4,000-year-old Tomb Discovered Outside Cairo, Archaeologists Say

Egypt said the tomb likely belonged to a high-ranking official known as Hetpet during the ancient Egyptian 5th Dynasty

A woman takes a photo inside the tomb of an Old Kingdom priestess in Cairo that was unveiled on February 3, 2018 after being discovered during excavation work in Giza's western cemetery.
MOHAMED EL-SHAHED/AFP

Archaeologists in Egypt say they have discovered a 4,400-year-old tomb near the pyramids outside Cairo.

Egypt's Antiquities Ministry announced the discovery Saturday and said the tomb likely belonged to a high-ranking official known as Hetpet during the 5th Dynasty of ancient Egypt. The tomb includes wall paintings depicting Hetpet observing different hunting and fishing scenes.

Mostafa Al-Waziri, leader of the archaeological mission, says the scenes depict a monkey — at the time commonly kept as domestic animals — reaping fruit and another dancing before an orchestra.

He believes Hetpet, a woman thought to be close to ancient Egyptian royals, had another tomb in Giza's western necropolis, which is home to the tombs of top officials of Egypt's Old Kingdom.

Al-Waziri says excavation work is underway for the other tomb.