Archaeology Magazine lists Saqqara Fifth Dynasty tomb one of 2019's top 10 discoveries

Nevine El-Aref , Saturday 7 Dec 2019

In 2018, Archaeology Magazine selected the Saqqara mummy workshop as one of 2018's top 10 discoveries

Magazine Cover

Archaeology Magazine is featuring the superbly painted tomb of the Fifth Dynasty dignitary named Khuwy, uncovered in the Saqqara necropolis in April, on the cover of its January/February 2020 issue, after it was selected as one of the magazine’s top 10 archaeological discoveries of 2019.

The discovery of the tomb was announced in April in a press conference at Saqqara.

It was uncovered by an Egyptian archaeological mission led by Mohamed Megahed during an excavation and a documentation survey carried out in south Saqqara.

Megahed said the magazine selected the tomb discovery as one of 2019’s top 10 discoveries because it has very distinguished paintings that still bear their original, vivid colours. It also has a very important architectural design similar to the designs of royal pyramids.

A third reason for the selection, said Megahed, is that the human remains of Khuwy show clear traces of mummification, which was monopolised by royalties.


The tomb consists of a superstructure with an L-shaped offering chamber, which was once decorated with reliefs. Only the bottom part of this decoration is preserved, as the white limestone blocks of the other parts were re-used in the construction of other buildings in antiquity.

The mission has found at the north wall of the tomb the entrance to a unique substructure, which is for the first time clearly inspired by the design of the substructures of the royal pyramids of the Fifth Dynasty.

That part of the tomb starts with a descending corridor, which leads to a vestibule. An entrance in its southern wall gives access to a decorated antechamber. Its decoration represents the tomb owner sitting in front of the offering table on the south and north walls. Moreover, an offering list was depicted on the east wall and the palace-façade on the west wall.

In 2018, Archaeology Magazine selected the Saqqara mummy workshop as one of 2018's top 10 discoveries. The workshop was uncovered by an Egyptian German mission led by Ramadan Al-Badri.

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