Tombs of two priests unearthed in Saqqara date back 4,200 years
Courtesy: Ministry of State for Antiquities

The colorful tombs of two ancient Egyptian priests, along with their skeletons, were unearthed in the Saqqara district of Giza on Friday.

Also found within these ancient tombs were alabaster jars, religious tokens, colored religious offerings made of limestone, pottery and utensils.

This discovery was made by a team from the French Institute for Oriental Archaeology digging in the Tabbet al-Geish site located in southern Saqqara, which is around 40 km south of Cairo.

It has provided Egyptologists with further insight into the religion, rites, rituals and lifestyles of the priestly class during Egypt’s Old Kingdom.

According to a statement by the Antiquities Ministry, these two adjacent tombs belong to ancient priests who have been identified as “Ankh-Ti” and “Sapi.”

The priests most likely lived during the Sixth Dynasty (circa 2345 – 2181 BC) of the Old Kingdom, around the nearly 90-year reign of Pharaoh Pepi II Neferkare (circa 2240 – 2150 BC), according to the ministry’s statement, which added that the skeletons of both priests had been unceremoniously dumped on the floor inside their burial chambers, indicating that the tombs had most likely been subjected to looting sometime during the Seventh or Eight Dynasties (circa 2181 – 2118 BC).

Ancient tools were also found near the tombs, suggesting the presence of grave robbers.

The burial chamber of Sapi was found within his tomb at a depth of 6 meters, while that of Ankh-Ti was found at a depth of 12 meters.

Ankh-Ti’s tomb is decorated with colorful and detailed scenes of religious offerings and balls of incense, and includes a mural of large jars containing the “seven sacred oils.”

As for Sapi, his priestly tomb is largely decorated with images of food offerings, including meat and poultry, along with jars of milk and dairy products.


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