PRESS RELEASE: May 2005

Major Discovery in Saqqara

At the necropolis of Saqqara necropolis, 25 km south of Giza, an Egyptian team headed by Dr. Zahi Hawass, Secretary General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA), stumbled upon a beautiful Late Period mummy, as well as two false doors, within the vicinity of the pyramid of the Sixth Dynasty King Teti.


Due to the vibrant colors preserved on the mummy's cartonnage covering; featuring rows of different ancient Egyptian deities, Culture Minister Farouk Hosni described the discovery as unique.
For his part, Dr. Hawass says that the mummy is one of the most beautiful Late Period mummies ever found, comparable to any now displayed in a museum. The well-preserved mummy, dating to the 30th Dynasty, wears a gilded funerary mask showing the idealized facial features of the deceased.

Hawass explains that paintings on the mummy are divided into several registers. The uppermost shows the sun god Khepri with the sun disk. Beneath this is a broad collar and then the goddess Maat stretching her wings. The next row shows the god Anubis mummifying the deceased. Beneath this is the god Osiris, the god Horus, and the Apis bull. Finally, there are two registers containing rows of minor deities. At the bottom of the mummy are geometric patterns, and then the feet, carefully painted onto the cartonnage.

Hawass states that the mummy was found while clearance was being carried out around Tetiís pyramid. The mummy was in the upper level. Digging further, workers uncovered a collection of blue faience amulets featuring the god of joy, Bes, along with two limestone false doors from the Old Kingdom. The first door belongs to Iu-Ib, an official in Pepi IIís pyramid temple, and second belonging to an overseer of scribes, Khentika.


 

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