want it all? Get unlimited access when you subscribe.

Subscribe

Already a subscriber? Register or Log In

Want unlimited access?

Subscribe today and save 70%

Subscribe

Already a subscriber? Register or Log In