Painted Ptolemaic tomb unveiled in Egypt - GulfToday

Painted Ptolemaic tomb unveiled in Egypt


A tourist sees a Pharaonic sarcophagus at the Sohag National Museum, Egypt, on Saturday. Reuters

SOHAG: Archaeologists unveiled a well preserved and finely painted tomb thought to be from the early Ptolemaic period near the Egyptian town of Sohag.

The tomb was built for a man named Tutu and his wife, and is one of seven discovered in the area last October, when authorities found smugglers digging illegally for artefacts, officials said.

Its painted walls depict funeral processions and images of the owner working in the fields, as well as his family genealogy written in hieroglyphics.

Mostafa Waziri, secretary-general of Egypt’s Supreme Council of Antiquities, described the burial chamber as a “beautiful, colourful tomb.”

“The tomb is made up of a central lobby, and a burial room with two stone coffins. The lobby is divided in two”, he said.

“It shows images of the owner of the burial room, Tutu, giving and receiving gifts before different gods and goddesses.”

“We see the same thing for his wife, Ta-Shirit-Iziz, with the difference that (we see) verses from a book, the book of the afterlife,” he added.

Two mummies, a woman aged between 35-50 and a boy aged 12-14, were on display outside the shallow burial chamber, in a desert area near the Nile about 390km south of Cairo.

Around 50 mummified animals, including mice and falcons, were also recovered from the tomb.

Ptolemaic rule spanned about three centuries until the Roman conquest in 30 B.C.

Egypt’s ancient sites are a draw for tourists and authorities hope new finds can help boost the sector, which has been recovering after foreigners were scared off by the North African country’s 2011 popular uprising and the turmoil and insecurity that followed.

In an unrelated development, gunmen opened fire on a police vehicle in a Cairo suburb at dawn on Sunday, killing a police officer and the driver and wounding two others, the interior ministry said.

It was not immediately clear who was behind the latest attack on security forces in Egypt.

Police were on a routine patrol in New Nozha, a suburb east of Cairo, when their minibus came under fire, the ministry said. Four unknown assailants armed with automatic rifles opened fire at the police vehicle, it said in a statement, before fleeing in a black car.

Police captain Mohamed Ahmed Abdel Razek and the driver of the minibus were killed, the statement said, adding that two policemen who were riding with them were wounded in the attack.


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