Egypt's oldest mummy, at 4,300 years, may have been found

It is also the most complete mummy found in Egypt to date.
Nergis Firtina
Statuettes depicting the Egyptian goddesses and other sarcophaguses
Statuettes depicting the Egyptian goddesses and other sarcophaguses


At Saqqara, a 4,300-year-old mummy was discovered at the bottom of a 15-meter hole next to the Step Pyramid. Seemingly, this might be the oldest mummy ever found so far.

Close to Cairo, a recently uncovered group of fifth and sixth dynasty tombs near the Step Pyramid at Saqqara, Zahi Hawass, director of the team, told reporters, according to The Guardian. The body of a guy named Hekashepes was preserved in a mortar-sealed limestone sarcophagus.

“This mummy may be the oldest and most complete mummy found in Egypt to date,” said Hawass, one of Egypt’s former ministers of antiquities to The Guardian. On the flip side, "12 beautifully carved statues" were also found as two deep burial shafts, one of which includes what he described as possibly the "most complete mummy found in Egypt to date," as ABC News reports.

Oldest and most complete mummy

"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.

Egypt's oldest mummy, at 4,300 years, may have been found
Zahi Hawass with new findings.

"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," he added.

Another 10-meter-deep pit also included wooden and stone figures and a stone sarcophagus that contained a mummy of a guy named Fetek, according to the inscriptions on the coffin.

Egypt hopes a spate of finds will aid in reviving its faltering tourism sector, reports ABC News. Numerous high-profile archaeological finds have been made in Saqqara due to recent excavation efforts, including the discovery of hundreds of mummified statues and animals in 2019 and the 4,400-year-old tomb of royal priest Wahtye in 2018.

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2,300-year-old "golden" mummy were discovered

Recently, a mummy whose organs were covered entirely with gold was also found. A 2,300-year-old mummy was CT scanned by researchers at Cairo University in Egypt. Many of those amulets, like the golden tongue leaf in the mummy's mouth, were made of gold.

It's interesting to note that the mummified individual was a 15-year-old, likely from a wealthy family. According to the experts, the amulets positioned on and inside of his body represent numerous views about the afterlife in ancient Egyptian society.

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