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4,300-Year-Old Tombs and Gold-leaf Mummy Discovered in Egypt

Egypt Discovers 4300-year-old Tombs
E4300-Year-Old Tombs and Golf-leaf Mummy Discovered in Egypt. Credit: ‎Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities / Public Domain.

Archaeologists in Egypt have recently discovered four 4,300-year-old tombs and a mummy wrapped in gold leaf.

Gold mummy

The mummy is made up of the remains of a man named Hekashepes and was found preserved within a sarcophagus. It is one of the oldest and most complete non-royal corpses ever discovered in Egypt.

It was discovered in a burial site at Saqqara, which is located 19 miles south of Cairo, down a 15-meter-long (Approx. 50-foot-long) shaft, together with four other tombs.

“I put my head inside to see what was inside the sarcophagus: a beautiful mummy of a man completely covered in layers of gold,” said Zahi Hawass, Egypt’s former antiquities minister, to the Associated Press.

In addition to the layers of gold around him, the mummy wore a band on his head and a bracelet on his chest, signifying that he was a man of great wealth, Hawass told CNN.

The tombs

One of the tombs belonged to a person known as the “secret keeper.”

It is believed that the person known as Khnumdjedef, who served as a priest, inspector, and supervisor of nobles, was the owner of the largest of the mummies that were discovered at the ancient necropolis.

Another belonged to a man named Meri, who held the position of senior palace official and had been granted the title of “secret keeper,” which gave him the authority to carry out particular religious rituals.

A judge and writer by the name of Fetek was laid to rest in the other tomb, which was discovered with a collection of statues regarded to be the biggest to have been unearthed in the region.

A fourth tomb belonged to a priest at the pyramid complex of King Pepi I, which also contained nine beautiful statues.

Among the tombs, archaeologists also discovered a number of other items such as amulets, deity statues, stone vessels, pottery, and a range of everyday tools.

Archaeologist Zahi Hawass, who has also served as Egypt’s minister of antiquities, stated that all of the findings were made between 2686 to 2181 BC during the Fifth and Sixth dynasties of the Old Kingdom.

“This discovery is so important as it connects the kings with the people living around them,” said Ali Abu Deshish, another archaeologist who was part of the excavation.

Saqqara is a burial place that has been in use for more than three thousand years and is now on the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

It is located in what was once the capital of ancient Egypt, Memphis, and is home to more than a dozen pyramids, one of which is the Step Pyramid, located near the shaft in which the mummy was discovered.

In recent years, Egypt has made a number of significant archaeological finds as part of the country’s ongoing attempts to revive its tourism economy.

The government has high expectations that the Grand Egyptian Museum will bring in thirty million tourists annually by year 2028.

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