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Ramsis II vizier's tomb cover discovered

Remains of a mud-brick pyramid-shaped tomb cover belonging to vizier Khay found in Luxor

Nevine El-Aref , Wednesday 20 Feb 2013
a part of the decoration found
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A group of Belgian archaeologists uncovered the remains of a mud-brick pyramid-shaped tomb cover in Luxor belonging to Ramsis II's vizier Khay.

The Belgian archaeological mission from the Free University of Brussels and Liege University uncovered the 15 metre-tall structure during their routine excavation work at Sheikh Abdul Gorna noblemen's necropolis on Luxor’s west bank.

The mission stumbled upon a pyramidion (a tiny pyramid) engraved with an ancient Egyptian scene depicting the god Ra-Hurakhti.

Khay's tomb has not yet been found, but excavation works are ongoing to uncover it.

In the era of Ramsis II, all noblemen's tombs were topped with a pyramid-shamed cover. 

“It is a very important discovery,” said Mohamed Ibrahim, minister of state for antiquities, explaining that archaeologists only know Khay from ancient Egyptian papyri, statues and documents; his tomb has never been identified before. Two statues of Khay are currently on display at the Egyptian Museum in Tahrir.

Mansour Breik, supervisor of Luxor antiquities, said that Khay was Ramses II's vizier for 15 years and he used to supervise the construction of royal tombs in the valleys of the kings and queens. 

He helped in the organisation of several festivals, among them the king’s coronation.

According to Abydos stele, said Breik, Khay came from a very important family. 

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