Archaeologists find an ancient tomb of the Temple Guards near the pyramids


Archaeologists find an ancient tomb of the Temple Guards near the Giza pyramids.

On Wednesday, the Egyptian Ministry of Tourism announced the discovery of a 3,200-year-old tomb belonging to Banhsi, the keeper of the Egyptian god Amun's temple, in the Saqqara necropolis, south of the Egyptian capital, Cairo.

The temple-shaped tomb, which dates back to the Nineteenth Dynasty of ancient Egypt (1292-1189 BC), was discovered by a team of Dutch and Italian archaeologists.

Saqqara, one of the most important burial sites in ancient Egypt, has witnessed a series of archaeological discoveries in recent years.

Egypt aims to display newly discovered artifacts as it seeks to revive its vital tourism industry, a major source of foreign currency and jobs for the ailing economy. The country attracted 11.7 million visitors in 2022.

Mostafa Waziri, Secretary General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, said, "The discovery sheds light on the development of the Saqqara necropolis during the Ramesside era and opens the curtain on new individuals not yet known in historical sources."

The tomb is like a free-standing temple with an entrance, an inner courtyard of colonnaded arcades, a shaft leading to underground burial chambers, and three chapels. It borders the tomb of Maya, a high-ranking official during the reign of the ancient Egyptian boy king Tutankhamun.

Inside the tomb, archaeologists found a painting depicting Panhsi and his wife Paya, a singer of Amun, in front of an offering table, as well as many other depictions of priests and religious offerings.

Officials said the team also discovered four small chapels during excavations in the area, two of which bear well-preserved reliefs of funeral scenes and drawings of a mummy's resurrection to live in the afterlife.

The team includes archaeologists from the National Museum of Antiquities in Leiden (RMO), whose mission has been to excavate the area since 1975, and the Egyptian Museum in Turin (Museo Egizio), which joined the excavation project as a main partner in 2015.

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