The Egyptian Museum in Cairo has not revealed all its secrets, for its basement contains tens of thousands of antiquities that are just waiting to be rediscovered and showcased for eager visitors.
The Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities is hard at work at enriching the museum’s collection with these wonderful antiquities.
Among them is the 16-metre-long Waziri I papyrus, recently discovered in Saqqara Necropolis.
The papyrus is now on display at the museum for the first time after more than eight months of restoration and documentation.
“It is the first and longest papyrus written in Hieratic to be discovered in Saqqara necropolis,” Mostafa Waziri, secretary general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA) said.
He explains that the papyrus was uncovered wrapped in linen inside a coffin of a person called Ahmose, during excavation work carried out by the SCA mission in Saqqara in May 2022.
The papyrus dates back to the beginning of the Ptolemaic period (305-30 BC) and contains 113 chapters of the Book of the Dead distributed among 150 columns of varying size. It was found in very good condition and most of its texts are written in black ink except for a few lines written in red ink.
The Book of the Dead is a collection of religious spells and the funerary texts that were used in ancient Egypt as a guide for the deceased on their journey to the other world, as it includes calls to the gods, chants and prayers.