Egypt says 4,400-year-old tomb discovered outside Cairo

February 3, 2018 by Menna Zaki
Egypt says 4,400-year-old tomb discovered outside Cairo
This image taken from video on Saturday, Feb. 3, 2018, shows wall paintings inside a 4,400-year-old tomb near the pyramids outside Cairo, Egypt. Egypt's Antiquities Ministry announced the discovery Saturday and said the tomb likely belonged to a high-ranking official known as Hetpet during the 5th Dynasty of ancient Egypt. The tomb includes wall paintings depicting Hetpet observing different hunting and fishing scenes. (AP Photo/APTN)

Archaeologists in Egypt have discovered a 4,400-year-old tomb near the country's famed pyramids at the Giza plateau just outside Cairo, the Antiquities Ministry said Saturday, the latest discovery that authorities hope will help revive the country's staggering tourism sector.

The tomb was found in a wider area of Giza's western necropolis, which is known to be home to from the Old Kingdom.

It likely belonged to a woman known as Hetpet, who archaeologists believe was close to ancient Egyptian royals of the 5th Dynasty.

The tomb, unveiled to the media on Saturday, is made of mud brick and includes wall paintings in good condition depicting Hetpet observing different hunting and fishing scenes.

Other scenes also depict a monkey—in pharaonic times, monkeys were commonly kept as domestic animals—picking fruit. Similar scenes have been found in other tombs belonging to the later 12th dynasty, according to the ministry's statement. Another scene shows a monkey dancing before an orchestra.

According to the ministry, the archaeological mission behind the discovery started excavation work last October. Archaeologists have been making discoveries near the site since the 19th century, and Mostafa al-Waziri, who led the mission, believes there is still more to be found.

"This is a very promising area. We expect to find more," Al-Waziri told reporters at the site. "We have removed between 250-300 cubic meters of layers of earth to find the tomb."

Egypt says 4,400-year-old tomb discovered outside Cairo
This image taken from video on Saturday, Feb. 3, 2018, shows wall paintings inside a 4,400-year-old tomb near the pyramids outside Cairo, Egypt. Egypt's Antiquities Ministry announced the discovery Saturday and said the tomb likely belonged to a high-ranking official known as Hetpet during the 5th Dynasty of ancient Egypt. The tomb includes wall paintings depicting Hetpet observing different hunting and fishing scenes. (AP Photo/APTN)
"What we see above the earth's surface in Egypt doesn't exceed 40 percent of what the core holds," he added.

Al-Waziri believes Hetpet had another tomb in Giza's western necropolis and said that is underway to find that one too.

Hetpet is a previously known figure in Egyptian antiquity though her mummy has not been discovered yet. Fragments of artefacts belonging to Hetpet were found in the same area back in 1909, and were moved to a museum in Berlin at the time, Antiquities Minister Khaled al-Anani said Saturday, speaking at the site to reporters and Western diplomats.

Despite all the discoveries already made about ancient Egypt, experts say they hope to find much more—in part thanks to modern technology—treasures still buried under the vast desert.

Egypt says 4,400-year-old tomb discovered outside Cairo
In this Aug. 30, 2015, file photo, camels rest between rides with their owners against the backdrop of the pyramids in Giza, Egypt. Archaeologists in Egypt say they have discovered a 4,400-year-old tomb near the pyramids outside Cairo. Egypt's Antiquities Ministry announced the discovery Saturday and said the tomb likely belonged to a high-ranking official known as Hetpet during the 5th Dynasty of ancient Egypt. (AP Photo/Courtney Bonnell, File)

The area of the latest is close to a new museum under construction that will house some of Egypt's most unique and precious artifacts, including many belonging to the famed boy King Tutankhamun.

The first phase of Grand Egyptian museum is expected to be opened later this year while the grand opening is planned for 2022.

In January, Egypt placed the ancient statue of one of its most famous pharaohs, Ramses II at the museum's atrium, which will include 43 massive statues.

Throughout 2017, the Antiquities Ministry made a string of discoveries across Egypt—including some in the southern city Luxor known for its spectacular temples and tombs spanning different dynasties of ancient Egyptian history.

Egypt says 4,400-year-old tomb discovered outside Cairo
In this Saturday, Oct. 24, 2015, file photo, the Sphinx and the historical site of the Giza Pyramids are illuminated with blue light, as part of the celebration of the 70th anniversary of the United Nations in Giza, just outside Cairo, Egypt. Archaeologists in Egypt say they have discovered a 4,400-year-old tomb near the pyramids outside Cairo. Egypt's Antiquities Ministry announced the discovery Saturday and said the tomb likely belonged to a high-ranking official known as Hetpet during the 5th Dynasty of ancient Egypt. (AP Photo/Amr Nabil, File)

Egypt hopes the inauguration of the new museum, along with the recent discoveries, will draw back visitors to the country where tourism has been hit hard by extremist attacks and political turmoil following the 2011 popular uprising that toppled longtime autocrat Hosni Mubarak and the authorities' struggles to rein in an insurgency by Islamic militants.

The government has tightened security around archaeological and touristic sites and spent millions of dollars to upgrade airport security especially following the 2015 downing of a Russian airliner over the restive Sinai Peninsula by the Islamic State group, killing 224 people on board.

The bombing dealt Egypt's vital tourism sector a hard blow after Russia suspended flights to and from Egypt.

In December, Cairo and Moscow signed a security protocol and announced plans to resume Russian flights to the Egyptian capital, due to start this month.

Egypt says 4,400-year-old tomb discovered outside Cairo
In this file photo dated Monday, Nov. 9, 2015, an Egyptian policeman walks near a pyramid in Giza, Egypt. Egypt's Antiquities Ministry on Saturday Feb. 3, 2018, announced the discovery of a 4,400-year-old tomb near the pyramids outside Cairo. (AP Photo/Nariman El-Mofty, FILE)

Explore further: Egypt places colossus of Ramses II in atrium of new museum (Update)

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25 comments

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doogsnova
1.6 / 5 (7) Feb 03, 2018
Big deal. The pyramids were first built 73,000 years ago. The starmaps are the real story...
https://gregdouga...records/
https://billymeie...yramids/
Ojorf
3.7 / 5 (9) Feb 04, 2018
Oh dear...I think this boy's cheese done slid off his cracker.
ThomasQuinn
4.5 / 5 (4) Feb 04, 2018
Wow, TWO wordpress blogs, that must mean this is some serious evidence... [/sarcasm]

On topic, I think it's fascinating that they've managed to find an unknown, reasonably sizeable tomb at Gizeh, which is probably the second most thoroughly explored part of Egypt. Makes you wonder what else might still lie hidden.
rrwillsj
3.7 / 5 (3) Feb 04, 2018
TQ, I agree with your question. Part of the problem is physical access to the area. They can't just bulldoze it up without damaging a lot more than they could hope to recover.

Another problem is who is permitted to search. Western archeologists and looters on behalf of private collectors have left the natives with the impression that we are all plundering opportunists.

Then there is the problem of having the resources and skilled people available in sufficient numbers to process any findings. Before, during and afterwords. Some of these projects can take a decade or more to meticulously complete.

That's when new technology is developed. And everybody has to go back, reevaluate previous findings. Fill in the many gaps of verified knowledge. Retrain and reeducate team members how to use the new devices and experimental methods.

Logistics is always a lot more important than hasty vandals are willing to credit.
TheGhostofOtto1923
1 / 5 (1) Feb 04, 2018
Hey there willis

A few questions;
What makes you think access is restricted?

Why do you equate 'western archeologists' with looters?

What makes you think that Mostafa al-Waziri, who led the mission, is a western archeologist?

What makes you think that there aren't sufficient staff to process findings?

What makes you think that stating the obvious about what they might or might not do is helpful?

What is the bullshit about hasty vandals? Where does the article say anything about THAT?

And what makes you think that posting whatever jumps into your fevered mind is at all worth reading?
leetennant
5 / 5 (3) Feb 04, 2018
Big deal. The pyramids were first built 73,000 years ago. The starmaps are the real story...
https://gregdouga...records/


Speechless. Literally deprived of speech.

Is it just me or is the crazy actually getting crazier?
Thorium Boy
1 / 5 (5) Feb 05, 2018
Anyone watch the NOVA ep about using muons to detect chambers in the Great Pyramid? Poor Japanese and French scientisis have to convince the backward Egyptian monkeys in-charge of archeology there (including egomaniac Howass) that the technique was sound.
leetennant
5 / 5 (4) Feb 05, 2018
Anyone watch the NOVA ep about using muons to detect chambers in the Great Pyramid? Poor Japanese and French scientisis have to convince the backward Egyptian monkeys in-charge of archeology there (including egomaniac Howass) that the technique was sound.


Oh good, let's throw in some old-school racism as well. This is a science site, right?
rrwillsj
1 / 5 (2) Feb 05, 2018
Oh leetennant, haven't you figured it out yet?

This is the site they lure all us cranks and crazies too. Keeping us from infesting/interfering with the REAL science sites.
TheGhostofOtto1923
1 / 5 (1) Feb 05, 2018
Oh leetennant, haven't you figured it out yet?

This is the site they lure all us cranks and crazies too. Keeping us from infesting/interfering with the REAL science sites.
Wassamatter willis? No answers? What makes you think you can post nonsense and not be challenged for it?

Prove youre not a crank. Answer the questions.
Seygindo
not rated yet Feb 06, 2018
So, nobody here is intrigued at how this is the earliest hieroglyphic set depicting how Egyptians depicted themselves? It suggests that Old Kingdom Egypt had the diversity in appearence/ethnicity that modern Egyptians have today. Some of the figures are brown, others much lighter.
EnricM
not rated yet Feb 06, 2018
Another problem is who is permitted to search. Western archeologists and looters on behalf of private collectors have left the natives with the impression that we are all plundering opportunists.



Not all archaeologists are Western, not anymore, and even the ones that are not Egyptian would work for the Ministry of Antiquities or in close collaboration. The times of the Great White Explorer are long gone.
EnricM
5 / 5 (1) Feb 06, 2018
. Some of the figures are brown, others much lighter.


Nobody doubts that. But Egyptians regarded a lighter skin tone as a sign of nobility (at least in women), not because of any ethnic question but because people working outsides would be more tanned, for obvious reasons, than the ones that stayed in the shadow of palaces or temples for longer periods.

Here I am talking about the XVIII dynasty, mind you, I am not too familiar with the earlier periods, so mileage may vary but we have to keep in mind that the Egyptians of this period may have included a lot of symbolism into their paintings.
Seygindo
not rated yet Feb 06, 2018
Much of the lighter figures there are male. And there IS a difference in appearence across Egypt (Upper Egypt VS Lower Egypt) today. I doubt the ancients would lack.
ThomasQuinn
not rated yet Feb 06, 2018
Much of the lighter figures there are male. And there IS a difference in appearence across Egypt (Upper Egypt VS Lower Egypt) today. I doubt the ancients would lack.


I would not dispute that such a difference could have existed (and perhaps even more so than today), it simply does not follow that this is depicted in Egyptian art here. You have to bear in mind that trying to portray people realistically is a fairly recent concept in art, and there is no reason to assume it is present in the extremely highly stylized ancient Egyptian art. So long as further evidence is lacking, a symbolic intention is far more likely than an attempt at realistic portrayal. Just look at it plainly: if they did not attempt to make the shapes of faces, bodies and the likes realistically depict individual people, why would they do so with colours?
rrwillsj
1 / 5 (1) Feb 06, 2018
Poor Otto, somebody get the man a ticket to any major historical museum. In Europe, Britain or the Americas. That guy needs to get out more!

EM, it may be more difficult for pillagers to operate today. But as the technology gets more sophisticated, so have the criminals. If you want to see the most popular of such shadowy endeavors? Visit both the Getty Museums. Proof that crime does pay and pays very well!

Seygindo, you are reading your own prejudices into what are millennia old caricatures depicting a reality of which we have only the dimmest, reliably verified knowledge.

Much of the artwork that survived has some degradation. And not all attempts to repair the damage are true to the original.

Not sure of what agenda you are desiring? But it is obvious your intentions are to forcibly narrow our vision to a singular conclusion. And deny all evidence that contradicts your belief system.
Seygindo
1 / 5 (1) Feb 06, 2018
Who are you and what makes you think you're respected by the scientific community?
Seygindo
not rated yet Feb 06, 2018
Just letting you know, there isn't a respected historian accepts there was a global flood that happened during man's existence.
Seygindo
1 / 5 (1) Feb 06, 2018
Are you an American? Your posts are ridiculous to be written by one.
rrwillsj
1 / 5 (1) Feb 07, 2018
Seygindo, talking to my father's kinfolk. They flatly proclaim that most of you altright fairytails are not white enough. And not American enough for their standards.

Sorry about that. Maybe you'll have better luck back in the old country?
TheGhostofOtto1923
1 / 5 (1) Feb 07, 2018
Poor Otto, somebody get the man a ticket to any major historical museum. In Europe, Britain or the Americas. That guy needs to get out more!
When someone challenges what you post you ought to be able to substantiate it. Or admit youre just a lying fabricator who likes to read his own rubbish.

Which is it willis?

Adults are more apt to take responsibility for what they say.
TheGhostofOtto1923
1 / 5 (2) Feb 08, 2018
If you want to see the most popular of such shadowy endeavors? Visit both the Getty Museums. Proof that crime does pay and pays very well!
Willis the libtard snot hates scientists. Yeah we get that.

These artifacts were secured during times of civil and political unrest. Had they not been removed they would have disappeared from looting and vandalism. Much of this material now in western hands was actually purchased from looters.

Most of the pyramids have been seriously damaged and pillaged for building materials. The Parthenon was used as an ammo dump which blew up. The sphinx was used for target practice.

Many of the artifacts removed by western scientists have been subsequently returned when their safety can be guaranteed.

You want a worthy target for your bile? Go look in a mirror.
rrwillsj
1 / 5 (1) Feb 08, 2018
Otto, excellent apologia justifying criminal behavior. Cause after all, as the superior being? You are entitled to exploit all those lesser beings you gain power over. Might makes Right. Yeah for our team!

It would be interesting to see how you respond when it is your turn to pass under the yoke. Most likely? You'll go crawling to your new master and beg for the privilege position of overseer abusing the other slaves.
TheGhostofOtto1923
1 / 5 (1) Feb 08, 2018
it might make sense
Willis palliates his feelings of inferiority by denigrating scientists. But he exposes his intellectual inferiority and emotional immaturity by doing so.

This is called negative feedback. The fact that it doesnt seem to phase him at all is a very bad omen indeed.
ThomasQuinn
not rated yet Feb 11, 2018
If you want to see the most popular of such shadowy endeavors? Visit both the Getty Museums. Proof that crime does pay and pays very well!
Willis the libtard snot hates scientists. Yeah we get that.

These artifacts were secured during times of civil and political unrest. Had they not been removed they would have disappeared from looting and vandalism. Much of this material now in western hands was actually purchased from looters.

Most of the pyramids have been seriously damaged and pillaged for building materials. The Parthenon was used as an ammo dump which blew up. The sphinx was used for target practice.

Many of the artifacts removed by western scientists have been subsequently returned when their safety can be guaranteed.

You want a worthy target for your bile? Go look in a mirror.


And Western powers destroyed Monte Cassino, most Roman sites were pillaged for building materials and musea retain many looted items. What's your point?

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