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Egypt discovers five 4 000-year-old ancient tombs

The Egyptian archaeological mission uncovered five tombs, about 100m northwest of the Merenre Pyramid in southern Saqqara, the ministry said in a statement on Thursday. Picture: Reuters.

The Egyptian archaeological mission uncovered five tombs, about 100m northwest of the Merenre Pyramid in southern Saqqara, the ministry said in a statement on Thursday. Picture: Reuters.

Published Mar 18, 2022

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Cairo - The Egyptian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities announced on Thursday 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 100m northwest of the Merenre Pyramid in southern Saqqara, the ministry said in a statement on Thursday.

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The tombs contain finds and objects dating back to the end of the Old Kingdom, spanning from 2 686 BC to 2 181 BC, and the beginning of the First Intermediate Period spanning from 2 181 BC to 2 055 BC.

One tomb belongs to a senior statesman named Iri, and 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.

Inside the tomb are a huge limestone sarcophagus and carved pieces belonging to the owner of the tomb.

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

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

The fourth tomb, discovered 6m 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.

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The last tomb, for a man named Hannu, has a 7m-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.

In the past few years, many discoveries were made in the Saqqara sites, including hundreds of coloured coffins containing well-preserved mummies of senior statesmen and priests from the 26th Dynasty, according to the statement.

Xinhua

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