BIBLE HISTORY DAILY

Earliest Mummified Remains Found in Egypt

More Old Kingdom tombs uncovered at Saqqara

excavating

Zahi Hawass examaning a collection of statues. Courtesy Egyptian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities.

Excavations at Saqqara south of Cairo continue to reveal incredible finds, including what may be the oldest mummified person ever found in Egypt. According to the Egyptian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities, archaeologists uncovered the mummified remains of a man named Hekashepes, whose burial dates to the 23rd century BCE. The team also uncovered the tombs of several other royal and religious officials.

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As described in a press conference held by the Egyptian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities, Hekashepes’s tomb was discovered at the bottom of a 50-foot shaft. Within the tomb, the team uncovered the man’s 4,300-year-old remains covered with gold leaf inside a sealed limestone sarcophagus. As stated by Zahi Hawass, director of the team and former Minister of Antiquities, “This mummy may be the oldest and most complete mummy found in Egypt to date.”

Hekashepes’s tomb was one of several discovered within a complex dating to the Fifth and Sixth Dynasties of Egypt’s Old Kingdom (c. 2663–2181 BCE). Included among them was the tomb of an important Egyptian official named Khnumdjedef, who served as the inspector of officials and priest of the pyramid complex of Pharaoh Unas, the last pharaoh of the Fifth Dynasty (mid-24th century BCE).

Another tomb was for Meri, “keeper of the secrets and assistant to the great leader of the palace.” A second shaft tomb included the sarcophagus and mummified remains of a man identified by an inscription as Fetek. Other tombs revealed collections of statues, including those of a husband and wife with several servants.

These tombs are just a few of the many uncovered at Saqqara, which was the necropolis for the ancient Egyptian capital of Memphis. Since their discovery in 2018, the Saqqara tombs have provided incredible finds from across the span of ancient Egyptian history. Among the finds have been hundreds of sarcophagi, human and animal mummies, grave goods, and statues.

 


Learn more in Bible History Daily:

Hundreds of Egyptian Sarcophagi Uncovered in the Saqqara Tombs

The Changing Nile and How the Pyramids were Built

 

All-Access members, read more in the BAS Library:

Pharaoh’s Man, ‘Abdiel: The Vizier with a Semitic Name

The Egyptianizing of Canaan

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3 Responses

  1. Don says:

    Why use CE and BCE instead of BC AD being “biblical” archaeology?

    1. Dennis B. Swaney says:

      Because there are BILLIONS of NON-Christians in the world who have their own parochial religious dating system. However since European expansion around the world brought with it the Christian calendar, it has become a de facto common calendar, so the terms “Common Era” and “Before (the) Common Era” are used particularly in the sciences of which Archeology is one. It is easy to just read the “C” as standing for “Christian” if you have a hard time with “Common”. Besides “BCE” is more accurate than “BC” as the later stands for “BEFORE Christ” and Jesus was born in 7 – 4 BCE. So how could he be born BEFORE himself?!

      BTW, are you aware that in these United States, today’s year is 247? That is because there is a governmental calendar that uses 1776 CE as the start for the “Year of Independence of the United States”

      1. Steven James Weibley says:

        I have not been able to find any documentation that there is a governent calendar that uses the date of the Year of independece as BCE is used. Do you have a reference?

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3 Responses

  1. Don says:

    Why use CE and BCE instead of BC AD being “biblical” archaeology?

    1. Dennis B. Swaney says:

      Because there are BILLIONS of NON-Christians in the world who have their own parochial religious dating system. However since European expansion around the world brought with it the Christian calendar, it has become a de facto common calendar, so the terms “Common Era” and “Before (the) Common Era” are used particularly in the sciences of which Archeology is one. It is easy to just read the “C” as standing for “Christian” if you have a hard time with “Common”. Besides “BCE” is more accurate than “BC” as the later stands for “BEFORE Christ” and Jesus was born in 7 – 4 BCE. So how could he be born BEFORE himself?!

      BTW, are you aware that in these United States, today’s year is 247? That is because there is a governmental calendar that uses 1776 CE as the start for the “Year of Independence of the United States”

      1. Steven James Weibley says:

        I have not been able to find any documentation that there is a governent calendar that uses the date of the Year of independece as BCE is used. Do you have a reference?

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