No disappointment if Willian leaves Chelsea, says Lampard    Death toll from Indian passenger aircraft accident rises to 18    Beijing's HK office says US sanctions "clowning actions" as tensions escalate    Lebanon navigates food challenge with no grain silo and few stocks    Microsoft could buy TikTok for as much as $30 billion    'Possibility of external interference': Lebanon's president expands blast probe    Around 50,000 tourists visited Sharm El-Sheikh, Hurghada since easing lockdown    New Suez Canal revenues record $27.2bn in five years    Dow futures fall 100 points amid Trump's ban order on Chinese apps    China's exports increase 7.2% Y-o-Y in July due to demand for medical supplies    Trump issues executive orders banning WeChat and TikTok in 45 days    Egypt, Greece sign maritime demarcation agreement    Live score: Manchester City v Real Madrid (UEFA Champions League)    Africa passes 1M confirmed virus cases; true number far more    Morelos distracted by speculation, says Rangers boss Gerrard    Philippines records most coronavirus cases in eastern Asia after new surge    India suffers record jump in COVID-19 cases to pass 2 mln    Egypt's net foreign reserves edge up to $38.315 bln in July: Central Bank    IMF says exploring ways to aid Lebanon, calls for movement on reforms    Call for submissions for Egypt's 'Golden Talent' competition for people with special needs    South Africa calls for 'amicable solution' for GERD    Foreigners staying in Cairo without residency permits to not allowed in resort towns    Egypt records 123 new coronavirus cases, 18 deaths on Wednesday    Egypt rejects Ethiopia's latest proposal on GERD: Irrigation ministry    Senate slam dunk    Don't miss the concerts of Boghdady Jazz Big band    My visual diary    African Champions League final will be played on Oct. 16-17, CAF says    Egypt invites Tesla's founder to visit Giza Pyramids after controversial tweets    Sisi: Egypt favours negotiations over a military solution to resolve Nile dam crisis: Al-Sisi    No room to delay Egyptian Premier League games – EFA's board member    Egypt's President Sisi ratifies extending state of emergency for 3 months    Egypt Cup games to resume after Premier League finishes: EFA    The Facebook Preacher's Search for Fame, and Egypt's Economy    Arafa Holding reports $144,000 COVID-19-related losses in April    Egypt's efforts in Libya to activate free will of Libyan people: Al-Sisi    Egypt calls on UNSC to address oil spill risks off Yemen coast    Egypt economically strong in face of COVID-19, reforms ongoing: International Cooperation Minister    Hyksos campaigns were internal takeover, not foreign invaders: study    Reports over Ethiopia filling mega-dam    COVID-19 affects Egypt sporting clubs    COVID-19 will soon turn to seasonal like swine flu: Presidential Health Advisor    ‘Egypt's Support' coalition convenes to discuss its Senate election list    Robbery attempt leads to discovery of Ptolemaic monuments in Qena    Flouting international guidance, Ethiopia unilaterally starts filling its Nile dam    Google ‘translate' ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs    Zaha speaks out after online racial abuse    Farwell to 74-year old Egyptian military production minister El-Assar    

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

A new bite for archaeologists
Published in Al-Ahram Weekly on 01 - 11 - 2006

THE FIRST necropolis for royal dentists ever found was discovered early this week in the shadow of Djoser's Step Pyramid in Saqqara. Nevine El-Aref visited the site and learnt that the Pharaohs' curse was not just a myth.
Early this month a pair of tomb raiders were inflicted with the Pharaohs' curse when they were apprehended while making an illicit attempt to dig a deserted area in the shadow of the Step Pyramid. They have since been jailed, but their illegal action in the Saqqara necropolis inadvertently led excavators to a very important discovery on the site. A necropolis dedicated to royal dentists of the Old Kingdom was revealed intact.
The necropolis dates back to the early fifth dynasty. "It was created to honour a chief dentist, E-E-Mery and two of his colleagues who treated the Pharaohs and their families," says Zahi Hawass, secretary-general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA), who led the excavation team.
Hawass believes that the location of these tombs in the neighbourhood of the Step Pyramid reveals two facts. First, these dentists were very close to the king, serving at the royal palace and treating the teeth of the ruler and his family -- according to medical papyri now on display at the Egyptian Museum, the Ancient Egyptians took great care over their teeth. Second, it indicates the respect these kings paid to their dentists. "Being buried in the shadow of a royal divinity was a great honour," Hawass says.
Early studies revealed that the necropolis includes three tombs carved of mud brick and limestone. They were built by the chief dentist E-E-Mery and two others; Ka-Me-Su and Sekhem-Ka, who were not related but may have been partners or colleagues. The walls of each tomb are painted with reliefs showing the respective deceased among deities and his family or presenting offerings to the deities. On the false doors of each tomb are carved curse inscriptions warning that anyone who violates the sanctity of the grave will be devoured by crocodiles and snakes.
Inscriptions decorating the pillars in the doorway of the chief dentist's tomb tell archaeologists much about his life and habits, as he is depicted along with his family immersed in daily pastimes and rituals: playing games, slaughtering animals and sitting in front of an offering table with the standard 1,000 jars of beer and 1,000 loaves of bread for the afterlife.
The tombs are empty of treasure except for the scattered remains of human bones and a huge bust-less statue of dentist Ka-Me-Su standing next to his son.
Further excavations are currently underway to reveal more of the dentists' tombs and secrets.
Saqqara, which lies 35 km south of Cairo, is the central part of the Memphis necropolis, which stretches from the northernmost site of Abu Rawash to Giza, Saqqara and Dahshur. In addition to the famous Step Pyramid, Saqqara contains many first and second dynasty tombs along with pyramids of the third, fifth and sixth dynasties and tombs of the Late Period and the Saite, Greek, Roman and Coptic eras.

Clic here to read the story from its source.