Egypt’s oldest mummy found ‘covered in layers of gold’ after year-long excavation world news


A mummy “entirely covered in layers of gold” may be the oldest and most complete ever found in Egypt.

The old man’s well-preserved sarcophagus was discovered after a year-long excavation outside of the capital, Cairo. It’s just one of dozens of new archaeological discoveries found in Egypt.

Researchers believe it belonged to a man named Hekashepes and that its remains are around 4,300 years old.

The mummy was found at the bottom of a 15 m (50 ft) high shaft near what is believed to be Egypt’s first pyramidal structure, the Step Pyramid of Saqqara.

Zahi Hawass, director of the excavation team, said: “I stuck my head in to see what was inside the sarcophagus: a beautiful mummy of a man, completely covered in layers of gold.”

The team told reporters that the mummy dates to the Fifth and Sixth Dynasties of the Old Kingdom, dating from about 2,500 B.C. to 2,100 BC BC extended.

Egyptian archaeologist Zahi Hawass, leader of the excavation team. Image: AP
An Egyptian archaeologist speaks at a recently discovered tomb Pic;:AP
Image: AP
A recently discovered artifact is on display at the site of the step pyramid of Djoser at Saqqara, 24 kilometers (15 miles) southwest of Cairo, Egypt, image: AP
Image: AP

Another of the uncovered tombs belonged to a priest named Khnumdjedef. He served under Unas, the last king of the fifth dynasty of ancient Egypt. The interior of the tomb was decorated with scenes of daily life.

The other belonged to an official named Meri, who bore the title of “keeper of secrets and assistant to the great leader of the palace,” the team said.

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Statues and amulets were among the other important finds from the excavation, including one depicting a man, his wife, and several servants.

The discovery follows the digital unboxing of one mummified teenager with a heart of gold 2,300 years after his burial.

Egyptian antiquities guardians stand behind recently discovered artifacts at the site of the step pyramid of Djoser in Saqqara Pic:AP Pic:AP
Image: AP
The mummy digitally unwrapped in four stages.  Image: SN Saleem, SA Seddik, M el-Halwagy
The teenage mummy digitally unpacked in four stages. Image: SN Saleem, SA Seddik, M el-Halwagy

CT scans showed how hard his family tried to ensure the 14- or 15-year-old’s safe passage into the afterlife. He was buried with 49 amulets – including a gold scarab where his heart would have been – and a gold tongue in his mouth.

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