CAIRO: A 3,300-year-old tomb which belonged to an ancient Egyptian high official and his wife was unearthed in the Valley of the Nobles on the west bank of Luxor, Antiquities Minister Mamdouh el-Damaty announced Wednesday.
The tomb was discovered during cleaning and restoration work in a nearby tomb carried out by the joint U.S.-Egyptian archaeology mission of the American Research Center in Egypt (ARCE), according to Damaty.
“Dating back to the 18th Dynasty (1580B.C-1292B.C) of the New Kingdom period, the T-shaped tomb belonged to Sa-Mut, a nobleman and high official, and his wife Ta Khaeet,” the minister said in a post on the ministry’s Facebook page.
Although unfinished, the tomb is well preserved and shows colorful scenes of the couple seated and making offerings before several ancient Egyptian deities. “Some wall paintings and carvings of the tomb have been deliberately damaged which suggests that it was robbed in ancient times,” he added.
Figures of the solar god Amun inside the tomb were intentionally erased and demolished by followers of the heretic Pharaoh Akhenaten (1353B.C–1336B.C), who was the first recorded monotheist on earth, Sultan Eid, Director of Upper Egypt Antiquities Department, told The Cairo Post Thursday.
“Two years after ascending the throne of Egypt, Akhenaten and his followers discarded worship of all the ancient Egyptian deities, especially Amun, in favor of the solar god Aten. They also demolished all figures of Amun from temples across the country,” according to Eid.
The tomb is the second to be discovered this week after ARCE’s archaeology team unearthed the 3,500-year-old tomb of “the gatekeeper of God Amun” in the Valley of the Nobles.
“Implemented by ARCE, the team is providing hands-on training in conservation and archaeological fieldwork to increase the potential of cultural tourism in Egypt,” the U.S. Embassy in Cairo said in a statement Thursday.
The U.S. government, through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID,) recently awarded a new grant to ARCE to continue their efforts to conserve, preserve, and promote more effective management of Egypt’s cultural heritage resources, according to the statement.