Egypt unveils 'one of a kind' tomb of ancient high priest

DECCAN CHRONICLE
Published Dec 17, 2018, 1:41 pm IST
Updated Dec 17, 2018, 1:41 pm IST
Tomb is brightly painted and is decorated with scenes showing the royal priest alongside his mother, wife and other members of his family.
Relief statues are seen at the recently uncovered tomb of the Priest royal Purification during the reign of King Nefer Ir-Ka-Re, named
 Relief statues are seen at the recently uncovered tomb of the Priest royal Purification during the reign of King Nefer Ir-Ka-Re, named "Wahtye", at the site of the step pyramid of Saqqara, in Giza, Egypt, Saturday, Dec. 15, 2018.The Egyptian Archaeological Mission working at the Sacred Animal Necropolis in Saqqara archaeological site succeeded to uncover the tomb, Antiquities Minister Khaled el-Anani, announced. (Photo: AP)

Egyptian archaeologists have discovered the tomb of a priest decorated with hieroglyphs and statues dating back more than 4,400 years in a pyramid complex.

The private tomb belonging to 'Wahtye', a high priest who served during the fifth dynasty reign of King Neferirkare, was unearthed in a buried ridge at the ancient necropolis of Saqqara, south of the capital Cairo.

 

Mostafa Waziri, secretary general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, speaks inside a recently uncovered tomb of the Priest royal Purification during the reign of King Nefer Ir-Ka-Re. (Photo: AP)Mostafa Waziri, secretary general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, speaks inside a recently uncovered tomb of the Priest royal Purification during the reign of King Nefer Ir-Ka-Re. (Photo: AP)

Notably, the tomb is brightly painted and is decorated with scenes showing the royal priest alongside his mother, wife and other members of his family, the Egyptian antiquities ministry said.

Mustafa Abdo, chief of excavation workers walks at a recently uncovered tomb of the Priest royal Purification during the reign of King Nefer Ir-Ka-Re, named Mustafa Abdo, chief of excavation workers walks at a recently uncovered tomb of the Priest royal Purification during the reign of King Nefer Ir-Ka-Re, named

It also contains more than a dozen niches and 24 colourful statues of the cleric and members of his family.

The tomb dates from the rule of Neferirkare Kakai, the third king of the Fifth Dynasty of the Old Kingdom.

Saeed Abdel Aal, an excavation worker stands at the recently uncovered tomb of the Priest royal Purification during the reign of King Nefer Ir-Ka-Re, named Saeed Abdel Aal, an excavation worker stands at the recently uncovered tomb of the Priest royal Purification during the reign of King Nefer Ir-Ka-Re, named

The 33 ft (ten metres) long, 9.8 ft (three metres) wide tomb has just under three metres high walls which are decorated with hieroglyphs and statues of pharaohs.

The tomb was untouched and unlooted, Mostafa Waziri, secretary-general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, told reporters at the site.

The Egyptian Archaeological Mission working at the Sacred Animal Necropolis in Saqqara archaeological site succeeded to uncover the tomb, Antiquities Minister Khaled el-Anani, announced. (Photo: AP)The Egyptian Archaeological Mission working at the Sacred Animal Necropolis in Saqqara archaeological site succeeded to uncover the tomb, Antiquities Minister Khaled el-Anani, announced. (Photo: AP)

Archaeologists removed a last layer of debris from the tomb on Thursday and found five shafts inside.

The tomb has only partially been uncovered and officials expect more discoveries when archaeologists excavate the site further in coming months early next year and even as early as tomorrow.

Cameramen and visitors visit the recently uncovered tomb of the Priest royal Purification during the reign of King Nefer Ir-Ka-Re. (Photo: AP)Cameramen and visitors visit the recently uncovered tomb of the Priest royal Purification during the reign of King Nefer Ir-Ka-Re. (Photo: AP)

One of the shafts was unsealed with nothing inside, but the other four were sealed.

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