This 4,000-Year-Old Egyptian Tomb Is Now Open to the Public

Sep 15, 2018

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Egypt travelers to Giza now have a new attraction to visit: the 4,000-year-old Tomb of Mehu, a high-ranking official from the time of King Titi in the Sixth Dynasty.

Mehu’s final resting place is one of the most beautiful tombs located in the Saqqara necropolis, an ancient burial ground near Giza south of Cairo, according to Secretary General of Egypt’s Supreme Council of Antiquities Mostafa Waziri. The colorful artwork on the walls of the tomb portray everyday life for Egyptians who lived more than a thousand years before the Giza pyramids were built in 2500 BC, according to archaeologists. The scenes are comprised of vibrant drawings and inscriptions chronicling scenes of hunting, fishing, cooking and dancing.

A view of a chamber of the tomb of Mehu, after it was opened for the public at Saqqara area, Giza, Egypt, 08 September 2018. The tomb of Mehu, inaugurated to the public for the first time since its discovery in 1940. Photo: Mohamed el Raai/dpa (Photo by Mohamed el Raai/picture alliance via Getty Images)
A view of a chamber of the tomb of Mehu, after it was opened for the public at Saqqara area, Giza, Egypt, 08 September 2018. The tomb of Mehu, inaugurated to the public for the first time since its discovery in 1940. Photo: Mohamed el Raai/dpa (Photo by Mohamed el Raai/picture alliance via Getty Images)


The tomb was first discovered back in 1940 by Egyptologist Zaki Saad, but has been closed to the public until extensive restoration was completed, which included strengthening colors in the paintings and a lighting system was developed inside the tomb. The Ministry of Antiquities stated that the tomb features a long, narrow corridor with six chambers. Mery Re Ankh, Mehu’s son, and grandson Hetep Kha II are buried in ancillary chambers within the tomb.

The Saqqara burial ground houses numerous other tombs and small pyramids, which Egyptian authorities have opened up to the public. Egypt’s tourism industry has suffered ever since political upheaval rocked the country in 2011, but tourism is making a comeback: Egypt was the fastest growing tourist destination in 2017, with a 55.1% growth in 2017 international arrivals, according to the UN’s latest Tourism Highlights Report published in August 2018.

Featured photo by Mohamed el Raai/picture alliance via Getty Images.

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