Will these discoveries help attract tourists back to the land of the pyramids?

Egypt on Thursday unveiled four tombs of pharaonic dignitaries and a mummy over 4,000 years old near Cairo.

It is in the necropolis of Saqqara, known for the famous step pyramid of Pharaoh Djoser, that archaeologists unearthed these tombs sealed under the 5th and 6th dynasties, between 2,500 and 2,100 years before Christ.

These deep cavities decorated with colorful scenes of everyday life served as the final resting place of Khnoumdjedef, the high priest of Pharaoh Unas whose decorated pyramid is nearby.

But also to Meri (keeper of the king's secrets), to Messi (high priest of Pharaoh Pepi I) and to Fetek (scribe and judge) detailed in front of the press the very media Egyptian archaeologist Zahi Hawass.

A mummy covered in gold

During the excavations, 15 meters underground, archaeologists found a limestone sarcophagus "in the exact state where the ancient Egyptians left it 4,300 years ago", assured Zahi Hawass.

When they opened it, they discovered a mummy covered in gold, "one of the oldest and best preserved in Egypt outside of the royal mummies," said the archaeologist.

The necropolis of Saqqara, just over 15 kilometers south of the famous pyramids of the Giza plateau, is classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site because the pyramid of Djoser, built around 2,700 BC by the architect Imhotep, is considered one of the oldest monuments on the surface of the globe.

A political and economic impact

Egypt has revealed several major discoveries in recent months, mainly in Saqqara but also in Luxor.

On Tuesday, Cairo announced the discovery in this southern city, the Thebes of the pharaohs, of the remains of "an entire Roman city" dating from the first centuries after Christ.

For some experts, these announcement effects have more political and economic than scientific significance.

Because the country of 104 million inhabitants in serious economic crisis is counting on tourism to straighten out its finances: its government is aiming for 30 million tourists per year by 2028, against 13 million before the Covid-19.


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  • Science

  • Egypt

  • Unesco

  • pyramids

  • Inheritance