ARCHAEOLOGISTS FIND PHARAONIC SEALS
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[ April 29th 2005 ]

Egyptian archaeologists have uncovered a series of rare Pharaonic seals of soldiers sent out on desert missions in search of red paint to decorate the pyramids, French news agency AFP has reported. The 26 matchbox-sized seals belonged to Cheops, who ruled from 2551 to 2528 BC, in whose honour the greatest of the great pyramids of Giza southwest of Cairo was built, and show Pharaonic soldiers' ranks, AFP is quoted as saying.

Egypt's culture minister, Zahi Hawwas, says the discovery amounts to further understanding of ancient Egyptian rituals, which at the time influenced many of the relics built across Egypt. "These seals were used by a mission sent by Cheops to collect ferric oxide, which is necessary to make red paint. Artisans at the time needed ferric oxide to decorate the pyramids as well as (other) material and funerary installations of the IVth dynasty"

Hawwas said archaeologists also discovered a number of leather bags containing ferric oxide brought back by the 'mission' - a group of 400 men whose job it was to cook during the journey.

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