Priestess tomb from 4400 years ago uncovered in Egypt


Archaeologists in Egypt have discovered a 4400-year-old tomb near the country's famed pyramids at the Giza plateau just outside Cairo, in the latest discovery that authorities hope will help revive the country's staggering tourism sector.

The tomb is thought to belong to a priestess known as Hetpet, who was apparenlty close to ancient Egyptian royals of the 5th Dynasty.

In the images, she is standing in scenes of hunting and fishing, as well as in an image receiving offerings from her children.

Within those settings a monkey is illustrated, at that moment in time they were actually a typical domestic animal, gathering fruit and one more dancing before an orchestra, explained Mostafa Al-Waziri, director of the archaeological mission.

"Such scenes are rare. and have only been found previously in the [Old Kingdom] tomb of "Ka-Iber" where a painting shows a monkey dancing in front of a guitarist, not an orchestra", Al-Waziri said. Similar scenes have been found in other tombs belonging to the later 12th dynasty, according to the antiquities ministry's statement. In December, Egyptian archaeologists unveiled two ancient tombs in the southern city of Luxor.

Although this is not the first discovery of its kind in Egypt, the archaeological team stressed the importance of it given the peculiarity of a non-noble woman being buried alone.

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"This is a very promising area. We expect to find more", Al-Waziri said, according to the AP. "We have removed between 250-300 cubic metres of layers of earth to find the tomb".

Egypt has announced a series of ancient discoveries in the past few months.

A museum is now under construction in Giza and will feature many precious artefacts, including some belonging to the legendary king Tutankhamun.

The new Grand Egyptian museum is expected to be opened later this year.

Archeologists were able to say the tomb was from the Fifth Dynasty because it presented the architectural tomb style tomb, the decorative paintings, some colorful murals, and the L-shaped entrance, all of which are characteristic of that era.

Egypt hopes the inauguration of the new museum, along with the recent discoveries, will draw visitors back to the country.