On Wednesday a team of archaeologists, in what is modern day Israel-Palestine, announced the discovery of an Ancient Egyptian sarcophagus and artefacts dating back to the reign of Pharaoh Seti I, reportedly aged around 3300 years old.
According to Israeli archaeologists, who are reported to have discovered the burial site around a month ago just south of modern-day Nazareth in the Jezreel Valley, the tomb likely belongs to a Canaanite nobleman who may have been employed by the imperial court of Pharaoh Seti I.
Other theories suggest that this man of high social standing was an Egyptian dignitary residing in the land of Canaan.
The Canaanites ruled over what is now the Holy Land prior to the Hebrew settlement of the area, which took place during the late Bronze Age and early Iron Age.
Skeletal remains were found within the sarcophagus. Whilst the lid of the coffin was broken into fragments, the facial characteristics carved into it reveal a clear Ancient Egyptian influence.
A scarab-shaped signet ring was found amongst the remains and bears the name of Seti I, whose reign is estimated to have lasted from 1290 BC to 1279 BC.
This pharaoh expanded Egypt’s imperial borders towards Libya, Nubia and northeast towards what is modern-day Syria. His son Ramses II, one of the most renowned pharaohs, expanded Egypt’s imperial borders even further.
Also discovered near the sarcophagus are the graves of two men and two women. Egyptologists and archaeologists inspecting this site suggest that these four were either members of his family, or his employees.
According to news agencies and wire reports, the burial site was uncovered last month during the digging of a gas pipeline.
Pieces of pottery were unearthed next to the buried bodies, along with bronze items including a bowl, dagger, and other fragments.
The dig dates back to the late Bronze Age. According to archaeologists, the last time such Ancient Egyptian artefacts were unearthed in this area of northern Palestine/Israel was around 50 years ago.
Further forensic examination of the skeletal remains is due to be undertaken in attempts to reveal the specific origins and history of the five bodies found.