Archaeologists have made some significant discoveries at the Tombs of Saqqara, which is located in the ancient Egyptian capital of Memphis.
One of the most notable discoveries is a 4,300-year-old mummy named Hekashepes. The dead body was discovered inside a stone coffin that was tightly shut at the base of a 33-foot deep hole.
According to Zahi Hawass, Egypt’s former antiquities minister, the mummy is not the oldest known Egyptian mummy, but it is the oldest complete mummy covered with gold. The mummy was discovered with golden layers and also dressed in a tunic, a headband, and a chest bracelet which suggests that he was a rich person.
For instance, the tunic and belt the mummy was wearing might have been an attempt to preserve the living appearance of the deceased.
Among these tombs were those of Khnumdjedef, who was a priest, Fetek, who was a judge and writer, a priest who might have been named Messi, and Meri, who was a royal official. Meri’s tomb is especially interesting because of his title as “the keeper of the secrets.”
The discoveries date back to the Fifth and Sixth Dynasties of the Old Kingdom, which is around 2500 to 2100 B.C.E. Apart from the mummies, the excavation also revealed statues, wall paintings, amulets, tools, and pottery.
The statues discovered in the excavation are intriguing because they provide a glimpse into the art of the Old Kingdom. The diverse range of statues found is a thrilling find for Hawass, as they contain valuable information about art in that period.
For over 3,000 years, Saqqara was used as a burial ground and is now recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Located in the former capital of Egypt, Memphis, the site holds more than twelve pyramids, including the renowned Step Pyramid, which is situated near the shaft where the mummy was discovered.
Egypt has made several significant archaeological discoveries in recent years, including the recent discovery of a complete residential city from the Roman era in Luxor. The discovery of the city, which dates back to the second and third centuries AD, includes residential buildings, towers, and “metal workshops” containing pots, tools, and Roman coins.
The government of Egypt hopes that its Grand Egyptian Museum, which is set to open this year, will draw in 30 million tourists a year by 2028. While the discoveries are significant, critics have accused the government of prioritizing media-grabbing finds over hard academic research to attract more tourism.
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