Archaeologists discover 3200 year-old tomb and four chapels at Saqqara Archaeologists discover 3200 year-old tomb and four chapels at Saqqara
April 18, 2023
The Dutch-Italian archaeological mission working at the Saqqara Necropolis have uncovered a tomb belonging to a man called Panehsy, dated to the Ramesside Period (c. 1250 BCE), along with four chapels.
Panehsy was the “steward of the temple of the god Amun” during the reign of king Ramses II. His tomb was built in the shape of a freestanding temple which included an entrance gate, an inner courtyard with columned porticoes, and an underground shaft leading to the burial chambers. The tomb is relatively well preserved with some walls standing at 1.50 meters high, containing decorated scenes.
One of these scenes show the tomb owner Panehsy with his wife, a woman called Baia who was a “singer of the god Amun”, along with several priests and offering bearers. Another scene shows Panehsy worshiping the cow goddess Hathor above another scene showing Panehsy and Baia seated together in front of an offering table. A priest wearing leopard skin called Piay stands opposite the seated couple and offers them libation.
Additionally, the team uncovered four smaller tomb chapels to the east of Panehsy’s tomb. One of these chapels belonged to “the gold foil-maker of the treasury of the king”, a man called Yuyu. Even though the chapel is small, measuring 1 x 1.15m, the quality and craftsmanship of the wall decoration are spectacular. Four generations of Yuyu’s family are shown in colorful reliefs, along with Yuyu’s funerary procession and the veneration of the Hathor cow and a barque of the local Saqqara god Sokar.
These discoveries are very important as they shed new light on the development of the Saqqara necropolis during the Ramesside Period and introduces new individuals that were previously unknown to Egyptology.