In December 15, 2018, an Egyptian tumbler of more than 4,400 years was unveiled. Although its existence was already known since 1950, being part of one of the tombs of the archaic cemetery of North Saqqara discovered by the British W. B. Emery in 1950.
The funerary complex of Saqqara has been the subject of many explorations and investigations since then and that Emery himself It had begun between 1935 and 1939
Moreover, Saqqara site was made known in the West in 1821 by the Prussian general Von Minutoli. Later the engineer S. Perring initiated the first explorations properly in archaeological sites in 1837, which were followed by others such as Mariette.
Since then, successive explorations have brought to light many tombs of the archaic Egyptian period in Saqqara, as well as other places as enigmatic as the Serapeum, a Greek word referring to a place of worship of the Apisox. In this case, it was the archeologist Mariette who made the fabulous find in 1850. After being sent to Egypt funded by the Louvre to buy Coptic manuscripts.
Serapeum also located in the funerary complex of Saqqara north, is excavated 12 meters deep and is formed by 3 passages. Through which 24 side chambers carved into the rock open to the passage. In each chamber an enormous basalt sarcophagus, black granite, pink or limestone weighing between 60 and 80 tons was deposited.
The sarcophagi are 4 m long, 2.3 m wide and 3.3 m high. The lid weighs 15 tons. Only in three of the 24 sarcophagi are writings, but none of them was found remains of animals.
FUNERARY COMPLEX OF SAQQARA
This necropolis in south of Cairo about 30 km distant. It was a place of royal burial until after the 3rd dynasty. One of the oldest and most important places of worship and burial of Egypt for more than 3,000 years until the Roman occupation.
The funerary complex occupies an approximate area of 7 km x 1.5 km. In the place, there are also some dozens of accessory pyramids of queens and royal princes, but above all a significant number of tombs called mastabas.
Practically the entire complex has been covered in sand for more than 2,000 years so we can find some well-preserved tombs, even some intact.
In fact the necropolis of Saqqara, name given by a tribe of Bedouins camped in that area and named it in honor of the god Sokar, it was used as the burial place of royal dignitaries of the eighteenth and nineteenth dynasty.
Although later it was located far from the capital, it continued to be a funerary place also in the Saita and Persian periods in successive dynasties.
Like other tombs that exist in the same cemetery, with an approximate total of 20 tombs known subsidiaries distributed in that same area, the tomb of the “priest of court” of the pharaoh Neferir-Ka-Re of the dynasty V 2,500 to 2,300 a. C. is one of these sepulture of the archaic Egyptian period of more than 4,000 years.
the archaic funerary structure, called mastaba, is an ancient Egyptian tomb of rectangular shape, flat roof and sloping side walls. The walls initially made of adobe, were subsequently made using other materials such as stone.
The mastaba in the archaic era was the tomb not only of the important officials and priests but they were also destined for the pharaohs and their main wives and they continued being used in dynasty III even at the time when Imhotep built the pyramid of Saqqara , called the red step pyramid for Pharaoh Dyeser ( Zoser ). In which were found underground catacombs containing clay vessels and bodies of mummified ibis as well as buried baboons, both considered as animals associated with the cult of the god Thot.
THE MASTABA, THE ARCHAIC TOMB
The mastaba was divided into two levels, one underground, where the deceased was deposited in the sepulchral chamber, it was only accessible through long vertical wells that were closed once the body was deposited.
On the upper level, the deceased’s house was imitated, where the relatives deposited their offerings. This level was richly decorated with colored drawings.
It was common to decorate with” false doors ” that indicated the east, were used to guide the spirit of the deceased to leave the house. It was also common the so-called serdab, were statues similar to the deceased where it was believed to reside the ” ka ” of the dead.
Over time the mastabas became more complex, with more rooms, stairs and even traps to deter looters.
The most monumental mastabas were for officials, people from the nobility but also pharaohs. There were even collective funeral mastabas for rich people. Little by little, in the period of the Empire, the custom of burying the pharaohs buried in pyramids was acquired.
In Saqqara necropolis as we know there are still interesting graves that are not open yet to the public.
Such as a dynasty tomb XVIII, being flooded, is believed that could be left intact without trace looting, that often suffer other tombs.
Undoubtedly the Egyptian government is ultimately exposing the public more archaeological remains that until now had not been made publicly known to increase the general interest and thus promote tourism unfortunately draft in recent years.
Evidently the lands of Egypt still hide great enigmas and interesting curiosities of the ancient era that undoubtedly worth discovering.