Egypt tomb: Saqqara ‘one of a kind’ discovery revealed

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Journalists enter a newly-discovered tomb at the Saqqara necropolis, 30 kilometres south of the Egyptian capital CairoImage copyright
AFP/Getty Images

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Journalists were allowed into the newly-discovered tomb, which experts have called “exceptionally well-preserved”

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Archaeologists in Egypt have made an exciting tomb discovery – the final resting place of a high priest, untouched for 4,400 years.

Mostafa Waziri, secretary-general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, described the find as “one of a kind in the last decades”.

The tomb, found in the Saqqara pyramid complex near Cairo, is filled with colourful hieroglyphs and statues of pharaohs. Decorative scenes show the owner, a royal priest named Wahtye, with his mother, wife and other relatives.

Archaeologists will start excavating the tomb on 16 December, and expect more discoveries to follow – including the owner’s sarcophagus.

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Here’s what they’ve found already…

Coloured statues and hieroglyphs inside the tomb at SaqqaraImage copyright
AFP/Getty Images

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The private tomb is part of a vast, ancient necropolis in Saqqara – where the earliest known Egyptian pyramids are located

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A view of the tomb's exterior, showing its entrance set into rising walls of stoneImage copyright
AFP/Getty Images

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The tomb was found in a buried ridge, which may help explain why it escaped looters

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A wall covered in engraved hieroglyphs, including people, weighing scales, birds and what appears to be foodImage copyright
AFP/Getty Images

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The walls of the tomb are covered in hieroglyphs, the writing system of ancient Egypt

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Four statues of people carved into the wall of the tombImage copyright
Reuters

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The ancient Egyptians often carved sculptures into the walls of tombs and temples

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Mustafa Abdo, chief of excavation, stands inside the newly-discovered tomb of WahtyeImage copyright
Reuters

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Mustafa Abdo is the project’s chief of excavation. The tomb is 10m (33 ft) long, 3m (9.8ft) wide, and a little under 3m high

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Coloured statues in alcoves inside the tombImage copyright
Reuters

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Priests were important people in ancient Egyptian society, as pleasing the gods was a top priority

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A man takes photos of the well-preserved hieroglyphs inside the newly-discovered tomb of WahtyeImage copyright
EPA

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The tomb’s colours have survived unusually well for almost 4,400 years, experts said

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A statue is seen inside the newly-discovered tomb of Wahtye, which dates from the rule of King Neferirkare KakaiImage copyright
Reuters

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The artefacts date from the Fifth Dynasty, which ruled Egypt from around 2,500 BC to 2,350

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A view of coloured scenes depicting the owner of the tomb and his familyImage copyright
EPA

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The coloured wall scenes depict the owner, a high priest, with his family

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An Egyptian archaeological worker stands inside the newly-discovered tomb of "Wahtye", which dates from the rule of King Neferirkare Kakai, at the Saqqara area near its necropolis, in Giza, Egypt, December 15, 2018.Image copyright
Reuters

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Archaeologists plan to explore the tomb further, and should find the priest’s coffin soon

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All pictures subject to copyright

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