Archaeologists from Egypt’s Ministry of Antiquities unveiled the stunning insides of a 4,400-year-old tomb in the Saqqara burial site in the Giza Governorate, south of Cairo. The tomb, which was first discovered in December, is thought to have belonged to a nobleman named Khuwy and was dated to have been built during the reign of the Fifth Dynasty who ruled between the 25th and 24th Century BC. The walls of the site are decorated with spectacular hieroglyphs and inscriptions in colourful tones that have maintained much of their original brightness.
Leading archaeologist Mohamed Megahed said Khuwy’s tomb is L-shaped, with a small corridor leading to a larger room decorated with images depicting the life of the nobleman.
Mr Megahed said: “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 offering table.”
A large part of the paintings has maintained their original colour despite the passage of time.
The use of tones usually associated with royalty and the presence of the long corridor leading to the biggest chamber, a characteristic usually found in pyramids, have had the excavation team question the relationship between Khuwy and Djedkare Isesi, the pharaoh ruling at the time of construction whose tomb is near the Saqqara burial site.
The Saqqara burial site has been at the centre of attention of archaeological teams due to the large amounts of tombs found in the area.
Another tomb was discovered in December, with Khaled al Anani from the Ministry of Antiquities saying the tomb’s walls are covered with decorative scenes showing the royal purification priest Wahtye with his mother, wife and other relatives.
The head of the excavation mission, Mostafa Waziri, added that other drawings showed wine and pottery making, musical performances, sailing, hunting and the manufacture of funeral furniture.
Mr Waziri described the find as “one of a kind in the last decades” as he revealed the tomb was “untouched and unlooted”, Mr Waziri described the find as “one of a kind in the last decades”.
He described how archaeologists removed a last layer of debris from the tomb on Thursday and found five shafts inside.
Describing the 10 metres high tomb as a unique find due to its “near-perfect condition”, Mr Waziri said: “The colour is almost intact even though the tomb is almost 4,400 years old.”
The tomb dates from the rule of Neferirkare Kakai, the third king of the Fifth Dynasty of the Old Kingdom.
The Fifth Dynasty ruled Egypt from about 2,500 BC to 2,350 BC, not long after the great pyramid of Giza was built.
Saqqara served as the necropolis for Memphis, the capital of ancient Egypt for more than two millennia.
Ancient Egyptians mummified humans to preserve their bodies for the afterlife, while animal mummies were used as religious offerings.
Egypt has revealed over a dozen ancient discoveries this year.