The 3,300 year old tomb is thought to belong to Ptahmes, a mayor of the ancient capital of Memphis. It was originally discovered by artifact hunters in the 19th century but the location, in a New Kingdom necropolis at Saqqara, was subsequently forgotten.
"Since then it was covered by sand and no one knew about it," said Ola el-Aguizy, the Cairo University archaeology professor who led the excavation, in the Daily Telegraph
. "It is important because this tomb was the lost tomb."
The only clues to the missing tomb came from the artifacts, taken by the original discoverers, which ended up in museums in the Netherlands, the United States and Italy, along with the Egyptian Museum in Cairo. The tomb was finally re-located after a five-year search.
Ptahmes, the mayor of Memphis, was a busy man who rated an impressive tomb. He also served as army chief, overseer of the treasury and royal scribe under Seti I and his son and successor, Ramses II, in the 13th century BC. The BBC
reports that the 70 metre long tomb contains carvings depicting Ptahmes and his family hunting and fishing on the Nile River. However the inner chambers of the tomb have yet to be investigated. The team of archaeologists from Cairo University are hopeful that mummified remains are still inside.