CAIRO, Jan 26 (Reuters) – Egyptologists have discovered a pharaoh’s tomb near the capital Cairo, and the head of an excavation team said on Thursday it may be the oldest and “most complete” yet to be found in the country mummy.
Team leader Zahi Hawass told reporters the 4,300-year-old mummy was part of a group of Fifth and Sixth Dynasty burials recently discovered near the Step Pyramid of Saqqara. found at the bottom of a high shaft.
The mummy of a man named Hekasheps lies in a limestone sarcophagus sealed with mortar.
“This mummy may be the oldest and most complete mummy ever found in Egypt,” Hawass, one of Egypt’s former antiquities ministers, said in a statement.
Among the other burials found was one belonging to Khnumdjedef, an official inspector, noble overseer and a priest during the reign of Unas, the last pharaoh of the Fifth Dynasty. It adorns scenes of everyday life.
Another tomb belonged to Meri, “keeper of secrets and assistant to the great leader of the court”.
A number of statues were found in the tomb, including one representing a man, his wife and several servants, the statement said.
Reporting by Patrick Weir; Editing by Nick McPhee
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