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Le mercredi 1er juin 2016 à 18h00 (heure du Caire), IFAO
Discovery of two Priests’ Tombs from the Late Old Kingdom at Saqqara South
Vassil Dobrev (Ifao)
Partenaire(s) de l’Ifao : ARCE
On February 19th and March 1st 2015, the IFAO Mission working at the site of Tabbet el-Guesh in Saqqara South discovered two tombs of priests who lived during the reign of King Pepy II (ca. 2240-2150 BC) from the 6th Dynasty. The priests were called Sabi and Ankhti. The superstructures of their tombs were built with mud bricks, whereas their funerary chambers were made out of fine white limestone. The tombs were nicely decorated with the representations of numerous offerings whose original colours are still very well preserved, even though they were painted more than 4,000 years ago.
The burial chambers of Sabi and Ankhti were constructed at the bottom of two shafts, respectively 6 and 12 m deep, which were cut directly into the mountain. Unfortunately, the priests’ bodies were found scattered on the floor of the rooms, which indicates that the tombs have already been visited and robbed, most probably in antiquity. Nevertheless, the Mission has been able to retrieve some objects from the original burial furniture, like the alabaster tablet for the seven sacred oils with the small pots, the complete set for the ‘Opening of the Mouth’ ritual, a wooden statuette, several painted limestone models of offerings, pottery vessels, etc. Since it is so rare to find such objects almost in situ, some of them even discovered next to the body of one of the priests, they could help us enhance considerably our knowledge on the sequence of performing resurrection rituals by the ancient Egyptians at the end of the Old Kingdom.