Egypt is a country known for its ancient history that dates to the time of the pharaohs. Millennia-old monuments sit along the fertile Nile River Valley, including Giza’s colossal Pyramids and Great Sphinx as well as Luxor’s hieroglyph-lined Karnak Temple and Valley of the Kings tombs. The country has been in news recently again regarding the discovery of a tomb that is more than 4,000 years old.
The newly discovered, the well-preserved tomb has been determined to be the final resting place of a royal priest who, according to one excavation official, really loved his mom. As he mentioned the name of his mother almost everywhere there. Mostafa Waziri, secretary general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, observes this by pointing to the dozens of hieroglyphics, statues and drawings. Various drawings depict the manufacturing of pottery and wine, making a religious offering, musical performances, boats sailing, the manufacturing of the funerary furniture and hunting.
It is quite extraordinary that archaeologists in Egypt have been able to discover the final resting place of a high priest, which has been untouched for almost four and a half thousand years. Waziri pegged the find as “one of a kind in the last decades.”
The tomb was found in the pyramid complex of Saqqara, south of the capital, Cairo, and contains numerous colorful hieroglyphics and statues of pharaohs.
According to the Ministry of Antiquities, the priest’s name is Wahtye, who served during Egypt’s Fifth Dynasty under King Neferirkare Kakai (born 2483 BCE – died 2465 BCE). His tomb is about 33 feet long, 10 feet wide and 10 feet high. It contains two levels filled with dozens of statues and colorful drawings of the priest and his family. Wahtye’s tomb is decorated with scenes of the royal priest alongside his mother, wife and other family members.
According to Waziri many other ancient artifacts probably remain hidden in the tomb’s lower depths. As a shaft that he believes contains a sarcophagus of the tomb’s owner, in addition to many other objects was also discovered.
Waziri believes the tomb’s discovery is special because of its near-perfect condition. Its drawings are almost completely preserved, and the tomb itself has not been looted. Extensive excavation has been done by the Egyptian government in the area of this discovered tomb.
Egypt is a special place for people who have a thing for ancient history and ancient civilizations. Evidence of human habitation in Egypt stretches back tens of thousands of years. However, it was only in about 6000 BCE that widespread settlement began in the region. Around this time, the Sahara Desert expanded. People flock from all over the world to see this unique country.
Tourism in Egypt has declined in last decade courtesy the revolution in 2011 and in the wake of terrorist attacks. It has affected the country adversely as it has always been one of its main economic industries. But the government is trying its level best to bring the tourists back.
Some cynical observers believe that Mr. El-Enany is trying to use ‘the power of Egyptian monuments’ to get positive images of the country back into the press. The last few years have seen a number of large choreographed press events for announcements of impressive discoveries, leading to suspicions the ministry is strategically releasing finds for maximum effect, although ministry officials deny this.
But the general public does not really mind how they are being discovered. As long as they have new things to observe. The government knows this and that’s why archaeologists are continuing to excavate Wahtye’s tomb and its surroundings and they expect to make more discoveries soon.