Monday,16 July, 2018
Current issue | Issue 1169, (24 - 30 October 2013)
Monday,16 July, 2018
Issue 1169, (24 - 30 October 2013)

Ahram Weekly

Where the doctor was buried

Al-Ahram Weekly

THE TOMB of the head of physicians of Upper and Lower Egypt during the Fifth Dynasty has been discovered in Abusir necropolis, Nevine El-Aref reports.
At the southern side of Abusir Necropolis, excavators of a Czech archaeological mission are busy digging the land searching for more ancient Egyptian artefacts to solve some of the Pharaohs’ deepest secrets.
During excavation works the tomb of the Fifth Dynasty’s head of physicians of Upper and Lower Egypt, Shepseskaf-Ankh and his family was discovered.
The tomb is carved in limestone and consists of a large open court, eight burial chambers, two corridors offering chapels and a very rare and distinguished huge false door engraved with titles and names of Shepseskaf-Ankh.
Director of the Czech mission, Miroslav Barta, told Al-Ahram Weekly that the false door is a very important discovery “because it is the only unfinished false door ever found in Abusir, which also reveals how the ancient Egyptians carved and decorated the false doors of their tombs”. Barta said that the ancient Egyptian junior artisans used to decorate false doors with drawings in red and their overseers corrected and adjusted their drawings in black before painting it.
Ali Al-Asfar, deputy head of the ancient Egyptian section at the Ministry of State of Antiquities (MSA), pointed out that some of the titles engraved on the door reflect the social standard of Shepseskaf-Ankh who came from an elite ancient Egyptian family. Among the titles he held were the priest of god Khnum who provides life and the priest of Sun temples for several Fifth Dynasty kings.
“Although it is the third tomb of an ancient Egyptian physician to be found in Abusir it has a very important historical and archaeological significance,” said Mohamed Ibrahim, minister of state of antiquities. He explains that the tomb belonged to one of the distinguished physicians who was close to the ruler kings and had a top official position during the reign of the pyramids builders.
Barta stated that individual tombs in Abusir were constructed starting from the mid-Fifth Dynasty and many priests and officials who worked in the Pyramid complex of the Fifth Dynasty kings of Abusir and the Sun Temples were buried there.
Abusir is an extensive Old Kingdom necropolis that served as one of the main elite cemeteries for the ancient Egyptian capital of Memphis. It houses remains of 14 pyramids which served as burials for the Fifth Dynasty kings as well as a bunch of tombs and sun temples.

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