A tomb belonging to a soldier called Djehuty Shed Sou has been discovered in Dra’ Abu el-Naga site on the West Bank of Luxor city in Upper Egypt, Minister of Antiquities Khaled el Anani announced Thursday.
It is the biggest rock-cut tomb to be unearthed in the ancient city of Thebes, the minister said.
Moustafa Waziri, Secretary General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, called it “an important discovery” because it would change the historical and archaeological map of Dra’ Abul el-Naga necropolis.
An Egyptian archaeological team, under Waziri, discovered the tomb – which is located to the north of Theban Tomb TT255 of Roy – after removing the debris that accumulated as a result of successive foreign excavations more than 200 years ago.
As the team worked to remove the rubble on the site, it came across a complete compartment made of adobe with its well inside the courtyard of the cemetery, Waziri said, adding that it probably dates back to the period of the Ramesses.
He added that six other tombs have been discovered underneath the courtyard, noting that one of them belongs to the king’s scribe.
A group of Oshapti statues made of blue faience and wood has also been unearthed, as well as an assembled mask made of cartonnage and more than 50 funeral seals of persons whose tombs are yet to be discovered, the SCA official said.
Wrapped with a linen thread, an intact papyrus paper that includes Hieratic script was found in the graveyard, Waziri said, adding that the team also discovered a Ptolemaic coin made of bronze and dates back to the era of King Ptolemy II.
The Egyptian archaeologists also found the heads of some Canopian vessels made of limestone and having the shape of a monkey, which stands for God Hapi, one of the four sons of Horus, he further said.
He added that colored columns bearing the name and titles of Djehuty Shed Sou stand at the entrance to his tomb. One such title is holder of the seal of the king of Upper Egypt.
German archaeologist Frederica Kampp, the go-to person for tomb registration, said a 55-meter-wide courtyard leads to the tomb, which has 18 entrances. It is thus the first tomb discovered in Thebes necropolis to have such a big number of entrances, Kampp noted.
The tomb has two 11-meter-deep wells to its northern and southern corners, she added.
Kampp made it clear that the graveyard dates back to the 17th Dynasty and was re-used in the early 18th Dynasty until the era of Queen Hatshepsut.
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