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Two 4,300-year-old tombs found in Egypt

Men walk near the site of two recently discovered tombs in Saqqara Dec. 22, 2008. Egyptian archaeologists have found the tombs of two court officials, in charge of music and pyramid building, in a 4,000 year old cemetery from the reign of Pharaoh Unas. The tombs were found buried in the sands south of Cairo and could shed light on the fifth and the sixth dynasties of the Old Kingdom, said Egypt's antiquities chief Zahi Hawass.

 

An Egyptian archaeological mission has found two tombs dating back to some 4,300 years ago in the southern suburb of Cairo, an official said at the site on Monday.

 

"We announce a major important discovery at Saqqara, the discovery of two new tombs dating back to 4,300 years ago," Zahi Hawass, secretary general of the Egyptian Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA) told reporters as he toured the site.

 

The two tombs found in an old cemetery in Saqqara, some 30 km south of Cairo, were from the reign of Pharaoh Unas of the fifth dynasty in ancient Egypt, the SCA has said in a press release.

 

The rock-cut tombs were found buried in the sands at the El-Deir bridge area in the Saqqara necropolis, some 400 meters away from the step-pyramid, said the press release.

 

Egypt's antiquities chief Zahi Hawass speaks to the media about restoration work at the site of a recently discovered tomb in Saqqara Dec. 22, 2008. 

 

One of the tombs belonged to Iya-Maat, the supervisor of king Unas's missions to bring granite from Aswan and other materials from the Western Desert.

Iya-Maat bore several titles including the "supervisor of the king's property."

The second tomb was built for Thinh, who was a woman singer in the fifth dynasty and also had different titles such as "supervisor of all singers."

Hawass said the discovery was just the beginning of a large cemetery and the excavation would continue to find more ancient tombs in the area.

Hieroglyphic inscriptions are seen on the entrance of a recently discovered tomb in Saqqara Dec. 22, 2008.

 

Workers carry out restoration work at the site of a recently discovered pyramid in Saqqara Dec. 22, 2008. 

 

Egypt's antiquities chief Zahi Hawass speaks to the media about two recently discovered tombs in Cairo Dec.22, 2008.

 

Egypt's antiquities chief Zahi Hawass speaks to the media about restoration work at the site of the Step Pyramid in Saqqara Dec. 22, 2008. 

 
 
 Source : Xinhua/Reuters  Editor: Dong Wenwen
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