Egyptian Archaeologists Report 'Very Important' Find

Authorities hope tomb at Saqqara will boost sagging tourism industry
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted May 8, 2014 6:59 PM CDT
Tomb of Ancient Diplomat Found in Egypt
Egyptian conservators work at the site of a newly discovered tomb dating back to around 1100 B.C   (AP Photo/Amr Nabil)

Archeologists have found a tomb dating back to around 1100 BC south of Cairo, and scholars think it belonged to Egypt's ambassador to foreign countries at the time. The discovery at Saqqara—the necropolis for the ancient Egyptian city of Memphis and site of the oldest known pyramid in Egypt—is a "very important discovery that adds more to Egypt’s history and political status with its neighboring countries," antiquities chief Mohamed Ibrahim tells Ahram Online.

Ola el-Egeizy of Cairo University said the tomb contains "very nice inscriptions" of the funerary procession and the afterlife of the deceased. The tomb was found near another one dating back to the same period belonging to the head of the army that was discovered in the previous excavation season. Ibrahim thinks the discovery of the tombs is significant for practical reasons, too: He predicts restoration of the area will bring tourism, a vital national industry that has suffered in the wake of the 2011 uprising that toppled autocratic leader Hosni Mubarak. (More Egypt stories.)

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