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Historical find in Egypt: the oldest mummy

A mummy, belonging to a man named Hekashepes, was in a limestone sarcophagus that had been sealed with mortar could be the “oldest” ever discovered.

A mummy, belonging to a man named Hekashepes, was in a limestone sarcophagus that had been sealed with mortar could be the “oldest” ever discovered.

A group of archaeologists have discovered a pharaonic tomb near Cairo (Egypt) that contains a true relic: the oldest and most complete mummy that has been discovered so far in the country. “This mummy may be the oldest and most complete one found in Egypt to date,” one of Egypt’s former ministers of antiquities, Zahi Hawass, exhibited in an official statement.

As the research team, and more specifically team director Zahi Hawass, declared on Thursday, the 4,300-year-old mummy was found at the bottom of a nearly 50-foot shaft in a group of fifth and sixth dynasty tombs near the step pyramid at Saqqara.

Mummy of a man named Hekashepes

At the very bottom, intact and sealed with mortar, was a large rectangular limestone sarcophagus. Opening it, the researchers discovered the mummy of a man covered with gold leaf. According to the inscriptions, which are made to remember someone or some event, he was called Hekashepes.

Despite the fact that images of the mummy in question have not yet been published, other photographs have been revealed of what appears to be the sarcophagus and other documented tombs in the area have been shown to the media, which belong to highly relevant figures of the V and VI dynasties, of the Old Kingdom, as can be seen in the following images.

Detail of one of the recovered statues.
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Detail of one of the recovered statues.MOHAMED ABD EL GHANYREUTERS
Another of the Old Kingdom tombs.
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Another of the Old Kingdom tombs.MOHAMED ABD EL GHANYREUTERS

Also, among other tombs found is that of Khnumdjedef, an inspector of officials, overseer of nobles and priests during the reign of Unas, last pharaoh of the fifth dynasty. It was decorated with scenes of everyday life. Another tomb belonged to Meri, “keeper of the secrets and assistant to the great leader of the palace”.

They also found statues.

In addition, numerous statues were found among the tombs, including one representing a man and his wife and various servants, according to the statement. “We have also found the tomb of a priest from the pyramid complex of King Pepi I which contained nine beautiful statues (one represents a married couple and others servants),” Hawass said.

In the same way, he argued that at first they did not find any inscriptions that could identify its owner, but it could be a man named Mesi based on inscriptions on a false door later identified. This shows that the investigation does not end here and, therefore, will remain open.


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