Articles and Features

The Tomb of Iufaa

Week of March 8, 1998

I'm all a flutter. The news came to me Sunday from Mike that he had seen something about a new tomb on CNN. I was in a frenzy as he described the short news story which said that an undisturbed tomb had been found in Egypt. I immediately looked at CNN online and looked for the story, but it wasn't on their home page. After about a half hour of searching, I found the story my husband talked about.

An undisturbed tomb of the pharaonic priest, Iufaa, was found in 1995. On February 27, 1998, the archaeologists opened the sarcophagus, revealing the wooden coffin lid. I'm excited and wishing for a passport at this point. I can envision the privileged few who were allowed into the tomb to see the opening of the sarcophagus. I can smell the dust in the air and the anticipation oozing from the pores of all involved. I am insanely jealous of the archaeologists who have finally come to this point.

Then, I think about the man, Iufaa, who died in 525 B.C. He was a contemporary of Pythagoras, Aesop, Theognis, Confucius and Heraclitus. He lived in an Egypt that was under Persian rule, and may have even hated the Persian pharaoh he worked for. What kind of world did this priest live in? This is the sort of learning that school never gave me. I was force-fed information that didn't interest me and starved for the data that did. Step into the philosophy of Iufaa's world.

Introduction and quote compilation by Laura S. Moncur, Staff Writer.

"Friends share all things."
Pythagoras, from Diogenes Laertius, Lives of Eminent Philosophers
"Appearances often are deceiving."
Aesop, The Wolf in Sheep's Clothing
"Nothing endures but change."
Heraclitus, from Diogenes Laertius, Lives of Eminent Philosophers
"No man takes with him to Hades all his exceeding wealth."
Theognis, Elegies
"Fine words and insinuating appearance are seldom associated with true virtue."
Confucius, The Confucian Analects, 1:3
"Reason is immortal, all else is mortal."
Pythagoras, from Diogenes Laertius, Lives of Eminent Philosophers
"Don't count your chickens before they are hatched."
Aesop, The Milkmaid and Her Pail
"You could not step twice into the same rivers; for other waters are ever flowing on to you."
Heraclitus, On the Universe
"We would often be sorry if our wishes were gratified."
Aesop, The Old Man and Death
"What you do not want done to yourself, do not do to others."
Confucius, The Confucian Analects, 15:23
"We did not flinch but gave our lives to save Greece when her fate hung on a razor's edge."
Simonides, Cenotaph at the Isthmos
"No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted."
Aesop, The Lion and the Mouse
"It takes a wise man to recognize a wise man."
Xenophanes, from Diogenes Laertius, Lives of Eminent Philosophers
"I am not one who is born in the possession of knowledge; I am one who is fond of antiquity, and earnest in seeking it there."
Confucius, The Confucian Analects, 7:19
Featured Books
The following books and tapes are available through
  • The Discovery of the Tomb of Tutankhamen Paperback by Howard Carter - This book was written by the archaeologist that discovered King Tutankhamen's tomb. Considered by some to be embellished greatly, it was originally released in three volumes in the years 1923, 1927 and 1933. The version I own (published in 1972) has 17 color plates and 63 black and white pictures. This paperback version may have more or less illustrations, but it is worth it just for the story.
  • Life of the Ancient Egyptians Hardcover by Eugen Strouhal - Nearly three hundred color and black and white photographs illustrate the life of a citizen of ancient Egypt. The twenty chapters cover all aspects of life from birth to death, marriage to war (they're the same, aren't they?) and education to dress and adornment. All walks of life are covered, including farmers, scribes, temple workers, shipbuilders, and managers. This is not the myopic view of ancient Egypt through the eyes of the pharaohs.
  • Akhenaten : King of Egypt Paperback by Cyril Aldred - Akhenaten, the heretic king, who believed in worshipping only one deity, the sun. Nefertiti, his loving queen, her image is still used today to symbolize beauty and grace. Written by the late Cyril Aldred, this book follows the lives of the most controversial pharaoh and his wife, Nefertiti.
  • The Complete Valley of the Kings : Tombs and Treasures of Egypt's Greatest Pharaohs Hardcover by C. N. Reeves, Richard H. Wilkinson, Nicholas Reeves - A book that covers the Valley of the Kings. Includes diagrams of the tombs and pictures of treasures. Read the customer comments about this great book.
For more information about Egypt and the tomb of Iufaa, try these links:
  • Archaeologists Open Ancient Tomb in Egypt - The Reuters press release at the opening of priest Iufaa's tomb written by Miral Fahmy.
  • Guardian's Egypt - This site is wonderful. It has a quick download, and tons of information and links. There is even a chat section so you can talk to other Egyptophiles. The Famous pharaohs section contains only three pharaohs (?!) but they do plan on adding more. The CyberJourney tours download quickly and the one for the Sphinx is fascinating. Check them out!
  • Secrets of the Lost Tomb - Another recent discovery that made my mouth water and my desire for a passport soar. The tomb that supposedly holds the remains of up to 50 of Ramses the Great's sons. Lots of multimedia at this site (video and sound clips). All thanks to Time Magazine (1995).
  • Egyptology - The links at Yahoo under Egyptology.
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