In November of last year, the Czech archaeological mission from the Faculty of Arts at Charles University in Prague made a significant discovery in the archaeological area of Abusir, south of Cairo. It is the tomb of the royal scribe “Jeghoty Em Hat” dating back to the mid-first millennium BC.

This section of the Abusir cemetery houses the tombs of high officials and military leaders from the VI and VII dynasties, making it highly relevant for scholars studying Egyptian society during that time, as explained by the Secretary-General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, Mostafa Waziri.

The significance of the find lies in the fact that the identity of Jeghoty Em Hat, who lived during the XXVII dynasty, was previously unknown.

Along with previous discoveries such as the tomb of military commander Wahibre-mery-Inihetef found last year, it will shed more light on historical changes in Egypt during the tumultuous 6th and 5th centuries BC.

The tomb is well-shaped and ends in a burial chamber, as indicated by the director of the Czech mission, Miroslav Bárta.

Although the upper part is damaged, the chamber contains numerous interesting scenes and hieroglyphic inscriptions. Access to it is through a small horizontal corridor about 3 meters below the well.

Interestingly, within the well, remains of scenes from the adjacent tomb belonging to a military leader of the time named Mennuhebu-Nehau were found.

Jeghoty Em Hat’s burial chamber is rich in texts and images. On the north wall (the entrance), there is a long series of religious texts against snakebites, based on inscriptions from the pyramids.

The south and west walls are engraved with ritual offerings and an extensive list of offerings. The ceiling represents the journey of the sun in its morning and evening bark, with litany at dawn and dusk.

The Czech team found the stone sarcophagus of the deceased, decorated with hieroglyphs and gods on the exterior and interior.

The lid and longer sides contain various texts from the Book of the Dead, including images of protective gods. The shorter sides depict the goddesses Isis and Nephthys with magical formulas.

The exterior has excerpts from the Coffin Texts and the Pyramid Texts, partly repeated on the walls.

Inside, the goddess of the west, Imentet, and the so-called “canopic formulas” dedicated to this goddess and the god of the earth, Geb, appear. All these spells aimed to ensure the entry of the deceased into eternal life.

No remains of funerary equipment were found as the tomb was likely plundered in the early 5th century BC. Anthropological analysis of the bone remains indicates that Jeghoty Em Hat died relatively young, around 25 years old, and suffered from diseases related to his sedentary work, as well as osteoporosis.

This suggests a possible kinship with those buried in nearby tombs who have the same ailment.

The discovery was made possible through fruitful cooperation between the Czech archaeological mission and the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities of Egypt, which hopes it will help promote the country’s rich historical heritage.


Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities of Egypt

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