Sacara Moment

2021-01-31   |   by CusiGO

In ancient times, the huge Necropolis of the Pharaohs in Saqqara, 30 kilometers south of Cairo, was a busy place. On this day, the priests who worship their ancestors, especially the Pharaons, mingle with relatives who visit the people buried there. At night, skilled thieves rob cemeteries, especially their valuables.

Today, Saqqara offers a completely different print. The rocky plateau that used to bury graves now sits beneath a thick layer of sand in the Sahara desert that has been accumulating for thousands of years, stretching from east to west. Priests and marauders have long given way to tour groups, and now, with the epidemic raging, tour groups are nowhere to be found.

Underground, however, fanaticism is growing. Over the past few years, archaeological missions have announced many discoveries from sites around historical cemeteries with astonishing speed, It has become one of the focuses of Egyptian archaeologists and one of the main bets of local authorities to publicize its rich cultural heritage.

“Sakala always reveals a lot of secrets,” Zahi Hawass, a famous Egyptian archaeologist, recognized from a tent just a few meters away from the ruins he is staring at, in the shadow of the dilapidated pyramids of Teti, the first king of the sixth dynasty more than 4300 years ago.

From the first dynasty to the Christian era, saara was considered one of the largest royal cemeteries in the world, attracting locals and foreigners for centuries. There are many pyramids standing here, the oldest of which is the ladder stone of Joseph. From its depth, people found pearl, as the oldest religious text in Egypt and one of the earliest religious texts in history, as well as the tombs of countless kings and queens, military officers, officials, nobles and even Tutankhamun’s wet nurse.

In the past few years, saara has once again captivated the world with new discoveries. In April 2018, an underground anti-corrosion workshop was discovered at the foot of the Unis pyramid, revealing the dynamic process of mummification. Later in the same year, the tomb of wahtye, a senior priest from the ancient empire, was discovered, which Netflix turned into a documentary. In 2019, a well preserved mausoleum more than 4000 years ago was discovered, which belonged to the name of kuwai, an official and nobleman of the fifth Dynasty, and the name of Queen setipur who lived in the same period at that time.

“In sacara, wherever you dig, you’ll find something,” admits Ola El ajizi, a former dean of the school of Archaeology at Cairo University, who works in the cemetery.

In the past few months, the vortex of discovery has not stopped. In November 2020, authorities announced that they had found more than 100 sarcophagus near the Josephine pyramid, the largest discovery in a year, two months after the public discovery of dozens of complete tombs. Hawass announced in mid January that he had also discovered hundreds of coffins and remains of the new empire. In addition, he named a queen, NAIS. He himself discovered the pyramid in 2010, but did not name it.

What’s most interesting for Hawass is how these latest discoveries help them better understand the era of the new empire, which includes today’s era between the 16th and 11th centuries. “We already know the history of sacara in the late period (from the 7th century BC to the 4th century BC), and now we are adding a page to the history of the new empire,” the archaeologist said

“These discoveries add a lot of information to the history of ancient Egypt because they reveal some mysterious secrets about funeral customs, mummies, beliefs and royal families,” Mohamed megahed said. Hawass also believes that the recent discovery of pottery reveals the foreign relations at that time. “We have pottery from Palestine, Syria and Crete that brought us oil during the new empire.”

El aguizy pointed out that these discoveries not only rewrite the history of ancient Egypt, but also help to fill the information gap. “In foreign museums, there are documents about these people (in which a tomb was found) and their objects, so we already know that there is a person named one or another.”, The goal of archaeologists.

A recent example is queen ness, from whom Hawass discovered the pyramid ten years ago, but never her name. “This queen’s title is the daughter of the earth God, which is her first appearance in the sixth dynasty. This is for queens who have no royal background, which is why (the Pharaoh and her husband) Teddy didn’t include her in her genealogy because she came from ordinary people,” Hawass said.

It is difficult to determine to what extent the discoveries announced in sacala, especially in the past year, will further broaden our understanding of this era. In this regard, the press conference to publicize the latest findings has become a real show, with live coffins opened and mummies X-rayed on stage for the first time. But the results of all these findings have not yet been officially released.

Campbell price, curator of Egypt and Sudan at the Manchester Museum, said: “it would be an exaggeration to say that these discoveries have changed our view of ancient Egyptian history.”. “In essence, recent discoveries emphasize the use of this place, not only in ancient empires, but also centuries later,” price added, believing that “to some extent, recent discoveries are ‘identical.'” “I see some kind of desperation in the ads, and the goal seems to be to attract people’s attention to Egypt.”

In the near future, all the archaeologists consulted will point out that their exploration is one of the biggest surprises they can offer. “Sacala is important (you have to pay attention to) anywhere,” megahead admitted. “We shouldn’t be surprised to hear a new discovery every day in sacala, because it’s a huge cemetery,” he added. “Everyone helps expand our knowledge, history and social tone.”

Hawass said that in his case, he had cherished the next discovery. “The well is 26 meters deep and we haven’t found the tomb yet, although from the pottery it seems to be from the new empire,” he said. “That means the camera should be intact.”