Egypt unveils tombs and sarcophagus in new excavation

  • In World
  • 2023-01-26 14:20:59Z
  • By Associated Press

SAQQARA, Egypt (AP) - Egypt on Thursday unveiled dozens of new archaeological discoveries, including two ancient tombs, at a Pharaonic necropolis just outside of the capital Cairo.

The artefacts, unearthed during a year-long excavation, were found beneath an ancient stone enclosure near the Saqqara pyramids and date back to the fifth and sixth dynasties of the Old Kingdom, spanning from roughly 2500 B.C to 2100 B.C., the excavation team said.

One of the uncovered tombs belonged to a priest from the fifth dynasty known as Khnumdjedef, while the other tomb belonged to an official named Meri, a palace official who held the title of "the keeper of the secrets," the team said. Other major findings from the excavation include statues, amulets, and a well-preserved sarcophagus.

Egypt's most renowned archaeologist and director of the excavation, Zahi Hawass, personally unveiled the new discoveries from the stone enclosure, known as Gisr al-Mudir.

''I put my head inside to see what was inside the sarcophagus: A beautiful mummy of a man completely covered in layers of gold,'' Hawass said.

The Saqqara site is part of a sprawling necropolis at Egypt's ancient capital of Memphis that includes the famed Giza Pyramids as well as smaller pyramids at Abu Sir, Dahshur and Abu Ruwaysh. The ruins of Memphis were designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in the 1970s.

Thursday's unveiling comes amid a flurry of new discoveries announced by Egyptian authorities over the past week. Near the southern city of Luxor, authorities said they found dozens of burial sites from the New Kingdom era, dating from 1800 B.C. to 1600 B.C. Discovered nearby were the ruins of an ancient Roman city, it said.

In a separate announcement Tuesday, a group of scientists from Cairo University revealed previously unknown details about a mummified teenage boy dating to about 300 B.C. By using CT scans, the team of scientists were able to shed new light on the boy's high social status by affirming the intricate details of the amulets inserted within his mummified body and the type of burial he received.

Egypt often publicly touts its ancient discoveries to attract more tourists, a significant source of foreign currency for the cash-strapped North African country. The sector suffered a long downturn after the political turmoil and violence that followed a 2011 uprising.

Egypt's tourist industry was also hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic and is currently suffering from the fallout from the war in Ukraine. Both Russia and Ukraine formerly comprised a large source of tourists visiting Egypt.


Associated Press writer Jack B. Jeffery contributed to this report from Cairo.


More Related News

What chicken feet tell us about daily life in Egypt
What chicken feet tell us about daily life in Egypt
  • World
  • 2023-03-19 06:22:59Z

Rising food prices mean Egyptians are struggling to put food on the table for their families.

Turkey's top diplomat visits Cairo in effort to mend ties
  • World
  • 2023-03-18 10:45:06Z

Turkey's chief diplomat was in Cairo on Saturday for talks with Egyptian officials as the regional powers seek to mend their frayed ties after years of...

Sister says Brian Powers was
Sister says Brian Powers was 'beautiful person,' turning his life around before 2020 murder
  • US
  • 2023-03-18 10:01:18Z

The details surrounding the 2020 murder of Brian Powers still remain unclear even after the arrest of Bobby Lee Bell.

Top Egyptian and Turkish diplomats hold talks in Cairo amid improving ties
Top Egyptian and Turkish diplomats hold talks in Cairo amid improving ties

Turkey's Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu held talks with his Egyptian counterpart in Cairo on Saturday, in the first such visit after a decade of ruptured ...

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply


Top News: World