Minister of Antiquities Khaled El-Enany uncovered a new discovery south of Cairo dating back more than 2,500 years at the Saqqara necropolis in Memphis, the first capital of ancient Egypt.
The discovery included a mummification workshop and has several burial chambers dating to the Saite-Persian Period (664-404 BC), found during excavation work carried out by an Egyptian-German mission from the Tübingen University south of King Unas Pyramid in Saqqara.
The mission has also succeeded to uncover a gilded silver mummy mask in one of the burial chambers of the main shaft attached to the mummification workshop; the mask belongs to a person who held the titles of ‘the Second Priest of Mut and the Priest of Niut-shaes.’ The mask is the first to be discovered since 1939.
Moreover, an embalmer’s cachet holding a large collection of pottery vessels, bowels, and measuring cups were found, paving the way to revealing more about the oils used in the mummification process in the 26th Dynasty.
Ramadan Badry Hussein, director of Saqqara Saite Tombs project and professor at Tübingen University, described the discovery as “rare.”
Hussein added that only a handful of precious metal masks have been preserved to the present day, as most of the tombs were looted in ancient times.
Furthermore, a group of burial chambers carved into the bedrock lining the sides of two hallways were found, along with several mummies, wooden coffins, and sarcophagi.