Egypt's "oldest and most complete" mummy
Near Cairo, Egypt's capital, archaeologists unearthed a Pharaonic tomb with what may be the oldest and "most complete" mummy ever found there.
Zahi Hawass, the team's director, told reporters on Thursday that the 4,300-year-old mummy was discovered at the bottom of a 15-metre (49-foot) shaft in a freshly discovered complex of tombs from the Fifth and Sixth Dynasties of the Old Kingdom close to the Step Pyramid at Saqqara.
The 4,300-year-old mummy was discovered at Saqqara close to the Step Pyramid encrusted in layers of gold.
The mummy of a man by the name of Hekashepes was in a limestone tomb that had been mortared shut and had a "gold-leaf covering."
In the sarcophagus, Hawass claimed, "I peered inside to see what was there: a gorgeous mummy of a man entirely covered in layers of gold." This mummy might be the oldest and most complete one ever discovered in Egypt.
One of the graves discovered belonged to Khnumdjedef, who served as a priest, overseer of nobles, and inspector of officials during the reign of Unas, the final pharaoh of the fifth dynasty. It was adorned with depictions of everyday life.
The "keeper of the secrets and helper to the great leader of the palace," Meri, had a separate tomb.
A high palace official who held the priestly title of "secret keeper" had the capacity and authority to carry out specific religious rituals.
In the pyramid complex of Pharaoh Pepi I, a third tomb belonged to a priest, and a fourth to a judge and author named Fetek, according to Hawass.
According to Mostafa Waziri, the head of Egypt's Supreme Council of Antiquities, Fetek's tomb had a collection of "the largest statues" ever discovered in the region.
Several statues, including one showing a man and his wife as well as several servants, were discovered amid the tombs.
More than a dozen pyramids, animal burials, and ancient Coptic Christian monasteries can be found in the huge burial site at Memphis, the ancient Egyptian capital and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Separate information concerning a teenage male who was mummified about 300 BC was revealed earlier this week by a team of scientists from Cairo University.
By verifying the meticulous features of the amulets implanted within the boy's mummified body and the style of burial he received, the team of scientists were able to shed new light on the boy's high social rank.
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