Egypt announced on Saturday the discovery of a well-preserved ancient tomb of a royal priest and his family. Authorities said that that the tomb is a one of a kind find because of its perfect condition.
Dates Back To Egypt's Fifth Dynasty
The 4,400-year-old tomb was discovered in Saqqara, which served as a vast ancient burial ground, or necropolis, for the ancient Egyptian capital Memphis.
Egypt's minister of antiquities Khaled al-Anani said that the newly-discovered tomb dates back to the rule of Neferirkare Kakai, the third king of the fifth dynasty of ancient Egypt.
The fifth dynasty, which lasted from 2,500 B.C. to about 2,350 B.C., ruled not long after the construction of the Great Pyramid of Giza.
The tomb is the final resting place of the royal priest Wahtye. Excavation officials said that Wahtye loved his mother very much as suggested by the artifacts in the tomb.
The tomb has two levels filled with statues and colorful drawing of the priest and his family. Mostafa Waziri, secretary-general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, said that there were mentions of the name of the priest's mother almost everywhere.
One Of A Kind Find
The tomb measures 10 meters long, 3 meters wide and under 3 meters in height. Its walls are adorned by hieroglyphs and statues of pharaohs.
Waziri said that the tomb was untouched and unlooted, and described the discovery as "one of a kind in the last decades."
"The color is almost intact even though the tomb is almost 4,400 years old," he said.
Archaeologists who removed a last layer of debris from the tomb last week found five shafts inside, four of which were sealed. One was unsealed and has nothing inside.
Archaeologists are expecting to make more discoveries once the shafts are excavated. Waziri was hopeful for one particular shaft, which he said should lead to a coffin or a sarcophagus of the tomb's owner.