The grave of a royal guard of the 26th dynasty, which dates back to about 2,500 years ago, was unearthed by an Egyptian-Czech archaeological mission in the south of Cairo, Egyptian Minister of Culture Farouq Hosni said on Thursday.
A large limestone sarcophagus, which enclosed yet another casket, was discovered while the archaeologists were excavating in search of yet-to-be discovered Pharaonic monuments in Abu-Sir area, about 27 km south of Cairo, said Hosni.
The embedded box is made of diorite and has on it inscriptions from the Book of the Dead, he added.
The grave, which belongs to Menkhep-Nikaw, also houses funereal furniture, including faience pots, good-luck amulets and carnelian stones, Hosni said.
Zahi Hawwas, Secretary General of the Egyptian Supreme Council of Antiquities, said the new discovery proved Abu-Sir to be a virgin area, with many Pharaonic mysteries still buried under its earth.
Hawwas noted that the engravings, which represent whole chapters from the Book of the Dead, were indeed the most captivating of discovered Pharaonic designs between the 26th and 27th dynasties (664-405 B.C.).
Judging from experience, Hawwas said that the Egyptian-Czech mission was the only second batch of visitors into the grave after tomb-raiders, who looted it in ancient Pharaonic times.