Pattaya Daily News

10 July 2010 :: 11:07:27 am 30303

6th Dynasty Tomb Uncovered in Saqqara

Egyptian archaeologists have unveiled a newly unearthed double tomb of a father and his son, believed to be around 4,300 years old at a site in the ancient necropolis of Saqqara, near Cairo that they have been excavating since 1986. They believe this could lead them to the largest cemetery of ancient Egypt.
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The tomb boasts two false doors with vividly colourful paintings depicting Shendwas, a top government official and head of the royal scribes sitting in front of a table of sacrifices which signifies that he held a very esteemed position during that period and his son, Khonsu, inherited the same title.

Also on the fathers’ door is the name ‘Pepi II who is believed to have been the longest reigning pharaoh, 90 years. Above the false door of Khonsus’ tomb was a brightly coloured relief of him in different poses.

The inscription carved into a rock dates back to the 6th dynasty (2374-2191 BC) which marked the beginning of the decline of the Old Kingdom known as the ‘age of the pyramids’. A single shaft led down to the father’s tomb, which in turn led to the tomb of the son with paintings of Khonsu in front of a sacrificial table.

The burial shaft was located directly under the false door where Shendwas’s wooden coffin was found buried in a 20 meter deep well, which prevented thieves getting in.

Humidity and erosion had destroyed the fathers’ sarcophagus, while the tomb of the son Khonsu had been robbed of all antiquities. Excavators found limestone jars including five duck shaped artifacts. Such articles were often buried with the dead in the 5th and 6th dynasties to show their respect to the sun god Ra. These artifacts were found at an 18 meter depth.

Egypt’s antiquities chief believed the new finds were the most distinguished tombs ever found from the ‘Old Kingdom’, because of the well preserved colours that look as if they were painted only yesterday.Three years of excavations have led to the discovery of six tombs dating back to the end of the ‘Old Kingdom’.

Work on the double tomb started five weeks ago. The tombs lie west of Saqqara’s most famous pyramid, the ‘Step Pyramid of Djoser’ where a large burial ground surrounds it that contains tombs from Egypt’s earliest history through to Roman times.

Sarah Goldman

Photo : Internet   Category : Stories

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