Cairo, March 20 (IANS) The Egyptian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities announced the discovery of five 4,000-year-old ancient tombs in the Saqqara archaeological sites southwest of Cairo.
“The Egyptian archaeological mission uncovered five tombs about 100 meters northwest of the Merenre Pyramid in southern Saqqara,” Xinhua news agency quoted the Ministry as saying in a statement on Saturday.
The tombs contain finds and objects dating back to the end of the Old Kingdom spanning from 2686 BC to 2181 BC and the beginning of the First Intermediate Period spanning from 2181 BC to 2055 BC.
One tomb belonged to a senior statesman named Iri, and has a shaft that leads to a burial chamber whose walls portray a funeral with offering tables, the facade of a palace, and seven oil pots.
Inside the tomb are a huge limestone sarcophagus and carved pieces belonging to the owner of the tomb.
The second tomb, likely belonging to the wife of a person named Yart, has a rectangular shaft.
The third one belonged to a person named Bi Nafarhafayi, who held several positions including the supervisor of the Great House, the chanting priest, and the cleaner of the house.
The fourth tomb, discovered six metres underground, is for Betty, a woman responsible for the king’s make-up and dressing.
She was a priestess of Hathor, the goddess of love, beauty, music, dancing, fertility and pleasure.
The last tomb for a man named Hannu has a seven-metre-deep rectangular shaft.
Hannu’s titles include supervisor of the royal palace, mayor, supervisor of the Great House, bearer of the seals of Lower Egypt, and supervisor of an orchard.
In the past few years, many discoveries were made in the Saqqara sites, including hundreds of coloured coffins containing well-preserved mummies of senior statesmen and priests from the 26th Dynasty, according to the statement.