Egyptian antiquities authorities unveiled a “one of a kind” find Saturday — the nearly 4,400-year-old tomb of the “divine inspector” from Egypt’s fifth dynasty.
Archaeologists discovered five shafts of the tomb of a high-ranking religious figure named Wahtye, who lived in the 24th century B.C., beneath a ridge in the necropolis of Saqqara in the southwest outskirts of Cairo. One of the shafts was unsealed and is reportedly filled with well-preserved colorful stone carvings that could provide valuable insights about life during the reign of the fifth dynasty Egyptian King Neferirkare Kakair. (RELATED: Israeli Archaeologists Discover Ring Belonged To Roman Governor Who Ordered Jesus’ Crucifixion … 50 Years After Digging It Up)
Mostafa Waziri, secretary-general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, told reporters at Saturday’s unveiling of the find that the tomb had been undisturbed and constituted a “one of a kind in the last decades,” according to Reuters.
Waziri said archaeologists will inspect the other four sealed shafts and that they are hopeful one particular shaft will lead to Wahtye’s sarcophagus. He also said the level of the tomb’s preservation for over 4,000 years made it incredibly rare.
“The color is almost intact even though the tomb is almost 4,400 years old,” Waziri said of the stone carvings as the statues of pharaohs within the shaft.
While the discovery of the tomb is significant in a historical sense, it is also a spark of hope for Egypt’s tourism industry, according to The Independent. Egyptian officials have been trying to use new and important archaeological finds to persuade tourists to return to Egypt, since civil unrest and terrorist-related violence in the country dealt a significant blow to the country’s tourism rates since 2011.
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