4,300-Year-Old Tombs Unveiled Near Cairo
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Dec 22, 2008 7:48 PM CST
An Egyptian archaeologist and a labor worker at the excavation site of the two newly discovered tombs south of Cairo, Egypt Monday, Dec. 22, 2008.   (Nasser Nasser)
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(Newser) – A pair of 4,300-year-old pharaonic tombs discovered at Saqqara indicate that the sprawling necropolis south of Cairo is even larger than previously thought, Egypt's top archaeologist said today. "We announce today a major, important discovery at Saqqara, the discovery of two new tombs dating back to 4,300 years ago," he said. "The discovery of the two tombs are the beginning of a big, large cemetery."

The rock-cut tombs were built for high officials—one responsible for the quarries used to build the nearby pyramids and another for a woman in charge of procuring entertainers for the pharaohs. The discovery indicates that there is even more to the vast necropolis of Saqqara, located 12 miles south of the capital, Cairo, he added.