Archeologists Discover a Perfectly Preserved 4,000-Year-Old Tomb in Egypt


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In Egypt, the archeological discoveries never end. This was made all the more clear by the recent discovery of a colorful tomb in Saqqara, home to some of Egypt's earliest pyramids. The incredibly well-preserved tomb contains vibrant wall paintings that look like they were painted yesterday, when in reality the tomb was created over 4,000 years ago. To celebrate the discovery, Prof. Khaled al-Enani—Egypt's Minister of Antiquities—recently led over 50 foreign dignitaries on a tour through the site.

It's believed that the tomb, which is located within a large necropolis, was created during the Fifth Dynasty. This period spanned the early 25th century BCE until the mid 24th century BCE and was known as a time when funerary prayers began to be inscribed on royal tombs. In this particular case, the exceptional tomb was created for a dignitary named Khuwy.

Several aspects of the tomb lead researchers to believe that Khuwy was a man of great importance. Architecturally, it has a tunneled entrance, which is a feature typically reserved for pyramids—the tombs of the pharaohs. Artistically, the colors of the paintings are considered “royal colors” by officials. These clues bring into question Khuwy's influence and his relationship with the Fifth Dynasty's longest-ruling pharaoh, Djedkare Isesi.

Step Pyramid at Saqqara

Step Pyramid at Saqqara (Photo: Stock Photos from Anton_Ivanov/Shutterstock)

Djedkare's pyramid is located nearby in Saqqara and one theory is that Khuwy was a relative of the leader. Others believe that the lavishness of the tomb was instead owed to the Djedkare's reforms on funerary cults. Whatever the cause, what we're left with are incredible examples of the artistry of ancient Egypt.

In addition to the tomb decoration, archaeologists also found Khuwy's mummy and canopic jars—used to hold organs—scattered in several fragments. Egyptologists hope that the newly discovered tomb will give them more insight into Djedkare's reign, as the pharaoh's own tomb was raided prior to excavation in the 1940s. While Djedkare appeared to be held in high regard even after his death—he was the object of a cult until at least the end of the Old Kingdom—he is still a somewhat enigmatic leader.

Take a peak inside this colorful, 4000-year-old tomb discovered in Saqqara, Egypt.

Egypt Ministry of Antiquities: Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | YouTube
h/t: [artnet]

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Jessica Stewart

Jessica Stewart is a Staff Editor and Digital Media Specialist for My Modern Met, as well as a curator and art historian. Since 2020, she is also one of the co-hosts of the My Modern Met Top Artist Podcast. She earned her MA in Renaissance Studies from University College London and now lives in Rome, Italy. She cultivated expertise in street art which led to the purchase of her photographic archive by the Treccani Italian Encyclopedia in 2014. When she’s not spending time with her three dogs, she also manages the studio of a successful street artist. In 2013, she authored the book 'Street Art Stories Roma' and most recently contributed to 'Crossroads: A Glimpse Into the Life of Alice Pasquini'. You can follow her adventures online at @romephotoblog.
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