A mummy “completely covered in layers of gold” may be the oldest and most complete mummy ever found in Egypt.
The ancient man’s well-preserved sarcophagus has been discovered after a year-long excavation outside the capital Cairo. It’s just one of dozens of new archaeological discoveries made in Egypt.
Researchers believe it belonged to a man named Hekashepes, whose remains are about 4,300 years old.
The mummy was found at the bottom of a 15-meter (50-foot) shaft near the Step Pyramid of Saqqara, believed to be Egypt’s first pyramid structure.
“I put my head in and saw what was inside the sarcophagus: a beautiful male mummy covered in layers of gold,” said Zahi Hawass, head of the excavation team.
The team told reporters that the mummy dates back to the fifth and sixth dynasties of the Old Kingdom, spanning around 2500 BC to 2100 BC.
Another undiscovered grave belonged to a priest named Khnumdjedef. He served under Unas, the last king of the fifth dynasty of ancient Egypt. The interior of the tomb is decorated with scenes from everyday life.
Another belonged to an official named Meri, whose title was “Secret Keeper and Assistant to the Great Leader of the Palace,” the team said.
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Statues and amulets were among the other key finds from the excavation, including one representing a man, his wife and several servants.
This finding follows a numerical unpacking The mummy boy with a heart of gold, 2300 years after the burial.
CT scans revealed the family went to great lengths to ensure the 14- or 15-year-old survived the afterlife safely. He was buried with 49 amulets – including the golden scarab on which his heart rests – and a golden tongue in his mouth.