Archaeological breakthrough as ‘exceptional’ tomb discovered in Egypt linked to mysterious pharaoh | Science | News

The spectacular discovery was made during an excavation of a chapel burial shaft in Saqqara. Researchers say they came across a burial shaft from a tomb belonging to a royal clerk known as Mehcheczi. The ancient Egyptian is said to have been responsible for managing the royal estates of Pharaoh Userkare and the team claim to have found carvings depicting his life.

They also came across sketches of sacrificial animals including cows, oryx and ibexes in black ink on visible lime plaster.

The chapel was unfinished before the clerk died, experts say.

The tomb and chapel are located on the eastern edge of a large rectangular dry moat surrounding the step pyramid burial complex.

This was dedicated to Pharaoh Djoser, who was the second king of the Third Dynasty of Ancient Egypt.

The moat remained in use for hundreds of years after his reign.

But nowadays it is almost completely covered with rubble and sand that was blown from the desert by the wind.

Kamil O. Kuraszkiewicz from the Faculty of Oriental Studies at the University of Warsaw said: “We have only unveiled the facade of the chapel, the interior awaiting the next season of excavations.

“Mehczeczi clearly knew how to hire an efficient team of craftsmen, his chapel is decorated with reliefs of exceptional beauty which reveal an exceptionally skilled hand – elegant lines and a subtle modeling comparable to the reliefs of the tomb of Merefnebef (a vizier at the court of Pharaoh Userkare).”

Mehcheczi was alive during the reign of Pharaoh Userkare – an elusive ruler.

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In March, researchers discovered five ancient tombs with well-preserved paintings in a cemetery in Saqqara.

The Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities said the tombs belong to high officials of the Old Kingdom and the First Intermediate period.

They would be over four thousand years old.

The tombs were discovered near the pyramid of King Merenre I and also contained large stone coffins, as well as wooden coffins and other items.

Saqqara is 20 miles from the Egyptian capital, Cairo, and has hosted an impressive array of archaeological finds.

One of the best-known features of the area is the famous Step Pyramid, built in the 27th century BC by Pharaoh Djoser.