3,000-year-old tomb of royal scribe unearthed in Luxor
Tomb of royal scribe Khonsu - Courtesy: Antiquities Ministry

The 3,000-year-old tomb of a royal scribe was unearthed in Luxor by a team of Japanese and Egyptian archaeologists conducting excavations at Khokha archaeological site.

The tomb dates back to the period of the Ramesside Kings, who reigned over Ancient Egypt’s New Kingdom during the 19th and 20th dynasties (circa 1292 BC to 1069 BC), according to a statement published by Egypt’s Antiquities Ministry.

The owner of the T-shaped tomb, measuring 4.6 by 5.5 meters, is assumed to have been a nobleman or scribe named “Khonsu.”

Images and hieroglyphs on the interior walls of Khonsu’s tomb - Courtesy: Antiquities Ministry

The tomb’s interior chambers have retained many of their original colors, although badly eroded and damaged. Among the visible hieroglyphic inscriptions is a depiction of the ancient god Atum Ra being worshipped by four baboons. The walls of the tomb are also adorned with images of the gods Isis and Osiris, and another segment with images of Khonsu’s dependents and servants.

Religious depictions on walls of Khonsu’s tomb - Courtesy: Antiquities Ministry

The tomb is likely to contain additional images in its inner chamber, according to professor of archaeology at Tokyo’s Waseda University, who headed the Japanese archaeological team, Jiro Kondo. Large stones currently block access to the chamber, but further excavations are planned to uncover it.

The tomb was discovered by chance when Kondo and his team were clearing the eastern end of Tomb TT47, belonging to nobleman Usherhat, who oversaw the royal harem under Pharaoh Amenhotep III (who reigned circa 1388 BC to 1351 BC).

Kondo told the Japanese Kyodo News Agency that there are many undiscovered tombs to be found in Egypt, despite archaeological practices stretching back over 200 years.

The team of Japanese and Egyptian architects began excavations of the Khokha site near the Valley of Kings in 2007, and have unearthed a number of ancient tombs and artifacts since then, including their discovery of the vivid tomb of the royal chief of granaries and beer-brewing, Khonso Im-Heb, in 2014.


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