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Ancient Egypt: 4,400-year-old tomb discovered in Saqqara



(CNN) – A more than 4,000-year-old private grave with "exceptionally well-preserved" drawings was discovered south of Cairo, according to the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquity.

Anani said that the tomb was discovered at the archaeological site of Saqqara and came from the fifth dynasty of pharaohs, who ruled 4,400 years ago.

The tomb belonged to a royal cleaning priest named "Wahtye," al-Anani said in a statement. Inscriptions implied that the priest had served during the reign of King Nefer-Ir-Ka-Re and was the superior and inspector of the king's holy boat.

Al-Anani said the walls of the tomb are adorned with colorful scenes depicting Wahtye with his mother, wife, and family.

The head of the excavation mission, Mostafa Waziri, said other drawings showed wine and pottery making, musical performances, sailing, hunting and the making of funeral furniture.

Waziri said his team had reached the grave in November, but it had taken some time for the doors to be locked.

Some 50 niches inside the bomb also contained colored statues carved into the rock, including a standing person or a scribe, Waziri said. 1

9659003] "This statue could belong to the deceased or a member of his family," he said.

General Director of the site, Sabry Farag, said the tomb was about 10 meters long and 3 meters high. 10 feet wide with a cellar. [19659003] It also contained five grave shafts, Waziri said, which will be the subject of further excavation.

Saqqara also houses the famous Step Pyramid.

Mohammed Tawfeeq and Sheena Jones of CNN contributed to this report. [19659014]
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