Tomb Of A ‘Secret Keeper’, Mummy Covered In Gold Among New Discoveries In Egypt | Eastern North Carolina Now

    Publisher's Note: This post appears here courtesy of the The Daily Wire. The author of this post is Ben Whitehead.

    4,300-year-old tombs belonging to important figures, a mummy covered in gold leaf, and an ancient king's keeper of secrets were among the discoveries unveiled in Egypt on Thursday.

    The finds, dating from the fifth and sixth dynasties of the Old Kingdom between 2686-2181 B.C., were discovered in Saqqara, south of Cairo, after a year-long excavation. Archeologist Zahi Hawass, a leader in the dig and Egypt's former Minister of State for Antiquities Affairs, announced the discoveries.

    "This mummy may be the oldest and most complete mummy found in Egypt to date," Hawass said of the remains of a man named Hekashepes covered in gold. He added that the mummy had remained sealed "just as the ancient Egyptians left it 4,300 years ago." Hekashepes was found in a nearly 50-foot shaft in a limestone sarcophagus.

    Archeologists know the name because it was inscribed at the top of the sarcophagus as "HqA-Sps," or Hekashepes. Hawass said that this mummy is the oldest non-royal found in the country, and it is the oldest ever found that was wrapped in gold leaf, according to CBS News.

    The archeologist told the outlet that the type of burial Hekashepes received means that he was likely a man of importance, saying, "Of course, he was important. For someone to make a sarcophagus like this, 15 meters under the ground, he should be a very important man." It reportedly took two hours of meticulous work for archeologists to remove the lid to unveil the historic discovery.

    Located in another tomb was an ancient king's "secret keeper," according to archeologists. The former antiquities minister said that "the second largest tomb belonged to Meri, who held many important titles, such as keeper of the secrets and assistant of the great leader of the palace." A "secret keeper" was a prestigious title for a senior official that could perform religious rituals, according to France 24.

    None of the previously mentioned tombs were the biggest finds, however.

    "The most important tomb belongs to Khnumdjedef, an inspector of the officials, a supervisor of the nobles, and a priest in the pyramid complex of Unas, the last king of the fifth dynasty," Hawass said, adding that it was "decorated with scenes of daily life."

    Another tomb had a man named Fetek, who was reportedly a writer and judge.

    In addition to the mummies, archeologists discovered 14 stone statues in a 33-foot shaft, according to CBS. Hawass said this find "is the first time in this century that such a large number of statues was found in Saqqara."
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