SAHARA, Egypt — Ancient workshops and tombs dating back 4,000 years in a sprawling pharaonic necropolis outside Egypt’s capital Cairo were opened by antiquities authorities on Saturday.
Clay pots and other items used to mummify humans and sacred animals were found at the site in Saqqara, part of Egypt’s ancient capital of Memphis, Mostafa Waziri, secretary general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, told reporters.
“We found a huge embalming – we call it house – or workshop, one for humans and one for animals,” Waziri told a news conference at the UNESCO World Heritage site.
They discovered tombs from the Fifth Dynasty dating back to 4,400 years ago, decorated with “daily life scenes and afterlife scenes” and images of harvest and cultivation.
He said the workshops and tombs date to the 30th Pharaonic Dynasty (380 BC to 343 BC) and the Ptolemaic Period (305 BC to 30 BC).
An animal embalming workshop was created with mud and stone floors, and it was found with bronze implements used in the mummification process. Five beds made of stone were found still standing inside the chamber, which were used to mummify the most sacred animals.
One of the tombs belonged to “Ne Hesut Pa,” the chief of scribes and priest of Horus and Mat during the Fifth Dynasty around 2400 BC, Sabri Faraq, head of the Saqqara archaeological site, said in a separate news release. liberation
He said the second tomb belonged to a Qadish priest named “Men Gaber” from the 18th dynasty (around 1400 BC).
Old royal tombs for men were found painted with the names of the deceased and their wives.
Within the New Kingdom tombs, it was found in the B.C. Dating back to 1500, alabaster statues of the tombs’ owners have been found still intact with hieroglyphic inscriptions in blue.
In February, an unusual ceramic vessel was discovered in the Saqqara necropolis, shedding light on how the ancient Egyptians mummified bodies.
Chemical residues found in the jars, according to the study, allowed researchers to identify mixtures of aromatic or antiseptic oils, tar and resins.
This, matched with writings engraved on the outside of the containers, provided researchers with new details about the specific materials used in mummification, such as tammar tree resin native to the rainforests of Asia and Africa, and elemi oil.
In recent years, Egypt’s government has heavily promoted new archaeological discoveries to international media and diplomats. It hopes such innovations will help the country attract more tourists to revive an industry hit by political turmoil following the 2011 uprising.
Charlene Kubash from Saqqara and Leila Sakhoor reported from London.