4,000 Year Old Egyptian Tomb Discovered in ‘Near Perfect Condition’

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GIZA, Egypt — Egypt unveiled a well-preserved 4,400-year-old tomb decorated with hieroglyphs and statues south of Cairo on Saturday, Dec. 15, and officials expect more discoveries when archaeologists excavate the site further in the coming months.

The tomb was found in a buried ridge at the ancient necropolis of Saqqara which is situated within the Giza province. It was untouched and unlooted, Mostafa Waziri, secretary-general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, told reporters at the site. He described the find as “one of a kind in the last decades”.

The tomb dates from the rule of Neferirkare Kakai, the third king of the Fifth Dynasty of the Old Kingdom.

Archaeologists removed a last layer of debris from the tomb on Thursday (December 13) and found five shafts inside, Waziri said. One of the shafts was unsealed with nothing inside, but the other four were sealed. They are expecting to make discoveries when they excavate those shafts starting on Sunday, Dec. 16, he said.

The tomb is 10 meters (33 ft) long, three meters (9.8 ft) wide and just under three meters high, Waziri said.

The walls are decorated with hieroglyphs and statues of pharaohs. Waziri said the tomb was unique because of the statues and its near perfect condition.

The tomb lies in a buried ridge that has only partially been uncovered. Waziri said he expects more discoveries to be made there when archaeologists start more excavation work in January.

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