CAIRO: Two newly discovered 3,100-year-old tombs are being excavated in the Sakkara archaeological site, 25km south of the Giza Pyramids, Minister of Antiquities Mohamed Ibrahim announced Thursday.
The new discovery is attributed to the efforts of a Polish mission and an archaeological expedition at Cairo University’s Faculty of Archaeology, Youm7 reported Ibrahim as saying.
“The two tombs belong to Pah Seir and Ptah Ms, two high officials and Pharaoh’s messengers to foreign countries during the twentieth Dynasty (1189–1077 BC),” Ibrahim said.
The two newly discovered tombs are significant as their layout and interior design represent a significant contribution to current knowledge of the design of tombs during the New Kingdom period (1580 – 1080 BC).
The tombs are empty with a few surviving carvings and colors in their burial chambers. “They resemble the design of the ancient Egyptian temples of the era with the same architectural elements,” Ibrahim said.
The expedition team has been carrying out excavations at Sakkara since 2002, former Dean of the Faculty of Antiquities Cairo University and Head of the expedition Ola El-Egezy said.
Pah Seir’s tomb is relatively simple and measures about 7 by 11 meters. It consists of a façade of two pylons followed by an open court with central burial-shaft, and an offering-chapel flanked by two storerooms, Egezy said.
“The names and the titles of the deceased are depicted at the door lintels while several limestone wall-panels and pillars collapsed except for their bases,” she said. The tomb has a well-preserved carving that shows Pah Seir along with his family members making offerings to the god Osiris.
“The expedition team will start the renovation of the tombs soon and they will be opened to the public by October,” Egezy said.
Sakkara is a vast ancient Egyptian necropolis housing tombs and pyramids from different periods of Egypt’s long history, former head of Egypt’s Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA) Abdel Halem Nour El Din told The Cairo Post.
“Most of the monuments at Sakkara date back to the Old Kingdom period (2670-2180 BC). The site also houses the Step Pyramid, which is the most ancient known stone structure in the history of mankind,” Nour El Din said.
“The new discovery is unique as it proves that Sakkara, a necropolis known as a burial place for Old Kingdom Pharaohs,was also used by the Pharaohs of the New Kingdom Period (1580 – 1080 BC),” Nour El Din said.