Saturday, March 25, 2023

Archaeologists May Have Found Oldest Mummy In Egypt

(CNN) — Archaeologists have discovered the oldest mummy ever found in Egypt.

The 4,300-year-old mummy matched the name of a wealthy and important 35-year-old man named Djed Sepsh, archaeologist Zahi Hawass, Egypt’s former minister, told CNN on Friday.

“It is the oldest mummy, completely and covered in gold, that has been found in Egypt,” he said, adding, “It was the most amazing find.”

Hawass said he and a team of 10 colleagues discovered a mummified man 20 meters underground in the Gisr el-Mudir complex, in the shadow of Djoser’s ancient step pyramid in the city of Saqqara.

Archaeologist Zahi Hawass and 10 assistants found a 4,300-year-old mummy. Credit: Omar Zoheri / Picture Alliance / Getty Images

The mummy was in a 25-ton stone sarcophagus, with the lid alone weighing five tons, according to Hawass, a shaft the team entered.

Hawass said that when the team opened the lid, they found “the oldest and most beautiful mummy, covered in layers of gold, with a headband and chest bracelets, indicating it was a wealthy individual.”

Egyptian Mummy Empire

A set of artifacts from the Egyptian Old Kingdom were discovered at the site. Credit: Amr Nabil / Associated Press

Hawass said that among the many other Old Kingdom artifacts discovered were two tombs, one of which dates to the reign of King Unas during the Fifth Dynasty between 2494 and 2487 BCE.

Three figurines representing a man were also found in a well, and nine other figurines were found behind a false door.

The statues are important because they allow us to “learn for the first time about Old Kingdom art that includes double statues, single statues, servant statues, all kinds of different statues,” the archaeologist said.

Egyptian Mummy

Nine statues were found behind a false door last week. Credit: Fadel Davoud / Getty Images

Another stone sarcophagus similar to that of the mummified rich man was also discovered, to be opened the following week.

Hawass said the discovery meant the tomb was for very important people, “second only to the king.”

According to the country’s Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities, the Step Pyramid was the first pyramid built by the ancient Egyptians during the early Third Dynasty between 2667 and 2648 BCE, and is the oldest known stone structure from ancient Egypt.

Saqqara, a vast necropolis located about 32 kilometers south of Cairo, has been the scene of many amazing discoveries, including the mortuary temple of Queen Nearit, wife of King Teti, the first king of the 6th Dynasty of the Old Kingdom, in 2021.

In the same year, archaeologists discovered the tomb of the chief treasurer of King Ramses II, who ruled Egypt between 1279 and 1213 BC. A large trove of ancient bronze statues and sarcophagi was also discovered in May last year.

Nation World News Desk
Nation World News Desk
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