Lost tomb of ancient Egyptian official Ptahmes re-discovered
Tuesday 01 June 2010
The lost tomb of an Egyptian general and scribe has been unearthed in the ancient necropolis of Saqqara – 125 years after it was first discovered. The tomb, of 19th Dynasty (1203 – 1186 BC) official Ptahmes, is over 70m long and features several chapels - so it's a wonder no-one recorded its location in 1885, leaving it to disappear beneath the desert sands.
Most of the tomb's treasures are already in museums as far apart as The Netherlands, Italy and the United States. But its latest discovery by experts at Cairo University revealed several stelea (grave markers) including an unfinished image of Ptahmes himself. Another shows his family before the 'Theban Triad' of Amun, Mut and Khonsu: three gods popular at the time. A painted head of Ptahmes' daughter or wife was also found, alongside shabti figurines, amulets and clay vessels. Yet Ptahmes' sarcophagus remains missing, as work continues to find the tomb's main shaft and burial chamber.
Ptahmes was a high-ranking official of his time who was appointed several important roles in the empire, including mayor of Memphis, royal scribe and supervisor of the temple of Ptah. His tomb was located on the side of the Pyramid of King Unas, a highly-prized plot. Excavation member Dr Heba Mustafa notes the tomb's pillars were reused for chapels during Egypt's Christian era, while damage to its walls were incurred during its 19th century opening.
Saqqara, dubbed the 'City of the Dead', is a major necropolis 40km south of Cairo. It is home to a plethora of ancient landmarks including early mastabas, rock-cut tombs and the Step Pyramid of Djoser, which at around 4,600 years old is Egypt's first pyramid. Saqqara today is a hive of archaeological activity – among its highest profile digs is French expert Vassil Dobrev's ongoing quest to find the Pyramid of Userkare.
Life & Style blogs
The psychology of flirtation: how to know when someone's interested
YouTube star Loey Lane hits back at hateful comments about ‘fat girls in bikinis’ and how plus-size women promote obesity
Sugary drinks are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year, says study
The age of inactivity: How laziness is killing us
What do the emojis on Snapchat mean?
The moment a Queen's Guard soldier lost it and drew his gun at annoying tourist
Greece crisis: The wider lesson is that it’s time to abandon this failed experiment in currencies
'I wish the BBC would stop calling it Islamic State' – David Cameron unleashes frustration at broadcaster
Extend Right To Buy to tenants of private landlords, Labour's Jeremy Corbyn says
David Cameron struck double blow in his hopes to win Britain a new EU deal
Pentagon accuses Russia of 'playing with fire' over nuclear threats towards Nato
- 1 Michael Douglas regrets 'embarrassing' Catherine Zeta-Jones with oral sex comments
- 2 Tunisia hotel attack: Locals form 'human shield' to protect hotel from gunman Seifeddine Rezgui
- 3 Tunisian builder has been hailed a hero after knocking gunman to the ground with roof tiles
- 4 German ethics council calls for incest between siblings to be legalised by Government
- 5 E.L James's #AskELJames Twitter Q&A didn't go exactly as planned
£500 - £600 per day: Recruitment Genius: A Senior Solution Architect is requir...
£18k - 20k per year: 360 Resourcing Solutions: ROLE: Export Sales Coordinato...
£20000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The largest developer of mobile...
£22500 - £27000 per annum + OTE £45K: SThree: Since our inception in 1986, STh...