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4,300-year-old mummy covered in gold discovered in Egypt

Egyptian tomb

Inside a recently discovered tomb at the Saqqara archaeological site (Photo: Getty Images)

Archaeologists have discovered a mummy covered in gold leaf inside a sarcophagus that has not been opened for 4,300 years.

The discovery was part of dozens of new archaeological finds by Egypt, including two ancient tombs in a pharaonic necropolis near Cairo.

Artifacts unearthed during a year-long excavation were found under an ancient stone enclosure near the pyramids of Saqqara and date back to the fifth and sixth dynasties of the Old Kingdom, from about 2500 BC. to 2100 BC .

One of the discovered tombs belonged to a Fifth Dynasty priest known as Khnumdjedef, while another, larger tomb belonged to Meri, a palace official who held the title of “keeper of secrets,” the ministry said in a statement.

Other important finds from the excavation include statues, amulets and a well-preserved sarcophagus.

Egyptian tomb

Archaeologists have discovered a mummy covered in gold leaf inside a 4,300-year-old sarcophagus (Photo: Getty Images)

Egypt’s most famous archaeologist and excavation leader, Zahi Hawass, unveiled new discoveries in a stone enclosure known as Gisr al-Mudir.

“I looked inside to see what was inside the sarcophagus: a beautiful human mummy, completely covered in layers of gold,” Hawass said.

Saqqara is part of a vast necropolis in the ancient capital of Egypt, Memphis, which includes the famous pyramids of Giza, as well as smaller pyramids at Abu Sir, Dahshur and Abu Ruwaish.

The ruins of Memphis were listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in the 1970s.

ancient artifacts

New artefacts can be seen in the historic region of Saqqara, home to most of the historical artifacts from Ancient Egypt (Photo: Getty Images)

Thursday’s discovery comes amid a flurry of new discoveries that Egyptian authorities have announced over the past week.

Authorities said they found dozens of New Kingdom-era burial sites near the southern city of Luxor, dating from 1800 to 1600 BC.

According to him, the ruins of an ancient Roman city were discovered nearby.

In a separate announcement on Tuesday, a team of scientists from Cairo University revealed previously unknown details about a mummified teenage boy dating back to around 300 BC.

Using CT scans, a team of scientists were able to shed new light on the boy’s high social status by confirming the intricate details of the amulets inserted into his mummified body and the type of burial he received.

Artifacts discovered during a year-long excavation were found under an ancient stone wall near the pyramids of Saqqara (Photo: AFP)

Egypt often advertises its ancient discoveries publicly to attract more tourists, an important source of foreign exchange for the cash-strapped North African nation.

The sector has experienced a long decline since the political unrest and violence that followed the 2011 uprising.

Egypt’s tourism industry has also been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic and is suffering from the aftermath of the war in Ukraine.

Both Russia and Ukraine constituted a large source of tourists visiting Egypt.

MORE: Museums ban word ‘mummy’ due to colonial overtones

READ ALSO: Scientists have unpacked the 2300-year-old mummy of the “golden boy” in digital form

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