Wednesday, April 19, 2017

4,000-Year-Old Unlooted Tomb Complete with Mummy and Grave Goods Discovered in Egypt

Ancient Origins


A Spanish team of archaeologists has unearthed a 4,000-year-old unopened tomb in West Aswan, Egypt. The tomb belongs to the brother of Sarenput II, one of the most dominant and powerful Pharaonic governors of the 12th Dynasty in ancient Egypt.

 Tomb Belongs to the Brother of Sarenput II
In a great day for Egyptian archaeology, the previously unknown and unopened tomb was discovered in West Aswan, Egypt. The discovery was the outcome of a Spanish archeological mission that was determined to unlock the biggest mysteries of this ancient Egyptian burial area. The newly found burial belongs to the brother of Sarenput II, one of the most significant governors of the 12th Dynasty, according to Luxor Times Magazine. “The discovery is important because not only for the richness of the burial but it sheds light on those individuals who were shadowed by others in power. In fact, there is no much information about them,” said Mahmoud Afifi, head of the ancient Egyptian antiquities department of the antiquities ministry. Additionally, director of Aswan Antiquities, Nasr Salama, stated that the present finding is unique because it has been located with all the funerary goods, which consist of pottery, two cedar coffins and a set of wooden models, which represents funerary boats and scenes of the daily life.


Archaeologists open a tomb that has remained sealed for 4,000 years. Credit: Ministry of Antiquities

A Mummy Also Discovered Inside the Burial Chamber
Another important discovery took place thanks to the efforts of Alejandro Jim√©nez-Serrano, director of the Spanish mission of the University of Jaen. A mummy covered with a cartonnage that was painted in several colors, an impressive mask and collars in a great state of preservation, was discovered but hasn’t been examined yet, and photos have not yet been made available.

 The inscriptions of the coffins bear the name of the defunct, Shemai (Sarenput II’s brother), followed respectively by his mother and father, Satethotep and Khema. Serrano explained that Sarenput II, the eldest brother of Shemai, was one of the most powerful governors of Egypt under the reigns of Senwosret II and Senwosret III. “This discovery, the University of Jaen Mission in Qubbet el-Hawa adds more data to previous discoveries of fourteen members of the ruling family of Elephantine during Dynasty 12. Such high number of individuals provides a unique opportunity to study the life conditions of the high class in Egypt more than 3800 years ago,” the director of the mission said as Egyptian Streets reported.

Egyptologists consider this a very important discovery, which will possibly uncover more secrets of the great and historic culture of Egypt. More expeditions are expected to unravel the mysteries of Aswan and it is just a matter of time when another find will fill the news.


The door to the tomb before it was opened. Credit: Ministry of Antiquities.

Top image: Painted eyes on the newly discovered tomb. Credit: Ministry of Antiquities

By Theodoros Karasavvas​

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