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article image3,200-year-old tomb uncovered in Egypt

By Martin Laine     May 10, 2014 in World
Archaeologists working in the Saqqara necropolis south of Cairo have uncovered the tomb of an important government official dating back to the golden age of ancient Egypt.
Journalists, photographers, and government officials were given a tour of the site Thursday as part of the first public unveiling of the tomb, according to an article in Ahramonline, an English-language Egyptian news website.
Except for a few figurines, no spectacular treasures were found. Apparently the tomb had been looted decades ago. Some artifacts – even decorated blocks – can be found today in various museums around the world. Nevertheless, the tomb is an important find.
“It’s a very important discovery that adds more to Egypt’s history and status with its neighboring countries,” said Antiquities Minister Mohamed Ibrahim.
Cairo University archaeologists believe it to be the tomb of Paser, a royal ambassador to foreign countries and keeper of the army archives during the Ramesside period of the New Kingdom, which dates from about 1550 BC to 1070BC. The New Kingdom is regarded as ancient Egypt’s “Golden Empire,” when it reached the height of its wealth and power.
Part of what makes the find the find interesting is that the necropolis dates back to between 2650 BC and 2150 BC, a period known as the Old Kingdom when the early Bronze Age civilization was just emerging. At that time Saqqara, located between Upper and Lower Egypt, was the capital. By the time of the New Kingdom the capital had been moved to Thebes, also known as Luxor.
Most New Kingdom burials took place at Luxor, so the fact that some official burials still took place at the much older Saqqara necropolis adds to its significance.
Paser died young and the tomb was never quite finished.
“Although the tomb is unfinished,” said Ale El-Asfar, head of the ministry’s ancient Egypt antiquities section. “It depicts very distinguished and well-preserved wall decorations and scenes.”
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