25 May 2024 The Future is the Product of the Past

Egypt discovers five 4,000-year-old ancient tombs in Saqqara necropolis

The Egyptian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities announced recently the discovery of five 4,000-year-old ancient tombs in the Saqqara archaeological sites southwest of Cairo.

“The Egyptian archaeological mission uncovered five tombs about 100 meters northwest of the Merenre Pyramid in southern Saqqara,” the ministry said in a statement.

According to Mostafa Waziri, the head of Egypt’s Supreme Council of Antiquities, the five tombs — all of which are in good condition — belonged to senior royal officials.

The tombs contain finds and objects dating back to the end of the Old Kingdom spanning from 2686 BC to 2181 BC and the beginning of the First Intermediate Period spanning from 2181 BC to 2055 BC.

The Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities said one of the tombs belonged to a top official named Iry. A limestone sarcophagus and colorful decorations were found in the tomb. This tomb has a shaft that leads to a burial chamber whose walls portray a funeral with offering tables, the facade of a palace, and seven oil pots.

Mostafa Waziri, Secretary General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, views hieroglyphics inside a recently discovered tomb near the famed Step Pyramid, in Saqqara, south of Cairo, Egypt.
Mostafa Waziri, Secretary-General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, views hieroglyphics inside a recently discovered tomb near the famed Step Pyramid, in Saqqara, south of Cairo, Egypt. Photo: SAYED HASSAN/AP

The second tomb, likely belonging to the wife of a person named Yart, has a rectangular shaft.

The third one belongs to a person named Bi Nafarhafayi, who held several positions including the supervisor of the Great House, the chanting priest, and the cleaner of the house.

The fourth tomb, discovered six meters underground, is for Betty, a woman responsible for the king’s makeup and dressing. She was a priestess of Hathor, the goddess of love, beauty, music, dancing, fertility, and pleasure.

The last tomb for a man named Hannu has a seven-meter-deep rectangular shaft. Hannu’s titles include supervisor of the royal palace, mayor, supervisor of the Great House, bearer of the seals of Lower Egypt, and supervisor of an orchard.

The tombs were found near the Step Pyramid of Djoser, in the Saqqara Necropolis, 24km southwest of Cairo.

Footage shared on the ministry’s social media pages showed burial shafts leading to the tombs. Walls were seen decorated with hieroglyphic inscriptions and images of sacred animals and after-life items used by ancient Egyptians.

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 1970s.

Related Articles

Ancient tomb with prayer-related murals found in China’s Shanxi

25 December 2021

25 December 2021

Archaeologists in north China’s Shanxi Province have found an ancient tomb dating back to the Jin Dynasty (1115-1234) with murals...

The Stolen Frescoes were Returned to the Pompeii Archaeological Park

20 May 2021

20 May 2021

Six frescoes ripped from the remains of ancient Roman villas years ago have been returned to the Pompeii archaeological site,...

Archaeologists discover a well-planned new urban precinct in the Egyptian settlement of Marea

2 August 2021

2 August 2021

Archaeologists excavating the ancient port settlement and cemetery of Marea in Egypt have revealed that a significant part of the...

Archaeologists may have found the lost 2,000-year-old ancient city of Bassania in Albania

19 June 2022

19 June 2022

Polish archaeologists may have discovered the 2,000-year-old lost city of Bassania in Albania. The remains of two large ancient stone...

1,800 years old Sewer system found in ancient city of Mastaura

17 May 2022

17 May 2022

Archaeologists found an 1800-year-old sewer system during excavations in the ancient city of Mastaura, in the Nazilli district of Aydın...

A courtesan ‘hetaira’ tomb was discovered in a burial cave during excavations in Via Hebron

27 September 2023

27 September 2023

During excavations in the Via Hebron in Jerusalem, a burial cave containing the tomb of a courtesan (hetaira in Ancient...

A Scientific Surprise: Bering Land Bridge formed surprisingly late during last ice age

1 January 2023

1 January 2023

A new study shows that the Bering Land Bridge, the strip of land that once connected Asia to Alaska, emerged...

4,500-year-old rare Canaanite goddess sculpture found by a farmer in Gaza Strip

25 April 2022

25 April 2022

A farmer in the city of Khan Yunis, in the southern Gaza Strip, found a rare 4,500-year-old stone sculpture while...

Researchers use AI to read words on ancient Herculaneum scroll burned by Vesuvius

13 October 2023

13 October 2023

Researchers used artificial intelligence to extract the first word from one of the first texts in a charred scroll from...

A rural necropolis from Late Antiquity discovered in northeastern France

5 November 2022

5 November 2022

Inrap archaeologists have unearthed a small rural necropolis from the late 5th century (Late Antiquity) at Sainte-Marie-aux-Chênes in northeastern France....

Archeological park to be built at suburban Shanghai ancient ruins site in China

20 October 2021

20 October 2021

An archeological park will be built at the Qinglong Town ruins site of Baihe in Qingpu District as part of...

New study: Humans engaged in large-scale warfare in Europe 5,000 years ago ‘1,000 years earlier than previously thought’

3 November 2023

3 November 2023

Hundreds of human remains unearthed from a burial site point to a  warfare between Stone Age people long before the...

Early Roman Aqueduct Discovered in Turkey’s Aydın Province

27 May 2021

27 May 2021

In the Kuşadasi region of western Turkey’s Aydin, archaeologists and scholars unearthed an approximately 2,000-year-old ancient Roman aqueduct. Experts believe...

Sensational find in Ephesus: more than 1,400-year-old district discovered

29 October 2022

29 October 2022

During this year’s excavations at Ephesus in Turkey, archaeologists from the Austrian Academy of Sciences (AW) discovered an incredibly well-preserved...

Scientists reconstruct Late Bronze and Iron Age Mediterranean silver trade

11 July 2021

11 July 2021

Scientists have recreated the Eastern Mediterranean silver trade across a time span that includes the conventional dates of the Trojan...