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Archaeologists Uncover "Oldest, And Most Complete Mummy" Found In Egypt Yet

It appears a man named Hekashepes lived and died 4,300 years ago.

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Katy Evans

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Katy Evans

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Katy is Managing Editor at IFLScience where she oversees editorial content from News articles to Features, and even occasionally writes some.

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The Step Pyramid at Saqqara dates around 4,7000 years old and was the first pyramid built in Egypt.

The Step Pyramid at Saqqara dates around 4,7000 years old and was the first pyramid built in Egypt. Punnawit Suwattananun/Shutterstock.com

Archaeologists in Egypt have reportedly found what is being hailed as the oldest mummy found in Egypt yet. The 4,300-year-old mummified remains were uncovered recently during ongoing excavations of tombs near the Step Pyramid at Saqqara, around 24 kilometers (15 miles) from Cairo.

The mummified remains of a man named Hekashepes were discovered in a gold leaf-covered limestone sarcophagus at the bottom of a 15-meter (49-foot) shaft according to Zahi Hawass who led the team, reports Reuters. “This mummy may be the oldest and most complete mummy found in Egypt to date,” Hawass, formerly one of Egypt’s ministers for antiquities, said.

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The tombs date back to the Fifth and Sixth dynasties, around 2686-2181 BCE, and Hekashepes wasn’t the only ancient person found during the excavation.

"The most important tomb belongs to Khnumdjedef, an inspector of the officials, a supervisor of the nobles, and a priest in the pyramid complex of Unas, the last king of the fifth dynasty. The tomb is decorated with scenes of daily life," Hawass said, reports ABC News.

"The second largest tomb belonged to Meri, who held many important titles, such as keeper of the secrets and assistant of the great leader of the palace."

Multiple carved statues of wood and stone were also found, including what appear to be two couples.

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The Step Pyramid at Saqqara was the first pyramid built in Egypt 4,700 years ago. The ongoing excavations at Saqqara have unearthed spectacular coffins, mummified lions, and even 2,600-year-old halloumi cheese. It still has plenty of secrets for us to discover. 


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