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four,400-year-old tomb of Egyptian priestess found

The tomb of a high-ranking priestess believed to have lived more than 4,400 years ago has been found by a team of Egyptian archaeologists near the pyramids outside Cairo.

The tomb was found with well-preserved and colourful wall paintings depicting the woman, whose name was Hetpet, in a variety of scenes.

One includes two monkeys – common pets at the time – eating fruit and dancing.

The wall paintings are unusually colourful well preserved
Image:
The tomb’s wall paintings are unusually colourful and well preserved

Excavation leader Mostafa Waziri said: “Such scenes are rare… and have only been found previously in the (Old Kingdom) tomb of Ka-Iber.”

Hetpet was a priestess to Hathor, the goddess of fertility, and had close links to the Egyptian royals.

She would have lived around 2,400BC, and is depicted in her tomb both hunting and fishing, as well as sitting at a large table where she receives offerings from her children.

The new tomb was discovered near the Giza pyramids, outside Cairo
Image:
The new tomb was discovered near the Giza pyramids, outside Cairo

A purification basin engraved with her name and titles was also found.

The tomb was discovered in Giza’s western cemetery.

Archaeologists will now continue to excavate the site and are hopeful that further tombs will be found.

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