CAIRO: Two 4,200 year-old tombs of ancient Egyptian high priests were unearthed at the site of Tabit el-Geish, south of the Step Pyramid at Sakkara, according to the Antiquities Ministry’s statement Friday.
“Although approximately 4,200 years have passed since the construction of the tombs, they are in a very good state of preservation and contain several scenes depicting the typical 6th Dynasty rituals of making offerings to several Egyptian deities,” Antiquities Minister Mamdouh el-Damaty stated.
The discovery was made by the French Institute of Oriental Archaeology (IFAO) in collaboration with the Ministry of Antiquities, Damaty said, adding that they belong to two priests who lived during the 6th Dynasty, under Pharaoh Pepy II (2240B.C.- 2150B.C.)
Dr. Vassil Dobrev, director of the IFAO mission, said that the upper part of the tombs was built with mud brick and the burial chambers were cut into the white limestone bedrock.
According to Dobrev, “The first tomb, with a burial chamber of 12 meters [36 feet] deep, belonged to a high priest named ‘Ankhti’ while the second tomb belonged to another high priest named ‘Sabi.’”
He added that each tomb is built on two levels: the upper level is on the ground built of mud bricks, while the lower part is a rock hewn of limestone.
Human remains and skeletons of the tombs’ owners were found “scattered” around; an indication that they had been robbed since antiquity, Damaty said adding that alabaster jars along with painted limestone pottery were found inside both tombs.