Egypt unveils 'one of a kind' 4,400-year-old tomb of ancient high priest
Egyptian archaeologists have discovered the tomb of a priest decorated with hieroglyphs and statues dating back more than 4,400 years in a pyramid complex.
The private tomb belonging to 'Wahtye', a high priest who served during the fifth dynasty reign of King Neferirkare, was unearthed today in a buried ridge at the ancient necropolis of Saqqara, south of the capital Cairo.
His brightly painted tomb is decorated with scenes showing the royal priest alongside his mother, wife and other members of his family, the Egyptian antiquities ministry said.
It also contains more than a dozen niches and 24 colourful statues of the cleric and members of his family.
The tomb dates from the rule of Neferirkare Kakai, the third king of the Fifth Dynasty of the Old Kingdom.
The 33 ft (ten metres) long, 9.8 ft (three metres) wide tomb has just under three metres high walls which are decorated with hieroglyphs and statues of pharaohs.
The tomb was untouched and unlooted, Mostafa Waziri, secretary-general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, told reporters at the site today.
He described the find as 'one of a kind in the last decades' as the tomb was unique due to the type of statues and its near perfect condition.
Archaeologists removed a last layer of debris from the tomb on Thursday and found five shafts inside.
The tomb has only partially been uncovered and officials expect more discoveries when archaeologists excavate the site further in coming months early next year and even as early as tomorrow.
One of the shafts was unsealed with nothing inside, but the other four were sealed.
Waziri was hopeful about one shaft in particular would reveal more secrets, adding: 'I can imagine that all of the objects can be found in this area.
'This shaft should lead to a coffin or a sarcophagus of the owner of the tomb.
'The colour is almost intact even though the tomb is almost 4,400 years old.'
In November archaeology officials announced the discovery in Saqqara of seven sarcophagi, some dating back more than 6,000 years, during excavation work started in April by the same archaeological mission.
Three of those tombs contained mummified cats and scarabs - an ancient Egyptian gem cut in the shape of the beetle.
The Saqqara necropolis south of Cairo is home to the famous Djoser pyramid, a more than 4,600-year-old construction which dominates the site and was the country's first stone monument.
The tomb, built by the master architect Imhotep for the Pharoah Djoser, stood 62 metres (203 feet) tall originally and is considered the oldest building in the world built entirely of stone.
Antiquities Minister Khaled el-Enany said: 'Today we are announcing the last discovery of the year 2018, it's a new discovery, it's a private tomb.
'It is exceptionally well preserved, coloured, with sculpture inside. It belongs to a high official priest... (and) is more than 4,400 years old.'
Antiquities minister Khaled al-Anani announced the find, just west of Cairo, which is also home to the famed Step Pyramid.
The Fifth Dynasty ruled Egypt from about 2,500 BC to 2,350 BC, not long after the great pyramid of Giza was built.
Ancient Egyptians mummified humans to preserve their bodies for the afterlife, while animal mummies were used as religious offerings.
Egypt has revealed over a dozen ancient discoveries this year.
The country hopes the finds will brighten its image abroad and revive interest among travellers who once flocked to its iconic pharaonic temples and pyramids but who fled after the 2011 political uprising.
In recent years, Egypt has heavily promoted new archaeological finds to international media and diplomats in the hope of attracting more visitors to the country.
The vital tourism sector has suffered from the years of political turmoil since the 2011 uprising.
译文来源：三泰虎 http://www.santaihu.com/46697.html 译者：Jessica.Wu
Chazisback, London, United Kingdom, 1 hour ago
And not one smartphone, lovely
Johnny Carsón, THE TONIGHT SHOW, United States, 2 hours ago
The graffiti 'Nancy Pelosi was here' was found scrawled on the tomb.
Kiernan, Manchester, United Kingdom, 3 hours ago
I hope it doesn¿t take 3000 years to debunk todays religious beliefs.
Joul, Aswan, Egypt, 3 hours ago
in Egypt The police do not kill us in the streets Students do not carry weapons in schools The United States is the worst place in the world
Joul, Aswan, Egypt, 4 hours ago
Not worse than the UK, the poorest country in the West
thirkell, Gold Coast Qld, Australia, 6 hours ago
Amazing and wonderful that there are still things to discover on this place we call earth
Prof. Hudson McLean, London, United Kingdom, 7 hours ago
Visit the tomb and on the way out end up in prison. Not worth the risk.