New Discovery Affirms the Historical Majesty of Egypt
An important aspect of life in Cairo, is the way in which modern elements of the city are almost always infused with ancient and historical ones. Cairo is a city in which you can find modern steel and stone skyscrapers lying in juxtaposition with monuments built thousands of years ago. As such, modern life in the city of Cairo is as wondrous, mystical, majestic, and captivating as the civilization built by the Ancient Egyptians. Indeed, another recent discovery by archaeologists further proved just how vast that history is. A 4,400 years old tomb has been discovered, and it belongs to a Priestess named Hetpet.
Led by Dr. Mostafa Wazir, Secretary General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, an Egyptian archaeological mission has discovered the Old Kingdom tomb of Hetpet: a top official in the royal palace, during the end of the fifth Dynasty. Egyptian Antiquities Minister, Khaled Al-anani stated that “Hetpet was a high official, and that she had a strong link with the royal palace.”
Hetpet was found in the Giza Western Cemetery. The area in which the tomb was discovered is not new in itself. Excavation missions have started there since 1842. During further excavation work, Hetpet’s tomb has been discovered. Its relation to the fifth Dynasty was confirmed by the tomb’s architectural style and decorative elements; mainly the L-shaped shrine with its purification basin.
Among other characteristics in the tomb, is its rectangular arcade located on the western rear end. It is lined with incense and offering holders, confirming Hetpet’s links to the royal palace. Unfortunately, the statue of the tomb owner is yet to be found.
What’s even more significant are the tomb’s wall paintings. They’re distinguished by their color and excellent conservation condition. They depict the Priestess in different scenes: hunting, fishing, or simply sitting at a table, receiving offerings from her children. Other scenes are not related to Hetpet; rather, they are more so related to everyday labor activities, including melting metals, fabricating leather, and building papyri boats. There are also paintings of musical and dance performances, thereby revealing the sheer cultural richness of our ancient ancestors.
Perhaps the most distinguished paintings in the tomb are those of monkeys. During ancient times, monkeys were considered to be a domestic animal. A strong argument for having a pet monkey nowadays, right? Some scenes show monkeys reaping fruits, while depict a monkey as a dancer delivering a performance in front of an orchestra. Things we see monkeys doing all the time, of course. While the excavation leader, Mostafa Waziri, emphasized on the rarity of these scenes are, he still maintained that similar paintings had been previously discovered.
More excavation work will be carried out soon; let’s hope this discovery is the first of many.