Recent archaeological dig in Tuna-el-Gebel, west of the Nile River, unearthed hundreds of burial shafts containing a large number of preserved potteries, jewelry, and over 1,000 shabti figurines which in ancient Egypt were meant to work for the deceased in his afterlife. Archaeologists though are finding it hard to determine the identities of some of the mummies they’ve found, but they are sure that some of the buried remains are from priests who worshipped the god of writing, Thoth.
A rich find meant to recognize the role of Egyptian priests
The grandeur of ancient Egyptian culture does not only extend to the Pharaohs and their kin, but it is also visibly seen with the recognition given to high ranking officials. During those times, priests were responsible for initiating religious ceremonies and ceremonial customs dedicated to the gods they are worshipping.
The excavation at Tuna el-Gebel presented evidence of a burial chamber dedicated to priests because of inscriptions and hieroglyphics pertaining to their role in society. One inscription whose sarcophagi is decorated with a bronze neckband with a shape resembling the sky goddess Nut has a name that says, “Djehuty-Irdy-Es”.
The priest’s mummified remains were lavishly decorated with blue and red beads and archaeologists were able to find an amulet with an engraved hieroglyphic that states, “Happy New Year.” Scientists are not clear about the date of the Egyptian New Year about 2,300 years ago, but it is believed to take place in July.
The dig that has extended for almost a decade
Cairo University archaeologists have been digging sites all over Tuna el-Gebel for about 80 years. Their previous excavations allowed for the discovery of several cemeteries contained in the underground catacombs.
The recent digs were as rich as the previous ones, but this time they were able to uncover important artifacts that belonged to religious nobility. The 2017 and 2018 excavation was led by Secretary General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, Mostafa Waziri.