Lonely Planet Writer

Check out these incredible images from a colourfully-decorated 4500-year-old tomb in Egypt

Egypt recently unveiled spectacular images of a 4500-year-old tomb that belonged to a Fifth Dynasty nobleman. Inside are remarkably preserved wall paintings coloured in hues typically associated with royalty, which has raised questions about the nobleman’s influence and ties with the ruling pharaoh.

Drawings are seen on the walls of a newly discovered 4,500-year-old tomb in Egypt. Image by Hassan Mohamed/picture alliance via Getty

Egypt yields a steady succession of incredible archaeological discoveries that never fail to astound. The latest is an incredibly well-preserved tomb in Saqqara, the ancient burial ground that’s home to Egypt’s earliest pyramids. The 4500-year-old tomb was discovered last month and offers a rare glimpse into the life of a high-ranking senior official who lived during the Fifth Dynasty, a period that spanned from the early 25th century BC until the mid-24th century BC. This was a prosperous era in Egypt known as the Old Kingdom when many temples and palaces were built.

Officials from Egypt’s Ministry of Antiquities inspect pottery found inside the tomb. Image by Hassan Mohamed/picture alliance via Getty

Egypt’s Minister of Antiquities, Khaled al-Enani, recently invited a group of foreign dignitaries on a tour through the site to celebrate the discovery. It’s believed the lavish tomb was created for a nobleman named Khuwy, who appears to have been a man of great importance. The tomb is decorated with remarkably preserved paintings in colours that are considered “royal colours” by officials. The decor and design raise questions about Khuwy’s influence and his relationship to Pharaoh Djedkare Isesi, the eighth and penultimate pharaoh of the Fifth Dynasty whose pyramid is located not far from where Khuwy’s tomb was discovered.

The tomb is believed to have belonged to a nobleman from the Fifth Dynasty. Image by Hassan Mohamed/picture alliance via Getty

“The L-shaped Khuwy tomb starts with a small corridor heading downwards into an antechamber and from there a larger chamber with painted reliefs depicting the tomb owner sitting at an offerings table,” Mohamed Megahed, the excavation team’s head, said in a statement. Mr Megahed added that the tomb’s tunnelled north wall is an architectural feature typically associated with the dynasty’s royal pyramids.

Ancient Egyptian pottery work is seen inside the tomb. Image by Hassan Mohamed/picture alliance via Getty

A similar discovery was made at the end of last year, when excavations yielded the tomb of a royal priest who also lived during the Fifth Dynasty. Like Khuwy’s tomb, this one is incredibly well preserved and filled with ornate artefacts. You can read about it here.

Travellers interested in exploring Ancient Egypt up close will find it even easier to visit when a new airport opens near the country’s historical sites in Giza in 2020. The Sphinx International Airport is expected to open around the same time that the much-anticipated Grand Egyptian Museum makes its debut.