Vibrant 4,400-Year Old Fifth Dynasty Tomb Discovered in Egypt

Credit: Mohamed el-Shahed/AFP

Astounding vibrancy meets ancient legacy inside the tomb of one Khuwy, a senior official who was a nobleman during the period of the Fifth Dynasty of Egypt (circa 25th – 24th century BC). The incredible discovery, according to the country’s antiquities ministry, was originally made last month and then officially unveiled on Saturday (April 13th).

tomb
Credit: Mohamed el-Shahed/AFP

The kaleidoscopic tomb is situated in the grand necropolis of Saqqara, near Memphis, the ancient capital of Lower Egypt. According to the excavation team’s head Mohamed Megahed, the structure is L-shaped with a corridor leading to the antechamber and then on to the larger chamber. The colorful reliefs represent the owner himself seated at an table with offerings, and is complemented by well-preserved inscriptions.

Credit: Mohamed el-Shahed/AFP

It terms of design, the northern wall of the tomb was possibly influenced by the Fifth Dynasty’s royal pyramids, while its ritzy paintings “boast a special green resin throughout and oils used in the burial process”, as noted by the Egyptian antiquities authority. As for the tomb in itself, the structure is composed of white limestone blocks.

 

Lastly, it should be noted that in recent times, archaeologists have been able to unearth a string of settlements and tombs dated from the Fifth Dynasty period. For example, last year, researchers came across the oldest known complex at the ancient Egyptian site of Tell Edfu. The focal point of this 4,500-year old settlement at Tell Edfu pertains to two large buildings that served as the seats of the royal administration in the area. Made of mudbricks, the structures were found to be flanked by open courtyards and a range of workshops and storage containers. Analysis of these zones and on-site artifacts (like weights and crucible fragments) has revealed how the facilities were used for making beer, bread, and even smelting copper along with other metallurgical processes.

Credit: G. Marouard

Additionally, the archaeologists were able to find around 220 mudbrick stamps of King Djedkare Isesi (the penultimate king of the dynasty) inside the complex, possibly alluding to the royal expeditions conducted during the Fifth Dynasty period. Now historically, the discovery rather mirrors the increase in Egyptian trade during 24th-23rd century BC, a thriving maritime scope which extended to the exchange of high-value items like ebony, myrrh, frankincense, gold, and copper. To that end, the archaeologists did identify goods inside a storehouse that were possibly sourced from King Isesi’s famous royal expeditions to Wadi Al-Maghara in South Sinai.

Via: Archaeology News Network

Source: AFP

About the Author

Dattatreya Mandal
Dattatreya Mandal has a bachelor's degree in Architecture (and associated History of Architecture) and a fervent interest in History. Formerly, one of the co-owners of an online architectural digest, he is currently the founder/editor of Realmofhistory.com. The latter is envisaged as an online compendium that mirrors his enthusiasm for ancient history, military, mythology, and historical evolution of architecture.
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