The joint archaeological mission between the Supreme Council of Antiquities of Egypt and Waseda University in Japan has successfully excavated a rock-cut tomb, various architectural elements, burials, and archaeological findings from different historical periods during the current excavation season within and above the catacombs of the Saqqara archaeological zone in Egypt.

As explained by Dr. Mustafa Waziri, Secretary-General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, the study of the architectural design of the uncovered tomb and the ceramic plates and vessels found inside indicate that it dates back to the Old Kingdom’s Dynasty II of ancient Egypt, approximately between 2890 and 2686 BCE.

The tomb exhibits the characteristic features of Old Kingdom funerary architecture, with burials, chambers, and corridors carved into the rock.

Dr. Mohammed Youssef, the director-general of Saqqara antiquities, highlighted that among the human remains found were those of an adult male with a funerary mask and those of a child.

These burials, along with other recovered materials, shed light on the funeral practices of that time.

A coffin from Dynasty XVIII (around 1543-1292 BCE) was also found, containing an alabaster container, indicating the reuse of tombs in later periods.

Dr. Nozomu Kawai, head of the Japanese mission, detailed that among the valuable objects discovered were figurines of the goddess Isis and the god Haroeris, a colorful funerary mask, mummy-shaped amulets, a ushabti with hieroglyphic inscriptions, and ceramic with writing. These objects provide information about the beliefs and writing of Ancient Egypt.

The Saqqara archaeological zone, located about 20 km south of Cairo, houses the necropolises of Memphis, the capital of the Old Kingdom. It served as the main cemetery of the city from 2700 BCE to 30 BCE and includes the famous Mastabas and the Step Pyramid of Djoser, a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Experts are confident that future campaigns of the Egyptian-Japanese mission will deepen the understanding of the site.

Dr. Kawai expressed hope that new excavations will contribute to a better understanding of the history of this region and its role as one of the main centers of Ancient Egypt.


Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities of Egypt

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