Priestess tomb from 4400 years ago uncovered in Egypt

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The first one is painted on the wall of a 12th Dynasty tomb of Khnoum Hetep II in Beni Hassan in Minya Governorate and the second is found in an Old Kingdom tomb of Ka-Iber in Saqqara but it displays a dancing monkey in front of an instrumentalist not an orchestra.

Other scenes also depict a monkey - in pharaonic times, monkeys were commonly kept as domestic animals - picking fruit. "We have removed between 250-300 cubic metres of layers of earth to find the tomb".

Waziri says excavation work is underway for the other tomb.

"What we see above the earth's surface in Egypt doesn't exceed 40 per cent of what the core holds".


The tomb was found during excavation work in Giza's western cemetery, which houses tombs of top officials from ancient Egypt's Fifth Dynasty (2465-2323 BC).

The discovery was made in a cemetery near the famous pyramids of Giza by a team of Egyptian archeologists led by Mostafa Waziri, the secretary of the Supreme Council of Antiquities.

Hetpet is a known figure in Egyptian antiquity although her mummy has not been discovered.

"Hetpet is represented in very well preserved wall paintings while fishing or hunting", minister Khaled al-Anani stated during the press conference.


The tomb was unveiled to the media yesterday and officials hope it will give a boost to Egypt's faltering tourism industry. The finding marks the first discovery to be announced in 2018, Ahram Online, an Egyptian news organization, reports.

The newly discovered tomb of Hetpet has the architectural style and the decorative elements of the Fifth Dynasty with an entrance leading to an L-shaped shrine with a purification basin.

The government has tightened security around archaeological and tourist sites and spent millions of dollars to upgrade airport security, especially following the 2015 downing of a Russian airliner by ISIL, killing 224 people on board.

In December, Cairo and Moscow signed a security protocol and announced plans to resume Russian flights to the Egyptian capital, due to start this month.


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