A collection of codexes that are thought to have been lost to time are found in an ancient Egyptian tomb in a remote part of the country, but it is unclear how the artefacts were preserved.
Key points:Archaeologists say they have unearthed the oldest codex ever foundCodex stonford is thought to date back to the 3rd millenniumBCCodex imaging shows the ancient Egyptian language is being usedCodex PC was created in the 4th millenniumBCArchaeological digs at a tomb in an isolated region of the desert discovered the codicesCodex gigastes was created between 2nd and 4th centuriesBCCodices PC and gigastas are both dated to around 3rd to 4th centuryBCCodics PC is believed to be around 4th to 5th centuryADAM SONNE/FAIRFAX NZThe ancient Egyptian codex has been discovered in an archaeological dig in an area of the Sahara that is known to be a hotbed of piracy.
Researchers from the University of Canterbury have been working in the area for more than three years and found the oldest artefact yet found in a site where ancient Egyptians lived.
The artefacts included a scroll containing the hieroglyphic writing of the name of a god called Hathor.
The codices PC was a papyrus scroll that was used to record the names of the gods in the Egyptian language, and was later destroyed by the pharaoh Amenhotep IV.
The researchers found the codicies PC and the gigastis are the oldest known artefacts to be found in the same area of northern Egypt.
They were found in ruins dating back to 2nd to 4-4th centuries BC, and it is unknown how they were preserved for thousands of years.
“They are the earliest known examples of writing in the ancient world,” said Dr Sona Sonne from the Department of Archaeology at the University.
“It’s a really important find because the codics PC and megastas were produced at a time when there was a lot of piracy and plundering going on, which means they were probably written and used by the people in that period.”
The researchers also found two artefacts, codices of Hathor and Thoth, which are believed to date to between the 4 and 5th centuries.
“We think they were made by a group of people that were involved in trade with the neighbouring cultures in the region and it would be a really interesting find to find these early examples of communication between the two,” Dr Sonne said.
“The fact that these were created at a very different time to the later ones would also be interesting.”
This is the earliest evidence that any artefacts in the world have been discovered that have been preserved at the same time.
“The codex PC is thought by many to have existed at the tomb of the pharaonic king Amenhoteps son Amenhoteph, and is believed by some to be the most important and important artefact of the ancient Egypt.
The PC codices codices are believed by many scholars to have belonged to the pharoah, who ruled Egypt for more then 2,000 years.
The codices were found near a cemetery at an altitude of 1,500 metres.”PC is the oldest surviving written language in the entire ancient world and the codiced pharoahs are the first to have written this language.”
Thoth is the second oldest known language in existence.”
I think the codice PC is probably a great example of writing that is used by both ancient Egyptians and the people living in that time,” Dr Sone said.”[The codics codices] are probably being used as a medium to record these important records in the pharonic culture.