Egypt: Lost ancient Memphis tomb rediscovered

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Wooden sarcophagus returned to Egypt from the US (file photo 13 March 2010)
Image caption,
The team is looking for a sarcophagus like this one discovered 100 years ago

A lost ancient Egyptian tomb has been rediscovered by archaeologists in the desert sands south of Cairo.

The 3,300-year-old tomb is believed to belong to a mayor of the ancient capital of Memphis.

It was originally discovered by artefact hunters in the 19th Century, who then lost the tomb's location.

The tomb was located by a team of Egyptian researchers after a five-year search and they are hopeful mummified remains are still inside.

Nile hunt carvings

The tomb belongs to Ptahmes, who was also army chief, overseer of the treasury and a royal scribe under the Pharaohs Seti I and his son Ramses II, during the 13th Century BC.

"Since 1885 the tomb has been covered in sand and no-one knew about it," Professor Ola el-Aguizy of Cairo University said.

"It is important because this tomb was the lost tomb."

The 70m-long tomb, located in the Saqarra necropolis, contains carvings depicting Ptahmes and his family hunting and fishing on the Nile River.

The team is still looking for the main chamber where it is believed the mummified remains and sarcophagus of the occupants may still remain.

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