Recently, Egyptian archaeologists and researchers unearthed a treasure trove of artifacts, including what may be the oldest and most intact mummy ever discovered. On Thursday, Egyptologists announced the discovery of several ancient tombs at a Pharaonic necropolis just outside Cairo. Among the discoveries was a mummy belonging to a man named Heka-shepes, who was sealed in a large rectangular limestone sarcophagus around 4,300 years ago, according to Zahi Hawass, the excavation’s director, in an Instagram post.The mummy was discovered “inside covered with gold leaf. and maybe the oldest and most complete mummy found in Egypt to date,” he said.
The discovery, which dates from around 2500 B.C. to 2100 B.C. in the Old Kingdom’s fifth and sixth dynasties, is part of a yearlong excavation near the Saqqara pyramids.
The new discoveries were made beneath Gisr el-Mudir, an ancient stone enclosure. “I peered inside the sarcophagus to see what was inside: a beautiful mummy of a man completely covered in layers of gold,” Hawass told The Associated Press.
What else have they found?
A tomb belonging to a priest from the fifth dynasty known as Khnumdjedef was also discovered, as was another tomb belonging to Meri, a palace official known as “the keeper of the secrets,” according to the team. Statues, amulets, and a well-preserved sarcophagus were also discovered during the excavation. Archaeologists also revealed several recent discoveries about 400 miles to the south, including a 4,000-year-old family burial plot.
According to Mostafa Waziry, an Egyptologist and the secretary-general of the supreme council of antiquities at the Egyptian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities, the discovery of the burial site at the Dra Abu el-Naga necropolis (or cemetery) on the west bank of the Nile in the city of Luxor is the first from the ancient Egyptian Thirteenth Dynasty, which dates back beyond 1780 B.C.”This is the first of its kind,” Waziry said in an Instagram post.
A pink granite sarcophagus weighing about 11 tonnes was discovered at the site, inscribed with the name of a minister named Ankho who lived during the reign of King Sobekhotep II during the 13th Dynasty, according to Fathy Yaseen, director general of antiquities of Upper Egypt.
Waziry discovered “the most important and oldest residential city” dating from the Roman Era nearby in an Instagram post. He also shared videos of his discoveries on Facebook and Twitter.
That city, which is thought to be part of the ancient city of Thebes and is located along the Nile and within Luxor, “is important because it shows us more about the life of regular Egyptians at this time,” Yaseen told CBS News. Researchers at the University of Cairo announced another archaeological breakthrough on Tuesday. They describe how they “digitally unwrapped” the mummy of a teen boy from 300 B.C. using computed tomography scans in the journal Frontiers of Medicine.
By confirming the intricate details of the amulets inserted within his mummified body and the type of burial he received, the team of scientists was able to shed new light on the boy’s high social status.
Ancient Egyptian discoveries are frequently used to boost tourism, which is a significant source of revenue in the North African country. Following the political turmoil and violence that accompanied the 2011 Arab Spring revolution, tourism suffered a downturn.Tourism, which accounted for about 12% of the country’s economy, was also severely impacted by the coronavirus outbreak, according to The Egypt Independent in February 2021. According to the outlet, the conflict in Ukraine has also hampered tourism.