Egypt has announced the discovery of a 4,500-year old burial ground near the Giza pyramids, on the outskirts of Cairo, Saturday, containing limestone statues and wooden coffins dating back to the Old Kingdom.
The site, which is located on the southeastern side of the Giza plateau, reportedly includes burial shafts and tombs from different periods, including an ancient limestone tomb of two priests from the fifth dynasty (around 2,500 BC).
The tomb is believed to belong to persons called Behnui-Ka, titled as the priest and the judge during the Old Kingdom, and Nwi, who held the title of ‘the purifier’ of King Khafre.
Footage shows a number of artefacts, funerary masks and wooden coffins with hieroglyphics, which according to the Egyptian antiquities ministry date back to the Late Period.
According to Director General of the Giza Plateau Ashraf Mohi, the cemetery was reused during the Late Period.
Statues made of high-quality limestone, picturesque wooden masks and intact colourful sarcophagi have been found at a newly-discovered burial site near the pyramids at Giza. Researchers have said the find dates back to 2,500 BC.
One of the oldest tombs contains the remains of two men who lived during the so-called Old Kingdom or the age of the pyramid builders.
“The two false doors that we found inside are really in a very good quality of limestone. To get a very good quality of limestone that came from Tora, you need to get permission from the King himself, and I believe that those guys even got very good titles to be able to ask the King for this good quality limestone,” said Mostafa Waziri, Secretary General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities.
According to the inscriptions inside the tombs one of the men was called Behnui-Ka. He was a priest and judge who served under several kings including Khafre, the pharaoh who ordered the construction of one of the Giza Pyramids. The other was Nwi, whose titles included “chief of the great state,” “the overseer of the new settlements” and “the purifier of King Khafre.”
Archaeologists believe that their mummified remains may be found in the sarcophagi, and suggest that some statues and masks depict them and their family members.