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History & Heritage


Egypt: the treasures of the Necropolis of Saqqarah

The Egyptian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities has just unveiled to the public the various finds made by the archaeological teams that criss-cross the various sites of the necropolis of Saqqarah, which has undeniably not finished revealing all its secrets.

Certain objects had been sleeping there for more than 3 millennia. The Egyptian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities does not mince its words when it calls the last items presented here “major” discoveries. Indeed, among the archaeological treasures that were presented to the public this weekend, we find for example about fifty sarcophagi from the New Empire, more than 3,000 years old.

Shaking up what we know

If, according to the star archaeologist in charge of the excavations of the Zari Hawass zone, the great majority remains to be explored, the discoveries are nevertheless able to turn upside down all the knowledge that we have, or think we have, of the past of the necropolis. Carried out near the pyramid of King Teti, first pharaoh of the VIth dynasty of the Old Empire, these finds “rewrite the history of Saqqarah”.

Summary of the findings

A total of 22 funerary wells were discovered, including the final resting place of Queen Naert, wife of King Teti. Made of wood or stone, many sarcophagi have been exhumed, including that of a soldier with his weapon, a battle axe.

In his statement, Zari Hawass makes a brief inventory of other finds: “a papyrus about 5 meters long containing chapter 17 of the Book of the Dead (…) masks, wooden boats, and games played by the ancient Egyptians,” Hawass said. According to the archaeologist, this is a “rare find because most of the pieces found date from the New Kingdom, where Saqqarah usually dates back to 500 BC”.

See also

A tomb containing 500 mummified animals found in Egypt

Published on 18 January 2021