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Archaeologist hails possibly 'oldest' mummy yet found in Egypt

Archaeologist hails possibly 'oldest' mummy yet found in Egypt

Friday, January 27, 2023, 09:40 GMT+7
Archaeologist hails possibly 'oldest' mummy yet found in Egypt
People work at the site after the announcement of the discovery of 4,300-year-old sealed tombs in Egypt's Saqqara necropolis, in Giza, Egypt, January 26, 2023. Photo: Reuters

CAIRO -- Egyptologists have uncovered a Pharaonic tomb near the capital Cairo containing what may be the oldest and "most complete" mummy yet to be discovered in the country, the excavation team leader said on Thursday.

The 4,300-year-old mummy was found at the bottom of a 15-metre shaft in a recently uncovered group of fifth and sixth dynasty tombs near the Step Pyramid at Saqqara, Zahi Hawass, director of the team, told reporters.

An Egyptian archaeologist restores antiquities after the announcement of new discoveries in Gisr el-Mudir in Saqqara, in Giza, Egypt, January 26, 2023. Photo: Reuters

An Egyptian archaeologist restores antiquities after the announcement of new discoveries in Gisr el-Mudir in Saqqara, in Giza, Egypt, January 26, 2023. Photo: Reuters

The mummy, of a man named Hekashepes, was in a limestone sarcophagus that had been sealed in mortar.

An artifact is displayed after the announcement of the discovery of 4,300-year-old sealed tombs, which have made a number of important archaeological discoveries dating to the fifth and sixth dynasties of the Old Kingdom, also stated that the expedition had found a group of Old Kingdom tombs, indicating that the site comprised a large cemetery, where the most important tomb belonged to Khnumdjedef, an inspector of the officials, a supervisor of the nobles, and a priest in the pyramid complex of Unas, the last kind of the fifth dynasty, in Egypt's Saqqara necropolis, in Giza, Egypt, January 26, 2023. Photo: Reuters

An artifact is displayed after the announcement of the discovery of 4,300-year-old sealed tombs, which have made a number of important archaeological discoveries dating to the fifth and sixth dynasties of the Old Kingdom, also stated that the expedition had found a group of Old Kingdom tombs, indicating that the site comprised a large cemetery, where the most important tomb belonged to Khnumdjedef, an inspector of the officials, a supervisor of the nobles, and a priest in the pyramid complex of Unas, the last kind of the fifth dynasty, in Egypt's Saqqara necropolis, in Giza, Egypt, January 26, 2023. Photo: Reuters

"This mummy may be the oldest and most complete mummy found in Egypt to date," Hawass, one of Egypt's former ministers of antiquities, said in a statement.

An Egyptian archaeologist restores antiquities after the announcement of the discovery of 4,300-year-old sealed tombs in Egypt's Saqqara necropolis, in Giza, Egypt, January 26, 2023. Photo: Reuters

An Egyptian archaeologist restores antiquities after the announcement of the discovery of 4,300-year-old sealed tombs in Egypt's Saqqara necropolis, in Giza, Egypt, January 26, 2023. Photo: Reuters

Among other tombs found was one belonging to Khnumdjedef, an inspector of officials, a supervisor of nobles and a priest during the reign of Unas, last pharaoh of the fifth dynasty. It was decorated with scenes of daily life.

A general view inside a tomb after the announcement of the discovery of 4,300-year-old sealed tombs in Egypt's Saqqara necropolis, in Giza, Egypt, January 26, 2023. Photo: Reuters

A general view inside a tomb after the announcement of the discovery of 4,300-year-old sealed tombs in Egypt's Saqqara necropolis, in Giza, Egypt, January 26, 2023. Photo: Reuters

Another tomb belonged to Meri, "keeper of the secrets and assistant to the great leader of the palace".

A statue is displayed after the announcement of the discovery of 4,300-year-old sealed tombs, which have made a number of important archaeological discoveries dating to the fifth and sixth dynasties of the Old Kingdom, also stated that the expedition had found a group of Old Kingdom tombs, indicating that the site comprised a large cemetery, where the most important tomb belonged to Khnumdjedef, an inspector of the officials, a supervisor of the nobles, and a priest in the pyramid complex of Unas, the last kind of the fifth dynasty, in Egypt's Saqqara necropolis, in Giza, Egypt, January 26, 2023. Photo: Reuters

A statue is displayed after the announcement of the discovery of 4,300-year-old sealed tombs, which have made a number of important archaeological discoveries dating to the fifth and sixth dynasties of the Old Kingdom, also stated that the expedition had found a group of Old Kingdom tombs, indicating that the site comprised a large cemetery, where the most important tomb belonged to Khnumdjedef, an inspector of the officials, a supervisor of the nobles, and a priest in the pyramid complex of Unas, the last kind of the fifth dynasty, in Egypt's Saqqara necropolis, in Giza, Egypt, January 26, 2023. Photo: Reuters

Numerous statues were found among the tombs, including one representing a man and his wife and several servants, the statement said.

A general view inside a tomb after the announcement of the discovery of 4,300-year-old sealed tombs in Egypt's Saqqara necropolis, in Giza, Egypt, January 26, 2023. Photo: Reuters

A general view inside a tomb after the announcement of the discovery of 4,300-year-old sealed tombs in Egypt's Saqqara necropolis, in Giza, Egypt, January 26, 2023. Photo: Reuters

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