Egypt unveils ancient mummification workshops and tombs

Egypt’s government said on Saturday that archaeologists discovered two human and animal embalming workshops, as well as two tombs, in the Saqqara necropolis south of Cairo.

The huge burial ground in Memphis, Egypt’s ancient capital, is a UNESCO World Heritage site with over a dozen pyramids, animal burials, and antique Coptic Christian monasteries.

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Mostafa Waziri, head of Egypt’s Supreme Council of Antiquities, told reporters that the embalming studios where humans and animals were mummified “date back to the 30th dynasty” which flourished roughly 2,400 years ago.

According to Egypt’s tourism and antiquities ministry, researchers “discovered several rooms equipped with stony beds where the deceased lay down for mummification.”

Each bed had gutters at the end to aid in the mummification process, as well as a collection of clay jars nearby to retain entrails and organs, as well as a collection of instruments and ritual utensils.

Early research into the other workshop indicates that it was utilized for the “mummification of sacred animals.”

The tombs of two priests, dated from the 24th and 14th centuries BC, were also discovered.

The first belonged to Ne Hesut Ba, who was the head of scribes and a priest of Horus and Maat during the fifth dynasty.

“Daily life, agriculture, and hunting scenes” are shown on the tomb walls, according to Mohamed Youssef, director of the Saqqara archaeological site.

According to Youssef, the second tomb, that of a priest named Men Kheber, was carved in rock and has images of the deceased himself on the tomb walls as well as in a one-metre-long (three-foot) alabaster statue.
Egypt has made a number of significant archaeological discoveries in recent years.

According to critics, the surge of digs has prioritized finds that will get media attention over hard academic investigation.

The discovery have been a critical component of Egypt’s efforts to revitalize its essential tourism industry in the midst of a severe economic crisis.

Tourism and Antiquities Minister Ahmed Issa announced at the site on Saturday that the government has just established a strategy “aiming for a rapid increase in inbound tourism” at a pace of 25-30 percent each year.

Egypt hopes to attract 30 million tourists annually by 2028, up from 13 million prior to the Covid epidemic.

The long-delayed opening of the Grand Egyptian Museum at the foot of the Giza pyramids is the crowning achievement of the government’s approach.

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