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Five Beautifully Preserved Coloured Tombs Uncovered in Saqqara

Five tombs have been discovered in Saqqara, with brilliant walls that have not lost their colours throughout the ages.

Often the popular image of Ancient Egypt is coloured like sand and stone, matching the tombs and coffins that have been faded by the passing of millenia. The discovery of the Saqqara necropolis in early 2021 has been eye-opening in more ways than one. Not only has it proven to be one of the most well-preserved collections of tombs from Ancient Egypt, but the colourful coffins dug out of its depths allowed us to see the world as the Ancient Egyptians themselves saw it. Now five more tombs have been discovered in Saqqara, with brilliant walls that have not lost their colours throughout the ages.


The tombs were found by the north-eastern side of Pyramid of Merenre, and range from the Old Kingdom to the First Intermediate Period, which has been described as a dark, obscure period of Egyptian history immediately following the end of the Old Kingdom around 2181 BC. The tombs are gorgeously preserved, and mainly belonged to high-ranking officials.


The first tomb belonged to a man named Iry, and was made up of a deep burial shaft leading to a chamber with funerary scenes all over the walls, seven oils, a facade of a palace, and a limestone sarcophagus. The second tomb was dedicated to a woman, who is believed to be the wife of a man named Yaret. The third tomb belonged to Pepi Nefhany, a priest. The fourth was made for a woman named Petty, a priestess of Hathor, while the fifth was tied to Henu, the overseer and supervisor of the royal house.


Further excavations and studies are planned to reveal the hidden stories behind the tombs, and the ancient people for whom they were made.