Be prepared for an updated history book! New discovery in Saqqara Egypt was released this week, and they will forever change the way people interpret the 18th and 19th dynasties of the New Kingdom. An Egyptian mission working in the Saqqara antiquities area next to the pyramid of King Teti (first king of the Sixth Dynasty in the Old Kingdom) has discovered a treasure trove of antiquities. Dr. Zahi Hawass, working in cooperation with the Ministries of Antiquities and Bibliotheca Alexandrina, has lead the venture, and the items found provide a crisper view of life from long ago.
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What are the latest Discoveries in Egypt?
Saqqara is home to the Step Pyramid and is approximately 16 miles from the Great Pyramids of Giza. Saqqara area has yielded many fascinating discoveries . According to Dr. Hawass the mission discovered the funerary temple of Queen Nearit, mother of King Teti. While part of it had been uncovered in the years prior, many more discoveries have been found in Egypt 2021. For example, three mud-brick warehouses attached to the temple were discovered. These warehouses stored temple provisions, offerings, and tools used in the queen’s tomb.
- In addition 52 burial shafts were found. These shafts reach a depth of 32 to 39 feet deep and house hundreds of wooden and ceramic (anthropoid) coffins that date back 3,000 years. They contain many scenes of gods worshiped during this period as well as excerpts from the Book of the Dead which helped the deceased journey to the other world after death. Also in the shaft was another 50 coffins found in good condition.
- The amazing new discovery in Saqqara Egypt didn’t stop, however. Large numbers of archaeological artifacts and statues in the form of deities also filled the shafts. These pay homage to the god Osir and Ptah Sukur Uzir. There was even a 13 foot by 39 inch papyrus scroll which represented Chapter Seventeen of the Book of the Dead. The owner of the papyrus, Bu-Khaa-Aff, had his name not only on the papyrus but also on four orchid statues, a wooden coffin, and many shabty statues made of wood, stone, and vines. These discoveries mark one of the most important findings in the Saqqara region.
- It seems as though the new discoveries in Saqqara Egypt would stop with the massive amounts listed above; however, even more was found. There were funerary masks, a shrine dedicated to the god Anubis, statues of Anubis, and games the deceased would play. You might wonder what the deceased would play. Why Senet and Twenty of course! Senet is similar to modern chess.
- In addition, artifacts representing birds and a bronze ax were found among the new discovery in Saqqara Egypt. Massive quantities of pottery dating to the New kingdom also provided evidence about commercial relations between Egypt, Crete, and Palestine. This discovery also confirmed the existence of the many workshops that produced the coffins and provided mummification services. A mummy of a woman was found, and through the X-ray research done, it was determined, she met her fate through a chronic disease called “Mediterranean fever”, aka “swine fever”. This disease comes from direct contact with animals and leads to an abscess in the liver. Even more x-ray technology will be used in the coming months to discover more about the life and times of the 18th and 19th Dynasties.
Surely this is the perfect time to keep an eye out on all the amazing archaeological work being done in the beautiful Saqqara, and one day soon, it will be time to take a visit to see it in its home country.