CAIRO: Egypt retrieved a 35,000-year-old human skeleton that had been held Belgium since 1980, Antiquities Minister Mamdouh al-Damaty announced Monday.
“The recovery of the skeleton is a culmination of comprehensive diplomatic efforts between the ministry and the Belgian Leuven University, which held the skeleton for over 35 years over academic and scientific research purposes,” said Damaty in a statement released on the ministry’s Facebook page.
The fragmentary skeleton was originally discovered in 1980 in a grave on the boulder hill at Nazlet Khater, a series of eight archaeological sites with Middle and Upper Paleolithic occupations located at the edge of the desert north of Upper Egypt’s Sohag governorate.
The skeleton, scheduled to arrive in Cairo next week, will be transported to the partially inaugurated National Museum of Egyptian Civilization (NMEC) in Cairo’s southern district of al-Fustat, Head of the Antiquities Ministry’s Restored Artifacts Department Ali Ahmed said.
“A committee of specialists is currently studying the best way to display the skeleton at the NMEC,” Ahmed added.
Archeologists at the University of Leuven could not be reached for comment Tuesday.