Gas factory blast in China's Henan province kills two, seriously injured 18: State media    Blast at Kabul University kills eight, injures 33    After appointing new female judge, will Egypt see more women in courts?    Egypt's PM follows up implementation of Luxor's Corniche development project    Iran dismisses Trump report that US Navy downed "provocative" drone    Egypt's PM holds talks with UNIDO representative on developing industry    Egypt tells citizens that Saudi e-visa not meant for hajj    Rondon links up with Benitez at China's Dalian Yifang    Eriksen trains alone on Spurs pre-season tour    Arsenal's Emery talks up leadership role for Holding amid Koscielny doubt    Algerian team came to Cairo to win AFCON title: Djamel Belmadi    Egypt, Uzbekistan study establishing pharmaceutical plant    Nexign, Giza Systems agree to accelerate African telcos' digital transformation    Maintaining or starting exercise in middle age means longer life    Unbowed, U.S Trump intensifies attacks on 4 Democratic congresswomen    From Iraq to Yemen, drones raise U.S. alarm over Iranian plans    Air-to-air missile seized in Italy was sold 25 years ago: Qatar    NBE's mortgage finance portfolio exceeds EGP 7bn end-June    Belgium's Port of Antwerp to develop bunkering activity in Egypt    Sudan's military, opposition sign 1st part of power-sharing deal    Peace with Egypt must be made: Turkey's main opposition leader    King Tut's golden coffin undergoes first restoration since 1922 discovery    Changing dominant narrative of women on stage    Crude futures firm as U.S. stockpiles of oil products gain    IMF to hand Egypt's final tranche of $12bn July 24 – PM    Mainland Chinese markets fall amid renewed threat to trade    Explorations of music, sound, architecture of Islamic Cairo and everyday life    Farewell to Italy's best-loved writer Andrea Camilleri    Total of 59,455 expats in Egypt have undergone virus C screening    Parliament Speaker announces end of fourth legislative term    Renovation of Egyptian Museum to include installing new lighting, display systems    Kenya eyes partnership with Egypt's energy sector: Minister    Egypt's parliament starts new NGO law discussion    Egypt's parliament Oks new NGO law    Egypt's parliament's 5th convocation sessions to be aired live: Parliament speaker    Egypt's parliament approves new NGO law    4th convocation of parliament concluded    Cairo hosts 6th meeting of Egyptian-Sudanese military committee    Egypt prosecution releases transgender woman detained on terrorism related charges    Egypt inaugurates museum to honor late novelist Naguib Mahfouz    Egypt to sue following sale of $5.97mn Pharaoh Tutankhamun statue    Bookmakers expects Egypt's Mo Salah might miss the year's Ballon D'or award    Fired MP detained pending investigations over corruption charges    Egypt arrests founder of pro-Mubarak Facebook page – source    Egypt sees national population growth rate to halve before 2052    AFCON quarter-finals: Desert Warriors face Ivorian Elephants in early final    Orange Egypt removes Warda from ad campaign after harassment case    Hassan Shehata slams Egyptian team, EFA following AFCON exit    

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.