The architectural and artistic feats of the ancient Egyptians never cease to amaze not only in the creation but in their preservation. Recently the country’s Ministry of Antiquities, Khaled al-Enani, revealed a “new” well-preserved tomb decorated with inscriptions and colorful reliefs. The archeological discover dates back more than 4,000 years – yet the vibrant paint of the reliefs look almost as fresh as the day they were painted.
The intricate tomb is said to belong to an official named Khuwy, a nobleman from the Fifth Dynasty, a period that spanned the 25th to the 24th century BCE. At the unveiling Minister al-Enani brought along 52 foreign ambassadors, cultural attachés, and well-known Egyptian actress Yosra, to inspect the vivid depictions.
The Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities just unveiled a colorful, astonishingly well-preserved 4,000-year-old tomb
Khuwy’s tomb was found in the massive necropolis at Saqqara, located in the south of Cairo. The design of the structure was done in a distinctive L-shape, Mohamed Mujahid, head of the excavation team, and includes a small corridor that leads down to an antechamber. Another unique feature they found was an entrance tunnel, typically only found in pyramids. Farther beyond is the large chamber, which houses the multicolored reliefs.
The well-preserved hues are colors associated with royalty, which, along with the unique structural features, have led the archeologists to believe that perhaps Khuwy had a relationship with Djedkare Isesi, the pharaoh of that period, whose pyramid is located nearby. A possible connection they have theorized is that the two were related, while another explanation is that it was designed in line with the pharaoh’s reforms of state administration and funerary cults.
Along with the tomb renderings, archeologists also found Khuwy’s mummy and canopic jars – containers used to hold bodily organs that have been divided up into several pieces. With this latest discovery, researchers hope to gain better insight into the 40-year reign of Djedkare Isesi.
This tomb is only the latest in a series of archeological unveilings by the Ministry of Antiquities. In 2018 they revealed some “exceptionally well-preserved” drawings at Saqqara and discovered a mass cat cemetery found with a collection of rare mummified scarab beetles. The country hopes that these discoveries will help in their ongoing efforts to revive the tourist economy, which hasn’t fully recovered from the 2011 political uprisings.
The Ministry of Antiquities in Egypt shared a video tour of the tomb on Twitter
— Ministry of Antiquities-Arab Republic of Egypt (@AntiquitiesOf) April 14, 2019