Ancient tomb uncovered in Cairo suburb

Cairo - A domed Pharaonic tomb dating back to the 7th century BC was uncovered in a residential Cairo suburb, officials at the Supreme Council for Antiquities said on Wednesday.

SCA Secretary-General Zahi Hawass told reporters that the tomb was made for a priest during the 26th dynasty.

The tomb was found during the construction of a house in the neighbourhood, which is known to hold ruins underground.

This is the second tomb uncovered in the Matariya neighbourhood this month.

Over 400 small statue figures were found in the tomb with Hawass predicting the number of the tiny statues would reach 408 "as conforming with funeral rituals of that period".

Unable to find the tomb entrance, archeologists removed stones off the dome to enter. They found hieroglyphic writing on a wall indicating the name of the priest but could not continue exploration due to water flooding.

SCA official Rida Suleiman said it would take two weeks to clear the water and continue exploration.

The Matariyah neighbourhood is located within an old city named Heliopolis by the Romans. - Sapa-dpa

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