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Egypt: Two Tombs & Workshops Discovered In Ancient Cemeteries Of Saqqara

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Egyptian officials announced on Saturday that two tombs and workshops for human and animal mummification had been found in the ancient cemetery of Saqqara. The findings were the latest in the recent discoveries that would help Egyptian tourism to get a boost.

Head of Egypt’s Supreme Council of Antiquities, Mostafa Waziri, told reporters that the two significant “embalming workshops” belong to the Ptolemaic (305–30 BC) and 30th dynasty (380–343 BC) periods. He said, “We found embalming workshops, one for humans and one for animals. We found all the tools that they used (in mummification) in ancient times.”

The finding became a success after one year of continuous digging around the haven of the goddess Bastet, which is where the catacombs of mummified cats are located in Saqqara, around 30 kilometres (18.6 miles) south of Cairo. In 2019, dozens of statues and hundreds of mummified animals were discovered there.

Along with many mummification tools, these workshops had stone beds, clay pots, ritual jars, natron salt—one of the primary ingredients in mummufication—and linens.

Two smaller tombs found closer to the workshops, dating from 4,400 and 3,400 years ago and belonging to two priests, Ne Hesut Ba of the Old Kingdom’s fifth dynasty and Men Kheber of the Late Kingdom’s eighteenth dynasty, respectively, were also discovered in the Saqqara excavations.

According to officials, Men Kheber’s tomb contains engravings of “scenes showing the deceased in different positions,” while Ne Hesut Ba’s tomb contains inscriptions of farming, hunting, and other daily activities.

Egypt has recently engaged in considerable excavation work at Saqqara and other historic sites, leading to a number of notable finds.

After work is finished later this year, the nation intends to open the Grand Egyptian Museum, a cutting-edge structure close to the Giza Pyramids on the outskirts of Cairo.

After the tourism sector just began to recover after being hit by the fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic and the turmoil in Ukraine, Egypt is hoping to further entice travelers back.

According to recently disclosed central bank figures, tourism revenue rose to $7.3 billion in the second half of 2022, a 25.7% rise over the same period the previous year.

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