Egypt reports 579 new coronavirus cases; 45 deaths on Friday    61st Diyarna Exhibition: Showcasing Egyptian Handicrafts    Art House partners with Cultural Development Fund to present theatrical, musical shows    Egypt stresses necessity of launching 'serious' negotiation process to reach deal on GERD before flood season    Arab interests must be voiced unanimously to reflect unified will: Aboul Gheit    Ethiopia says AU-led GERD negotiations will be win-win, expects close agreement    Egypt, Jordan, and Palestine reiterate call for halting Israeli settlement activities    Al-Sisi, Guinea-Bissau counterpart discuss counterterrorism, GERD negotiations    Egypt, Sudan finalise agreement strengthening military cooperation    Yemen's Houthis fire missile at Saudi Aramco site in Jeddah    Messi serves as bright spot in Barcelona's disastrous season    Zamalek ready with striking force against Esperance Tunis    Egypt clubs protest Football Association decision to cover costs of COVID-19 tests    International Cooperation Ministry, AfDB sign development financing of €109m for rural Luxor sanitation services    Egypt's National Council for Women launches awareness campaign on nutrition education    Egypt on transformational path into regional energy trade centre: Petroleum Minister    Planning Ministry prioritises Upper Egypt development under coherent, integrated programme    Hassan Allam wins contract to manage, operate Grand Egyptian Museum    March: The month of celebrating women    Egypt launches ‘Closing the Gender Gap Accelerator' action plan    Africa welcomes COVAX doses but warns against 'selfishness'    Preview: Ahly seeking to dispel doubts in CL clash against Vita Club    Preview: Zamalek hoping to maintain recent dominance over Tunisia's Esperance    Pope urges Iraqis to shun past violence and give peace a chance    Egyptian Journalists' Syndicate midterm elections postponed to 19 March    UPDATED: Pope Francis arrives in Baghdad for risky, historic Iraq tour    Juve face Lazio test before crunch Champions League game    Sudan keen to enhance cooperation with Egypt: Sudanese FM Al-Mahdi    Moody's completes periodic review of ratings of GIG Insurance – Egypt    Egypt improves ranking on Heritage Foundation's Index of Economic Freedom    A Happy Purrfect Rescue Story of 4 Cats in Thailand    Egypt court upholds 3-year prison sentence for Mubarak-era Minister El-Feky    Spotify competitor Anghami to become first Arab tech firm to list on Nasdaq, eyes plans for Egypt    Egypt's Zamalek arrive in Tunisia to face Esperance in CAF Champions League    French President Macron renews calls for end to repression in Myanmar    Winston Churchill's Moroccan landscape painting owned by Angelina Jolie sells for $11.5M    Syrian pound hits new low in contagion from neighboring Lebanon's currency crisis    Orascom Construction to build Magdi Yacoub Global Heart Centre    Respect for diversity    From the trading floor    Huawei launches HUAWEI FreeLace Pro in Egypt with extra-long battery life and top-grade noise cancellation    Enhanced Labs signs Mr. Olympia 2020 "Big Ramy" And His Trainer Dennis James    1st hours of registration for coronavirus vaccine seen 7,000 Egyptians signing up: ministry    King Tutankhamun funerary mask is must-see tourist icon: The Telegraph    Egypt eyes gradual return for tourism after revenues fall to $4 bln in 2020    Seasoned Egyptian screenwriter Wahid Hamed dies at 76    Coronavirus strikes Egypt's youth team as 17 players, coach test positive    Egypt, Ethiopia, Sudan to resume Nile dam talks today    

Thank you for reporting!
This image will be automatically disabled when it gets reported by several people.

New discoveries at Saqqara
Published in Ahram Online on 20 - 01 - 2021

The remains of a royal funerary temple, painted coffins, mummies, masks, statues, stelae, toys, and a chapter from the ancient Egyptian Book of the Dead were all among the spectacular new discoveries unveiled at the Saqqara Necropolis near Cairo this week.
Beside king Teti's pyramid, the founder of the Sixth Dynasty, archaeologists have been busy excavating the sands of the Saqqara Necropolis to reveal more of its secrets. Renowned Egyptologist and former minister of antiquities Zahi Hawass, who has been leading the work, stood before a beautifully painted coffin examining the mummy inside during the announcement of the discoveries.
“This discovery is re-writing the history of Saqqara and in particular the saga of the 18th and 19th dynasties of the New Kingdom when king Teti was worshipped and the citizens of the time were buried around his pyramid,” Hawass told Al-Ahram Weekly.
He explained that the discovery confirmed the importance of the worship of king Teti during the 19th Dynasty, as archaeologists had unearthed a collection of New Kingdom workshops for mummification and the fabrication of coffins. This showed that the necropolis has not only been reused as a burial place during the Late Period but during the New Kingdom as well.
A painted coffin
Hawass said that the remains of the funerary temple of queen Nearit, the wife of Teti, was also uncovered along with three mudbrick warehouses at the temple's southern end to store the provisions, offerings, and tools used to revive the queen's cult.
A large collection of burial shafts 10 to 12 metres deep had been found filled with more than 50 painted anthropoid coffins containing mummies, along with hundreds of statues of the deities Osiris and Ptah-Sokar-Osiris, stelae, toys, wooden boats and funerary masks, and a four-metre papyrus of Chapter 17 of the Book of the Dead.
This helped the deceased pass through the trials faced on the journey to the other world. The copy of the text that was found was once owned by a member of the ancient Egyptian elite.
A luxurious mudbrick shrine paved with polished limestone slabs and dating back to the New Kingdom was also found. It has a 24m shaft that Hawass expects to end in a tomb.
The Egyptian archaeological mission working at the site found pottery from Crete, Syria, and Palestine, showing the long-distance trade and multicultural nature of Saqqara in ancient times.
Many carefully carved and painted wooden ushabti figurines and funerary masks were unearthed beside a shrine dedicated to the god Anubis. A well-preserved limestone stelae was discovered that had belonged to a man named Kha-Ptah, overseer of the king's military chariot during the 19th Dynasty, and his wife Mwt-em-wia.
The upper part of the stelae depicts the deceased and his wife in an adoration gesture in front of the god Osiris, while the lower part shows the deceased sitting with his wife behind him seated on a chair. Below the chair, one of their daughters sits and smells a lotus flower. Above her head is an ointment flask.
A boat
In front of the man and his wife, there are six of his daughters and sons depicted in two registers, the upper one for seated daughters smelling lotus flowers and the lower one for standing sons.
Hawass said that one of the daughters bears the name Nefertari, named after the wife of king Ramses II who built her a tomb in the Valley of the Queens at Luxor as well as a temple at Abu Simbel in Upper Egypt.
One of the sons is named Kha-em-waset, he said, after one of the sons of Ramses II. He was considered a wise man, almost the first Egyptologist, who used to restore the antiquities of his ancestors.
The owner of the stelae was the overseer of the king's military chariot, indicating his prestigious position.
Other objects found include human skulls and bones along with a game known as senet. “Those who win at senet will go to the other world, or to the fields of Aaru, which was the paradise of ancient Egypt,” Hawass said.
Coffins inside a burial chamber
Radiologist Sahar Selim has conducted studies on the mummies found using X-rays and has determined the causes of death, the age of the deceased at their death, and the characteristics of a mummy of a young child.
One mummy of a woman was found to be suffering from a chronic disease known as Mediterranean fever or “swine fever”, a disease that comes from direct contact with animals.
“The discoveries are very important and will make Saqqara an even more important tourist destination,” Hawass said, adding that more secrets would be revealed soon.

*A version of this article appears in print in the 21 January, 2021 edition of Al-Ahram Weekly.

Clic here to read the story from its source.