Archaeologists in Egypt are still making incredible discoveries more than a century after the Tomb of Tutankhamun was opened, such as the unveiling of a mummy covered in gold in January.
A number of significant new discoveries at Saqqara necropolis, a UNESCO World Heritage site south of the capital Cario, were recently announced by Dr. Zahi Hawass, the renowned Egyptian archaeologist and former minister of state for antiquities affairs. Archaeologists discovered the oldest mummy that is laced with gold and Egypt is planning to keep that jewelry to attract tourists.
Objects made of stone and plaster were discovered in abundance near the sarcophagus. It had been completely mortared shut by the time it was examined, just as the ancient Egyptians had left it some 4,300 years ago. The name Hekashepes was carved into it.
Some media outlets have incorrectly reported that this discovery is the oldest Egyptian mummy ever found. Hawass, who spoke with Live Science, said it is “the oldest complete mummy covered with gold.”
Many significant archaeological discoveries have been made in Egypt in recent years. There have been complaints that the recent rush of excavations has put media attention-grabbing rather than scholarly investigation first.
But the discoveries have been an important part of Egypt’s efforts to bring back its important tourism industry after years of political unrest and the Covid pandemic. The government’s plans, whose crown jewel is the long-delayed opening of the Grand Egyptian Museum at the base of the pyramids in Giza, are meant to bring in 30 million tourists a year by 2028, up from 13 million before the pandemic. Archaeologists discovered the oldest mummy and are still in process of digging more about it.