Egypt unearths tomb of Fifth Dynasty priest Wahtye in Saqqara | News | DW | 15.12.2018
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Egypt unearths tomb of Fifth Dynasty priest Wahtye in Saqqara

The hieroglyphs and statues in the tomb of royal purification priest Wahtye are almost intact despite being 4,400 years old. Walls decorated with colorful scenes show the owner of the tomb with his family.

Egyptian archaeologists have discovered a well-preserved 4,400-year-old tomb bedecked with hieroglyphs and statues, the Antiquities Minister announced Saturday.

The tomb belonging to Wahtye the priest was uncovered at the Sacred Animal Necropolis in Saqqara, south of Cairo, where the famous Step Pyramid is located.

Read more: The secrets of the Luxor mummies revealed 

Antiquities Minister Khaled al-Anani said hieroglyphs on the walls depicting the priest and his family were "exceptionally well-preserved."

"The color is almost intact even though the tomb is almost 4,400 years old," he said.

The tomb also contains 45 statues carved into rock that are in near perfect condition. They are also of Wahtye and his family.

Read more: Mummification workshop discovered near Egypt's Great Pyramids 

'One of a kind'

The untouched and unlooted find was "one of a kind in the last decades," al-Anani said.

Archeologists expect to discover more at the tomb when more excavation work is carried out in January.

Ägypten Sakkara Entdeckung 4400 Jahre altes Grabmal (Reuters/M. A. el Ghany)

The tomb decorations show Wahtye and his family

The tomb dates from the dynasty reign of King Neferirkare. Saqqara was the necropolis site for Memphis, the capital of ancient Egypt for more than two thousand years.

Egypt has unearthed more than a dozen ancient discoveries this year. The country is hoping to revive its tourism industry, which has suffered due to political turmoil and violence in the wake of the 2011 revolution that ousted the authoritarian leader Hosni Mubarak.

Watch video 03:36

Reading ancient Egyptian

cw/jm (AFP, AP, Reuters)

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