Sunday, July 20, 2014

New Discovery, Giza: Ancient Priest's Tomb Painting Discovered Near Great Pyramid

A wall painting, dating back over 4,300 years, has been discovered in a tomb located just east of the Great Pyramid of Giza.

The painting shows vivid scenes of life, including boats sailing south on the Nile River, a bird hunting trip in a marsh and a man named Perseneb who's shown with his wife and dog.

While Giza is famous for its pyramids, the site also contains fields of tombs that sprawl to the east and west of the Great Pyramid. These tombs were created for private individuals who held varying degrees of rank and power during the Old Kingdom (2649-2150 B.C.), the age when the Giza pyramids were built. 

The new painting was discovered in 2012 by a team from the Institute of Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences, which has been excavating these tombs since 1996.

A surprise discovery

Scientists discovered the painting when they began restoring the tomb of Perseneb, a man who was a "priest" and "steward," according to the tomb's inscriptions.

The ancient tomb, possibly for a priest, contains a central
 room (shown here), with four statues

His tomb, located 1,000 feet (300 meters) east of the Great Pyramid of Giza, contains an offering room, central room and burial chamber. The three rooms contain 11 statues showing depictions of Perseneb and members of his family. First recorded in the 19th century by the German explorer Karl Richard Lepsius and French Egyptologist Auguste Mariette, the tomb is believed to date to the middle or late fifth dynasty (ca. 2450-2350 B.C.). The fifth dynasty is a time period within the Old Kingdom.

"Known since the 19th century, the [tomb] could hardly present any new principal features. Therefore, it was a real surprise to discover an Old Kingdom painting on the eastern wall of the central room," wrote Maksim Lebedev, a reader (the American equivalent is a professor) at the Russian State University for the Humanities.....READ MORE

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