Egypt tombs yield rare find of mum­mi­fied scarabs, an­i­mal stat­ues

Arab Times - - INTERNATIONAL -

Archaeologists work on stat­ues and ar­ti­facts in­side a tomb at an an­cient necrop­o­lis near Egypt’s famed pyra­mids in Saqqara, Giza, Egypt on Nov 10. (In­set): Mum­mi­fied

cats are seen in­side a tomb at an an­cient necrop­o­lis near Egypt’s famed pyra­mids in Saqqara, Giza, Egypt. (AP) Archaeologists in Egypt said on Satur­day they had dis­cov­ered a rare col­lec­tion of mum­mi­fied scarab bee­tles, as well as an ap­par­ently pris­tine Fifth Dy­nasty tomb that they plan to open in the com­ing weeks.

The mum­mi­fied bee­tles were among arte­facts found in seven tombs dis­cov­ered over the past six months on the edge of the King Userkaf pyra­mid com­plex at the an­cient necrop­o­lis of Saqqara, south of Cairo.

As they were pre­par­ing the site to present the lat­est dis­cov­er­ies, archaeologists found the door of an­other tomb that re­mains sealed, Mostafa Waziri, sec­re­tarygen­eral of Egypt’s Supreme Coun­cil of An­tiq­ui­ties, told re­porters.

The tomb dates from the Fifth Dy­nasty of the Old King­dom and is un­usual be­cause the fa­cade and door are in­tact, mean­ing its con­tents may still be un­touched, said Mo­hamed Youssef, di­rec­tor of the Saqqara area. He said ex­perts plan to open the tomb in the com­ing weeks.

The Fifth Dy­nasty ruled Egypt from about 2,500 BC to 2,350 BC not long af­ter the great pyra­mid of Giza was built.

The tombs lie in a buried ridge that has only par­tially been un­cov­ered and could of­fer many more sim­i­lar dis­cov­er­ies, Waziri said. Ex­ca­va­tions in the area had halted in 2013 be­fore re­sum­ing ear­lier this year.

Saqqara served as the necrop­o­lis for Mem­phis, the cap­i­tal of an­cient Egypt for more than two mil­len­nia.

An­cient Egyp­tians mum­mi­fied hu­mans to pre­serve their bod­ies for the af­ter­life, while an­i­mal mum­mies were used as re­li­gious of­fer­ings.

Two large scarabs wrapped in linen and in very good con­di­tion were found in­side a lime­stone sar­coph­a­gus with a vaulted, dec­o­rated lid, the an­tiq­ui­ties min­istry said in a state­ment. (RTRS)

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Kuwait

© PressReader. All rights reserved.