A team of Egyptian archaeologists has found the tomb in perfect condition of a priest who lived about 4,400 years ago, during the V Dynasty of the Old Kingdom. The discovery, described by a head of the Council of Antiquities of Egypt as “one of those occurring in decades,” took place in the necropolis of Sakkara, located about 30 kilometers south of Cairo and where they were buried for centuries.
Prominent leaders and nobles of Memphis, the capital of ancient Egypt. According to the heads of the Ministry of Antiquities, the area probably hides new treasures that they hope to reveal soon.
In fact, the priest’s own tomb, decorated with around thirty statues and beautiful murals reproducing scenes from his life, includes four cavities that are still sealed and that the archaeological mission hopes to open in the coming weeks.
Its main chamber has a rectangular surface 10 meters long by 3 meters wide and fortunately, it escaped for centuries from looting by thieves. “I imagine that all the objects will be in this area … This chamber should lead to the sarcophagus of the owner of the tomb,” said Mustafa Waziri, general secretary of the Supreme Council of Antiquities.
The priest, in charge of the rituals of purification and supervision of the sacred ship, was called Wahtye and served the pharaoh Neferirkara Kakai, who ruled ancient Egypt during the period between 2,458 BC and 2,438 BC, shortly after the construction of the pyramids of Giza.
The tomb contains three lines of hieroglyphics with the name and the different titles of the owner. According to the Ministry of Antiquities, the scenes collected on the walls of the tomb show the priest with his mother, his wife and his family, as well as others about the manufacture of ceramics, the distillation of wine and religious offerings. Probably most of the statues found in the chamber also correspond to the priest himself or his family.
Apart from its antiquity, the “unique” character of the discovery lies above all in the perfect state of preservation of the paintings and statues of the tomb. “The color is almost intact despite the fact that the tomb is almost 4,400 years old,” Waziri commented in wonder.
Indeed, the images taken in the enclosure show some colorful murals and some polychrome sculptures that have resisted very well the passage of millennia. The figures were found inside a score of niches carved into the rock.
During the last years, the Egyptian authorities have multiplied the announcements of archaeological finds of great value belonging to Ancient Egypt. Given the fascination that this civilization raises around the world, giving maximum publicity to these discoveries is a strategy to attract millions of visitors to the country.
The Egyptian tourism sector suffered a severe blow after the 2011 revolution because of the repeated episodes of political violence, but during the last year it has shown clear signs of recovery.