The site of Saqqara, 15 kilometers south of the famous pyramids on the Giza plateau, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is known for the famous step pyramid of Pharaoh Djoser. This monument was built around 2700 BC. Built by the architect Imhotep, it is considered one of the oldest buildings in the world.
Among the 150 statues now excavated, one was found by the architect, who was also a minister and a doctor. Mostafa Waziri, director of the Supreme Council of Egyptian Antiquities, told reporters, today, Monday, that Imhotep, who was deified, revolutionized architecture in the ancient world.
Waziri added, “The finding of Imhotep’s tomb is therefore one of the main objectives of the archaeological expedition, which has been excavating the site for four seasons.”
The Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities said, in a statement, that in addition to the statue of Imhotep, other bronze statues of the gods and goddesses of Egypt were found, “Osiris, Isis, Hathor, Amun-Men, Nefertum and Anubis.”
Waziri said that “250 wooden sarcophagi with mummies” from the 5th century BC have been discovered. In one of them, archaeologists found a papyrus scroll “intact” and “sealed”, which was immediately transferred to the laboratory of the Egyptian Museum in Cairo’s Tahrir Square for restoration and analysis. The director said the papyrus was nine meters long and likely contained chapters from the Book of the Dead.
According to Waziri, the coffins are being moved to the new “Grand Egyptian Museum” near the Giza plateau, which the Egyptian authorities hope to open this year after significant delays.
In January 2021, Egypt unveiled a large number of new archaeological “treasures” at Saqqara, including about 50 sarcophagi from the New Kingdom over 3,000 years old.
Cairo is counting on these new discoveries to revitalize tourism, which has been badly affected by the Corona pandemic. The sector, which employs two million people and generates more than 10% of GDP, has been dormant since the Arab Spring in 2011.(touches)