Swedish woman missing from holiday in Egypt

The failure of a 25-year-old Swedish woman to return home from a recent trip to an Egyptian resort in Sharm el Sheikh has sparked concern among relatives and prompted police to issue missing persons appeal.

Swedish woman missing from holiday in Egypt

Gabriella Gardell was due to return from her sun, sea and sand holiday in Sharm el Sheikh on Monday August 27th.

But she never boarded the plane home and Swedish police have since issued an international search warrant.

“We are really worried. Gabriella usually gets in touch several times a day,” her sister Alexandra told the Aftonbladet newspaper.

After working all summer as a restaurant manager in Visby on the Baltic island of Gotland, Gabriella decided to treat herself to a relaxing holiday in Egypt.

On Saturday, she sent a text message to her family from the luxury hotel Tropitel Naama Bay in Sharm el Sheikh, where she was staying.

“Am lying by the pool and having a really nice time,” she wrote.

That was the last that Gabriella’s family heard from her. Since then, they have been searching for her frantically.

The family first contacted the local police in Gotland to report Gabriella as missing.

The Gotland police, in turn, sent the details to the National Bureau of Investigation (Rikskriminalpolisen) in order to put out an international search warrant.

David Smitterberg at the Gotland police department said it is too early to say what could have happened to Gabriella.

“We are focusing on getting more information and are trying to rule out potential crimes, but it is way too early to make a statement either way,” said Smitterberg.

The family has been in contact with the Swedish embassy in Egypt as well as the hotel, which reported that Gardell is no longer staying there.

They have also sought help from the organization Missing People Sweden, which has listed Gardell on their Facebook page in hopes that a member of the public may have information about her whereabouts.

“We just want her home. I just want to hear that she is OK,” Alexandra Gardell told Aftonbladet.

Anyone with an information about Gabriella is encouraged to contact the Swedish police at 114 14.

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Swedish archeologist finds ancient mass grave in Egypt

A Swedish archeologist has discovered a 3,000-year-old mass grave at the Gebel el-Silsila site in southern Egypt.

Swedish archeologist finds ancient mass grave in Egypt
John Ward and the team with one of the sarcophogi. Photo: Gebel El Silsila Project
Maria Nilsson, Researcher in Classical Archeology at Lund University, told Sweden’s TT newswire that although her group had so far dug through less than half of the grave site, they had already found a large number of human remains. 
“It’s just skeleton after skeleton after skeleton,” she said. “We haven’t yet finished the first chamber, but we have so far taken up 50 adults and 25 children.” 
Nilsson and her British husband John Ward, who is the project’s Assistant Director, announced the discovery in a video after it was announced by the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquity on Thursday. 

The group discovered the shaft last year, but only realised its full significance when they started digging this October. The shaft was found five metres under ground and leads to two chambers, each filled with water, sand and sludge. 
View to the south-east of chamber 1. Photo: Gebel el Silsila Project
The grave is thought to date from Egypt’s 18th dynasty, making it around 3,400 years old. As well as bodies, the archeologists have found burial goods, such as scarabs, amulets, and different types of pots, coming from three generations of pharoahs: Thutmosis II, III och Amenhotep II.
Writing in her blog, Nilsson, said that no similar mass grave had been found as part of the dig. 
“No other tomb documented at Gebel el-Silsila previously has contained such a high number of entombed individuals,” she wrote.
“One of the more important results of the discovery at Gebel el-Silsila is the amount of buried children and women, indicating that there was a complete society with entire families living and working in ancient Kheny.”
Men-Kheper-Re scarab. Photo: Anders Andersson
“What we can see from the burial goods and the actual architecture of the tomb is that they belonged to the upper middle-class,” Nilsson said. “For various reasons, we believe that they were involved in quarry work.” 
The archeologists have several theories for why so many bodies were collected in the same place. 
Perhaps it was a kind of temporary morgue where Egypt’s priests kept bodies while waiting for grave sites to become available. Perhaps there had been an epidemic.   
In February Maria Nilsson and John Ward are returning to Sweden, and will be returning to the burial place next autumn. 
View from the shaft into chamber.  Photo: Anders Andersson