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Five Tombs Unveiled

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Five ancient tombs were found by archaeologists at a cemetery in Saqqara, just outside the Egyptian capital Cairo. Saqqara is a vast necropolis of the ancient Egyptian capital Memphis. This is a a UNESCO World Heritage Site home to more than a dozen pyramids, animal burial sites and ancient Coptic Christian monasteries.

The tombs belong to senior officials from the Old Kingdom and First Intermediate period, dating to more than four thousand years ago, the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities said. These tombs were found at northeast to the pyramid of King Merenre I, who ruled Egypt around 2270 BC.

All five tombs were in good condition. One of the tombs belonged to a top official named Iry. A limestone sarcophagus and colourful decorations were found in the tomb. The remaining tombs belonged to other members of the royal court, including a “steward of the royal house” and a priestess who was “responsible for the king’s beautification”.

Saqqara, which lies south of the Great Pyramids of Giza, has provided a rich seam of archaeological discoveries in recent years.

In January 2021, Egypt unveiled ancient treasures found at Saqqara. This include more than 50 wooden sarcophagi dating back to the New Kingdom (16th to 11th centuries BC) — a discovery famed Egyptologist Zahi Hawass.The Egyptian authorities hope to inaugurate the new Grand Egyptian Museum near the Giza plateau later this year, after its opening was repeatedly delayed.

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