Ancient funeral temple unveiled close to Cairo
Egypt’s former antiquities minister and noted archeologist Zahi Hawass on Sunday revealed details of an ancient funerary temple in a vast necropolis south of Cairo.
Hawass told reporters at the Saqqara necropolis that archeologists unearthed the temple of Queen Neit, wife of King Teti, the first king of the Sixth Dynasty that ruled Egypt from 2323 BC until 2150 BC.
Archeologists also found a 4-meter long papyrus that includes texts of the Book of the Dead, a collection of spells aimed at directing the dead through the underworld.
Hawass said archeologists also unearthed burial wells, coffins and mummies dating back to the New Kingdom that ruled Egypt between about 1570 BC and 1069 BC.
They unveiled at least 22 burial shafts up to 12 meters deep, with more than 50 wooden coffins dating back to the New Kingdom. Work has been done at the site close to the Pyramid of Teti for over a decade.
Saqqara is part of the necropolis at Egypt’s ancient capital of Memphis that includes the famed Giza pyramids as well as smaller pyramids at Abu Sir, Dahshur and Abu Ruwaysh. The ruins of Memphis were designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in the 1970s.
In recent years, Egypt has heavily promoted new archeological finds in the hope of attracting more tourists.