The Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities announced the discovery of the 6x9-meter (20x40-foot) tomb of Baser in the ancient necropolis of Saqqara. Baser was the royal messenger of a pharaoh toward the end of the New Kingdom (1539-1069 BC), acting as the equivalent of a modern-day foreign minister.
Baser's tomb is well-preserved. It includes scenes of his funeral procession, his wife crying at the tomb, judgment in the afterlife with gods weighing his heart, and gods welcoming the deceased. No references to a pharaoh were found, but the style of the images resembled those of the rule of Ramses II.
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Many of the noblemen of the Ramesside period were buried in Saqarra because of Memphis' importance as a city in between Lower Egypt and Upper Egypt. Even in later dynasties we have many people, even priests, buried there.
- Ola Al-Aguizy, Cairo University
Al-Aguizy told Circa that Memphis, or modern Cairo, was an important administrative capital throughout ancient Egypt. Its most famous tombs, such as the step pyramid of Djoser, date to ancient Egypt's earlier dynasties. Baser's tomb was found near the tomb of Unas, the last king of the 5th Dynasty (2450-2325BC).
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The tomb included several objects commonly used during ancient Egyptian burials, such as shabtis, or funerary figurines. Archaeologists found Baser's tomb during a routine re-excavation of a nearby tomb discovered and looted in the 19th century. Its objects are located in museums around the world, Al-Aguizy said.
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