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Rediscovered Egyptian tomb unlocks 19th century mystery

By Catholic Online
September 28th, 2010
Catholic Online (

A 3,300-year-old tomb has been rediscovered after being lost after scavengers plundered it in the late 19th century. The tomb of the ancient Egyptian capital's mayor, Ptahmes, the mayor of Memphis, served as army chief, overseer of the treasury and royal scribe under Seti I and his son and successor, Ramses II, in the 13th century B.C.

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The discovery earlier this year in a New Kingdom necropolis at Saqqara, south of Cairo, solves a riddle dating back to 1885, when foreign expeditions made off with pieces of the tomb.

"Since then it was covered by sand and no one knew about it," Ola el-Aguizy, the Cairo University archaeology professor who led the excavation says. "It is important because this tomb was the lost tomb."

Some of the artifacts ended up in museums in the Netherlands, the United States and Italy as well as the Egyptian Museum in Cairo.

A team from Cairo University's archaeology department found the tomb during new excavations of the area that started in 2005.

The inner chambers of the large, temple-style tomb and Ptahmes' mummy remain undiscovered.

While scavengers made out with many decorative items in the tomb, archaeologists found a detailed wall engraving of people fishing from boats made of bundles of papyrus reeds. There were also amulets and fragments of statues.

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