4,300-year-old tomb of an ancient Egyptian dignitary unearthed
Archeologists working at the site have uncovered the decorated entrance facade of the tomb, in addition to hieroglyphic inscriptions, paintings, and more.
Last week, the Polish Centre of Mediterranean Archaeology at the University of Warsaw said in a statement that the tomb of an ancient Egyptian official that was responsible for secret documents in the royal chancellery was discovered in Saqqara, an ancient Egyptian necropolis.
This statement expands on earlier findings, as the team discovered the tomb while digging a dry moat that encircles the Step Pyramid of Djoser, a larger figure. It is essentially a complex built for the late pharaoh who reigned from 2630 BCE to 11 BCE.
Archeologists working at the site uncovered the decorated entrance facade of the tomb, in addition to hieroglyphic inscriptions, paintings, and more.
“The dignitary bore the name Mehtjetju and was, among other things, an official with access to royal sealed, that is secret, documents, an inspector of the royal estate and a priest of the mortuary cult of King Teti,” said Kamil O. Kuraszkiiewicz, the director of the expedition. "This means that he most likely lived during the reigns of the first three rulers of the Sixth Dynasty: Teti, Userkare and Pepy I.”
The reliefs on the discovery were possibly carved by skilled artisans given the high socioeconomic status of Mehtjetju. The rock carved on is brittle and eroded - however, it has undergone treatments by the National Museum in Warsaw.
Without including polychromy, the decoration on the facade looks incomplete. “It is possible that it was never created because the decoration of the chapel was not completed. The side walls of the entrance have no relief decoration, just figures painted in black ink on lime plaster,” Kuraszkiewicz explained.
The sketches on the facade are of cows, antelopes, and goats - all to the sacrifice.
The researchers who've inspected the discovery contend that the decoration was left unfinished due to the investor's death, which resulted in a hastily completed tomb. It is still unclear whether Mehtjetju or his family are kept in the tomb or not. The chapel's interior will undergo further study this fall.