Archaeologists may have found the oldest mummy in Egypt

written by Amarachi OriMia Alberti, CNN

Archaeologists have discovered what may be the oldest mummy found in Egypt.

Archaeologist Zahi Hawass, Egypt’s former antiquities minister, told CNN on Friday that the 4,300-year-old mummy was that of a rich and important 35-year-old man named Jed Sabsh.

“It is the oldest complete, gold-encrusted mummy ever found in Egypt,” he said, adding that it was “the most amazing discovery.”

Hawass said that he and a team of 10 assistants discovered the mummified man 20 meters underground in the hangar of the Modir Bridge, in the shadow of the ancient Step Pyramid of Djoser in the village of Saqqara.

Archaeologist Zahi Hawass and 10 assistants found a 4,300-year-old mummy. credit: Omar El Zohairy/Picturelance/Getty Images

The mummy was in a stone coffin weighing 25 tons – with a lid alone weighing five tons – in one of the openings that the team entered, according to Hawass.

He said that when the team opened the lid, they found “the oldest and most beautiful mummy covered in layers of gold, with a band on the head and a bracelet on the chest, which indicates that he is a rich man.”

A group of artifacts from the Old Kingdom were discovered at the site.

A group of artifacts from the Old Kingdom were discovered at the site. credit: Amr Nabil/AFP

Hawass said that among the many other artifacts discovered from the Old Kingdom were two tombs, one of which dates back to the reign of King Unas during the Fifth Dynasty, between 2494 and 2487 BC.

Also found were three statues representing a single person in a column, and nine more statues behind a false door.

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The archaeologist said the statues are important because they give us “knowledge for the first time about art in the Old Kingdom. It includes double statues, single statues, servant statues and all different kinds of statues.”

Nine statues were found behind a false door last week.

Nine statues were found behind a false door last week. credit: Fadel Daoud/Getty Images

He also found another stone coffin similar to the one in which the rich mummified man was, and it will be opened next week.

Hawass said that the discovery means that the tomb belonged to very important people “after the king.”

The Step Pyramid is the first pyramid ever built by the ancient Egyptians, between 2667 and 2648 BC during the early Third Dynasty, and is the oldest known ancient Egyptian stone structure, according to the country’s Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities.

Saqqara A vast necropolis about 32 kilometers (20 miles) south of Cairohas been the site of many amazing discoveries, including the mortuary temple of Queen Nerit – wife of King Teti, the first monarch of the Sixth Dynasty of the Old Kingdom – in 2021.
In the same year, archaeologists discovered Tomb of the head of the treasury of King Ramses IIWho ruled Egypt between 1279 to 1213 BC, On site. Big A trove of ancient bronze statues and sarcophagi It was also discovered there in May last year.

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