Archaeologists discovered a 4,300-year-old non-royal mummy wrapped entirely in gold near the Step Pyramids 19 miles south of Cairo, possibly the oldest ever discovered. Officials hope the new find will help revitalize tourism in the area. The discovery is part of a group of tombs from the fifth and sixth dynasties discovered in the area.
Egypt frequently publicizes its ancient discoveries in order to attract more tourists, who are an important source of foreign currency for the cash-strapped North African country.
Hekashepes, the man, was discovered inside a limestone sarcophagus at the bottom of a 50-foot-deep shaft.
A treasure trove of life-size statues carved to resemble servants, men, women, and families was also discovered by the excavation team.
Read more: Details revealed on significant archaeological find in Egypt
Egyptologist Zahi Hawas, who led the dig said that “Unfortunately”, no inscriptions that could identify the owners of these statues were discovered.
At the site, two shafts were discovered, one containing Hekashepes’ remains and the other 30 feet deep, leading to three other tombs and numerous statues.
According to Hawas, the most important tomb belongs to Khnumdjedef, an inspector of the officials, a supervisor of the nobles, and a priest in the pyramid complex of Unas, the last king of the fifth dynasty.
Another tomb belonged to Meri, “keeper of the secrets and assistant to the great leader of the palace.”
Additionally, three statues of a man named Fetek were discovered, along with an offering table and a stone sarcophagus containing his mummy.
The excavation team also discovered numerous amulets, stone vessels, everyday tools, and Ptah-Sokar statues.
The latest discovery follows a flurry of new finds announced by Egyptian authorities in the last week. Authorities near the southern city of Luxor said they discovered dozens of New Kingdom burial sites dating from 1800 BC to 1600 BC.
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