Egypt unveils 3,200-year-old sarcophagus of “royal secretary”

Egypt on Monday unveiled the more than 3,200-year-old sarcophagus of a high-ranking royal official at the Saqqara archaeological site south of Cairo, the latest in a string of spectacular discoveries in the region.

A team of Egyptian archaeologists from Cairo University discovered the red granite sarcophagus of Ptah-em-uya, the “high official” of Ramses II who ruled Egypt in the 13th century BC, Ministry of Antiquities says.

The ministry posted an image of the sarcophagus on Instagram.

Mustafa Waziri, head of Egypt’s Supreme Council of Antiquities, said the nobleman was “royal secretary, chief overseer of livestock, and head of the treasury of Ramathium,” located in the Thebes cemetery in Luxor. cemetery.

Waziri added that the official was also “responsible for offering sacred offerings to all the gods of Upper and Lower Egypt”.

Dr. Ola Al-Ajezi, head of the archaeological team, Say The study showed that the lid of the sarcophagus was broken, “indicating that the cemetery had previously been opened for burial and stolen.”

The tomb of Ptah-em-uya was discovered last year.

The unveiling ceremony was announced by Israeli archaeologists “Once in a lifetime” discovery Also from the time of Ramses II, it is filled with dozens of pottery and bronze objects.

Saqqara is a huge necropolis in the ancient Egyptian capital of Memphis, a UNESCO World Heritage Site with more than a dozen pyramids, animal graves and an ancient Coptic Christian monastery.

The current excavation season has revealed a granite sarcophagus “covered in writing” to “protect the dead” and “representing a scene of the Son of Horus,” according to the Antiquities Department.

Saqqara has been the site of a series of excavations in recent years.

Most recently, Egypt unveiled its collection of 150 bronze figurines in May, Five Tombs in Marchand last year’s more than 50 wooden sarcophagi dating back to the New Kingdom, which ended in the 11th century BC.

Critics say the excavations prioritize discoveries that get media attention over painstaking academic research.

But the discoveries are a key part of Egypt’s attempt to revive its vital tourism industry, the most important gem of which is the long-delayed inauguration of the Great Egyptian Museum at the foot of the pyramids.

Officially dubbed “the world’s largest archaeological museum,” it is expected to open this year.

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