Supervisor Elham AbolFateh
Editor in Chief Mohamed Wadie

Recent Discoveries in Gisr el-Mudir in Saqqara

Thu 26 Jan 2023 | 11:33 AM
Ali Abu Dashish - Ahmed Emam

Dr. Zahi Hawass, the director of the Egyptian excavation team working with the Supreme Council of Antiquities at Gisr el-Mudir, Saqqara, announced on Thursday that the expedition has made a number of important archaeological discoveries dating to the fifth and sixth dynasties of the Old Kingdom.

Dr. Hawass also stated that the expedition had found a group of Old Kingdom tombs, indicating that the site comprised a large cemetery. 

"The most important tomb belonged to Khnumdjedef, an inspector of the officials, a supervisor of the nobles, and a priest in the pyramid complex of Unas, the last kind of the fifth dynasty. The tomb is decorated with scenes of daily life."

"The second largest tomb belonged to Meri, who held many important titles, such as keeper of the secrets and assistant of the great leader of the palace," he continued.

Also, a tomb for a priest and a group consisting of nine beautiful statues were found: one represents a man and his wife; several are servant statues; and others represent individuals.

Unfortunately, the expedition did not find any inscriptions that might identify the owners of these statues. However, several months after the original discovery, the mission found a false door near the site where the statues were discovered. The owner of the false door was named Messi; therefore, Messi might be the owner of the nine statues.

The expedition found another beautiful statue of a standing man, with his wife holding his right leg and his daughter on the other side holding a goose.

Dr. Hawass announced that the most important was the discovery of a shaft 15m deep. A large rectangular limestone sarcophagus was found at the bottom of this shaft. Thanks to the inscriptions on the top of the sarcophagus, we know the owner’s name is HqA-Sps (Hekashepes). Many stone vessels were found around the sarcophagus.

When the sarcophagus was examined, it was found to be completely sealed with mortar, just as the ancient Egyptians had left it 4300 years ago. When the lid was raised, we found the mummy of a man covered with gold leaf. This mummy may be the oldest and most complete mummy found in Egypt to date.

The expedition also found a shaft about 10m deep. Inside this shaft was found a group of beautiful wooden statues. In addition, the mission discovered three stone statues representing a person named Fetek. Beside these statues were an offering table and a stone sarcophagus that contained his mummy.

Dr. Mostafa Waziry, Secretary General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, also announced that the expedition has found a group of unique stone statues dating to the Old Kingdom. Many statues have been found at Saqqara over the past century, but this is the largest group of such objects found in recent years.

The expedition yielded many amulets, stone vessels, tools for daily life, and statues of Ptah-Sokar.