1401. The ancient Egyptian necklace

When Suk Suk Tankamanemanten of Ancient Egypt (around about 4,000 B.C.) died, at the funeral his third wife threw a pearl necklace into his tomb. As she did so, she was heard to say:

أعطي قلادة جميلة أعطيتني. كيف أن كل لؤلؤة مثل دمعة حزني توديع.

For those of you who don’t know Egyptian Arabic, it can be roughly translated as:

I give back the beautiful necklace you gave me. Oh how each pearl is like a teardrop of my grief. Farewell.

Archaeologists have recently rediscovered Suk Suk Tankamanemanten’s tomb.

“We found the most beautiful pearl necklace in the tomb,” said Professor Norman O’Byrne, Head of Religious Studies at Al Mahallah al Kubra University. “The necklace was placed in the tomb so that Suk Suk Tankamanemanten would have something to give to the gods to appease their anger. The goddess of the Nile may have been angry that pearls had been taken from the waters of the Red Sea, so the return of the pearls would allow Suk Suk Tankamanemanten to pass through into bliss.”

“The number of pearls represent the number of days of purgation Suk Suk Tankamanemanten would have to first undergo. The string that held the pearls together was made from reeds straight from the Nile. These reeds were the symbol of the goddess of the river. There can be no doubt that Suk Suk Tankamanemanten was a very important man, perhaps even a noble prince. The necklace would have been placed in the tomb by a High Priest.”

“Genetic scientists were able to examine Suk Suk Tankamanemanten’s DNA. It led to an extraordinary discovery. He was not related in any way to any of the ancient Egyptian dynasties previously known. This is clearly the beginning or the end of an important hitherto unknown dynasty. It is very exciting.”

“The deeper one examines such ancient artefacts the more one realizes how very little we know. And yet each discovery casts further light on the shadows of our ignorance.”

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