- In the vicinity of the three Giza pyramids, Egyptian scientists have uncovered yet another ancient tomb with a wealth of artefacts. Around 400 small colourful figures and six niches carved into the granite rock were found in the 2500-year-old tomb, which sheds further light on the beliefs of ancient Egypt.
The archaeological discovery was made in the middle of the tourist hub outside the Egyptian capital, Cairo. Archaeologists were digging into the sands at Giza, between the Chephren Pyramid and the Sphinx. Here, the Egyptian scientists had observed something looking like a rectangular shaft beneath a fine layer of desert sand.
As the ancient treasure started appearing, the layer however proved not to be that fine. It took the archaeological team three months of hard labour to remove several tonnes of sand. First at a depth of ten metres, the team was able to recover a large number of ancient Egyptian artwork.
Some 400 small ceramic figures at the size of a small finger were rescued. The colourful figures proved to be ceramic statues of servants, termed "shawabtis" by Egyptian archaeologists. These ceramic servants joined their buried master to serve him well in the land of the dead. The finding thus sheds new light over popular beliefs in Egypt 2,500 years ago.
But the discovery did not end with the large number of recovered "shawabtis". As the archaeologists extended their search field, they found niches carved in rock and a wooden coffin. This was however not believed to be the main body at the burial site.
The Egyptian archaeologist team has extended its search field to cover a wider area, Zahi Hawass, the director of Egypt's Supreme Council of Antiquities, recently told the press agency AP. Here, he believes to unearth further antiquities, including a granite sarcophagus made for the site's main body.
While the excavations are undertaken in Greater Cairo's main tourist area, right in the shadow of the Giza pyramids, the important discoveries will probably not be exposed at this site. The findings are transported to the Egyptian Museum in Cairo for further investigations. The Egyptian Museum hosts the world's greatest collection of ancient Egyptian objects.
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