The site served as a burial ground for the important city of Memphis and sheds light on the funerary practices of the Ancient Egyptian elite.
Archaeologists have uncovered a 3,200-year-old cemetery in Saqqara, Egypt. The site served as a burial ground for the important city of Memphis and sheds light on the funerary practices of the Ancient Egyptian elite.
Lara Weiss of the Netherlands’s National Antiquities Museum of Leiden and Christian Greco of the Egyptian Museum of Turin in Italy led the dig alongside researchers at Egypt’s Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities. The Leiden archaeologists announced the discovery on April 11.
The team was able to decipher details about the lives of the people who were buried there. The largest tomb belonged to Panahsy, who oversaw the Temple of Amun. He likely did not have children but did have a wife, who is depicted on his tomb and described as the “singer of Amun.” Panehsy’s large site includes a temple, three small chapels, a courtyard with columns, and underground burial chambers.
The site also has four smaller tomb chapels. One belonged to a man named Yuyu, a gold foil maker for the royal treasury. Yuyu’s parents, brother, children, grandchildren, and wife are depicted in the chapel. Weiss pointed out that a “huge procession” of mourners is also engraved into the stone. Another series of carvings show a cow, the animal form of the goddess Hathor, aboard the boat of Seker, a god of the underworld who reigned over the Memphis burial site.
Another chapel describes the familial relationships of its owner but does not identify them by name, and the other two chapels have no inscriptions.
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