Egypt has once again discovered a centuries-old tomb belonging to a high priest. The 4,400-year-old Egypt that remains almost perfect even today is filled with hieroglyphs and statues of pharaohs. It was constructed for a 'divine inspector' named 'Wahtye' and has at least 55 statues of which 24 colourful ones is that of the cleric and his family members. The Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities announced the discovery at Saqqara on Saturday. Three of those tombs contained mummified cats and scarabs.
Egyptian antiquities minister Khaled El-Enany at a press conference said, "The tomb is "exceptionally well preserved and with sculptures inside." Archaeologists found five hidden shafts beneath the tomb, one of which, they said, could hold Wahtye's sarcophagus. Egypt Live Telecasts Unveiling of 3,000-Year-Old Mummy in Luxor's Ancient Tomb.
Check out pictures of the tomb here:
Egypt unearths tomb of Fifth Dynasty priest Wahtye in Saqqara.The hieroglyphs and statues in the tomb of royal purification priest Wahtye are almost intact despite being 4,400 years old. Walls decorated with colorful scenes show the owner of the tomb with his family. pic.twitter.com/QnHDpbjDvT
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Mostafa Waziri, the general secretary of Egypt's Supreme Council of Antiquities who led the Egyptian team that discovered the tomb said Wahtye was a high-ranking priest who carried the title of the divine inspector. He said that Wahtye worked for a pharaoh named Neferirkare (reign ca. 2446–2438 B.C.). Waziri termed the find as "one of a kind in the last decades."
Neferirkare's pyramid is about 3 kilometers north of Saqqara at a site called Abusir. The tomb was made during the reign of Neferirkare Kakai, the third king of the Fifth Dynasty of the Old Kingdom. The ministry said it majorly has scenes of the high priest and his family. Experts added that tomb is also decorated with the Wahtye's mother, 'Merit Meen'. Reportedly, the distribution of tombs began only after the Fifth Dynasty when high officials were no longer considered part of the royal family.
Egypt’s tourism has suffered, ever since the 2011 uprising. Egypt has been keen to promote new archaeological finds in recent years in hopes of attracting more visitors. Egypt's tourism has gone a downhill since the political upheaval in 2011. Egypt is known for its pyramids and used to receive thousands of tourists to witness the ancient structures.