35,000-year skeleton at display in Egyptian Museum
Cairo - MENA
A 35,000-year-old skeleton that has been put for display at a fair of antiquities returned from abroad at the Egyptian Museum in Tahrir Square has attracted the interest of visitors.
The skeleton is the oldest human remains discovered in Egypt and the second worldwide. It has been held in Belgium since 1980 after its excavation by a team of archaeologists from the University of Leuven in Belgium in the town of Nazlet Khater in Sohag, Upper Egypt.
Egypt had repatriated the skeleton from Belgium through diplomatic efforts in August.
The temporary fair held at the Egyptian Museum is organized by the Antiquities Ministry on the 10th anniversary of Archaeologists' Day.
The skeleton will be moved from the Egyptian Museum after the fair is over on February 29 to the National Museum of Egyptian Civilization in the early Islamic city of Fustat in Cairo.
The fair, which was opened earlier Thursday by the antiquities minister, displays 198 artifacts that have been restituted from eight foreign countries in the past two years, head of the ministry's repatriated antiquities department Shaaban Abdel Gawad said.
The National Museum of Egyptian Civilization is the only museum of civilization in Egypt and will be the first in the Arab world.
The core exhibition highlights the main achievements of Egyptian civilization according to eight time periods (from Prehistory to Modern) and six thematic galleries cover a variety of subjects; dawn of civilization, the Nile, writing, state and society, material culture and beliefs and thinking.
The climax of the visitor's experience will be the Royal Mummies gallery, which aims to recreate the experience of visiting a royal tomb in the Valley of the Kings.
The museum will focus on intellectual achievements in various historical stages of the ancient Egyptian civilization. It will display rare antiques from the pre-history stage which were collected by Egyptian archaeologist Zaaki Saad from about 1,000 tombs in the period from 1940-1950.