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4,400 years old Skeleton in Abusir - Egypt

4,400-year-old skeleton of top government official found in Abusir, Egypt

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A Czech archaeological team has discovered a well-preserved skeleton of a top government official in Abusir, Egypt, dating to the fifth dynasty (2465 – 2325 BC).  The remains belong to a man named Nefer, who held several titles in the royal palace and the government during the reign of pharaoh Neferirkare.

The remains of Nefer were found inside a sarcophagus carved out of limestone, which was unearthed at an archaeological site near Cairo during an excavation led by Czech archaeologist Mirislav Barta. The coffin was found inside an unfinished rock-hewn tomb within a funerary complex which consists of four corridors, with the eastern one devoted to Nefer, and the other three for his family members.

Nefer's sarcophagus - Egypt, Abusir

Nefer’s sarcophagus. Photo credit: The Supreme Council of Antiquities

Egypt's antiquities minister Mohamed Ibrahim said that a stone head rest was found under the skeleton’s head. Also found were five burial wells and a limestone false door engraved with the deceased's different titles, which include priest of the king's funerary complex, the supervisor of the royal documents scribes and also of the house of gold.

Nefer served under pharaoh Neferirkare, the third king of the fifth dynasty. Six kings of the fifth dynasty displayed their devotion to the sun god by building personal temples to his cult.  The large size of Neferirkare’s mortuary complex at Abusir suggests that he was an important king, but little is actually known about his reign.

Featured image: The remains of Nefer. Photo credit: The Supreme Council of Antiquities

By April Holloway

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