A Week of Discoveries: Colorful Burial Site in Saqqara and Biggest Pharaonic ‘Saff’ Uncovered in Luxor
Ever since the deterioration of the tourism sector in the aftermath of 2011, the frequency of archeological discoveries had considerably fallen. It seemed, at the time, that Egypt had consumed its reservoir of relics, tombs, and sites, however, these speculations were more than wrong.
For the past two years, archaeologists have been landing one discovery after another, with some of them being minor, but most of them were classified as major findings.
The last week has seen archaeologists uncover two of the most important discoveries, and here is all you need to know.
South of the Egyptian capital of Cairo, the desert of Saqqara has been considered a vast, ancient burial ground, and now, one of the most aesthetic tombs has been uncovered by archaeologists. The tomb belonged to a nobleman of the Fifth Dynasty named Khuwy.
The stunning burial site is well-preserved despite it being more than 4,000 years old. The inscriptions and extremely colorful scenery are none like anything archaeologists have ever seen before.
“The L-shaped Khuwy tomb starts with a small corridor heading downwards into an antechamber and from there a larger chamber with painted reliefs depicting the tomb owner seated at an offerings table,” said Mohamed Megahed, the Excavation Team’s Head, in an Antiquities Ministry statement.
Minister of Antiquities with 52 foreign ambassadors, cultural attachés, & well-known Egyptian actress Yosra, to inspect a newly discovered tomb of a dignitary from the reign of king Djedkare. #egypt #archaeology #media #news #saqqara #necropolis #ancientegypt #egyptology pic.twitter.com/tvWamPwFTW
— Ministry of Antiquities-Arab Republic of Egypt (@AntiquitiesOf) April 13, 2019
The inscriptions were mostly made of white limestone bricks, while the tomb itself features several paintings that are brightly colored despite the passage of time.
It is said that Luxor holds one-third of the world’s ancient monuments, and indeed, the city by the Nile is teeming to the brim with the landmarks our ancestors had left behind. However, to our present day, archaeologists still come across new, ground-breaking discoveries, proving that the City of a Hundred Gates still holds a myriad of treasures for us to unveil.
Last Thursday, the Ministry of Antiquities had announced a new discovery on Luxor’s western bank at Draa Abul Naga archaeological site, the biggest ‘saff’ tomb to be ever discovered had been unearthed.
Mostafa Waziri, the Secretary-General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, had stated to Ahram Online that the discovery had an undeniable significance in changing the archaeological and historical map of the site. It would also provide us with a new understanding of the architecture and design of individual tombs.
The Egyptian Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly had also been present at the inauguration of the discovery, along with a number of Parliament Members. He stated that the discovery provides unquestionable evidence of the greatness of Egyptians and the uniqueness of their civilization.
The saff, or ‘row’, tombs are rock-cut tombs of the Middle Kingdom. Archaeologists have found that the one they uncovered belonged to a holder of the king’s funerary cones named Shedsu-Djehuty. The walls of the tomb are adorned with scenes of the deceased receiving their judgment from the gods, as well as paintings of the daily life our ancestors had led, including sceneries of the fabrication of wooden boats, hunting, and fishing.
Ushabti figurines made of faience, pots, clay, and wood were also unearthed; canopic jars and an anthropoid cartonnage sarcophagus have been found as well.
The tomb has been named the largest of its kind to ever be discovered in the Theban necropolis.
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