Pre-dynastic tomb and mummy uncovered in Egypt dating back an incredible 5,600 years
Archaeologists in Egypt have found an extremely rare tomb containing a preserved mummy and numerous artifacts, which date back to a period which predates the First Pharaonic Dynasty, according to a report by the Agence France Presse (AFP).
The Pre-dynastic Period of Ancient Egypt (prior to 3,100 BC) is traditionally the period between the Early Neolithic and the beginning of the Pharaonic monarchy beginning with the rule of King Narmer, the founder of the First Dynasty who unified Upper and Lower Egypt. With the First Dynasty, the capital moved from Abydos to Memphis where the Egyptian ‘god-king’ ruled a now unified polity that extended from the Nile Delta to the first cataract at Aswan.
The 5,600-year-old tomb was discovered at the ancient site of Nekhen, Hierakonpolis, a vibrant and bustling city that stretched over 3km along the Nile River. Nekhen was the religious and political capital of Upper Egypt at the end of the Predynastic period (c. 3200 – 3100 BC), although some experts suggest occupation began thousands of years earlier. The original settlement on the Nekhen site dates from the culture known as Naqada I of 4400 BC or the late Badarian culture that may date from 5000 BC. At its height from about 3400 BC Nekhen had at least 5,000 and possibly as many as 10,000 inhabitants.
Archaeologists found an ivory statue of a bearded man and the mummy of the tomb's owner, who appeared to have died in his late teenage years. They also found 10 ivory combs as well as tools, blades and arrow heads.
Ivory combs, tools, blades and arrowheads discovered in the tomb. Credit: AFP.
"It is a very important discovery," said Antiquities Minister Mohamed Ibrahim, adding that it would add more to Egypt's history as well as reveal more of the customs, religious beliefs and funerary rituals of people before the pre-dynastic era.
Featured image: Artistic representation of the pre-dynastic settlement of Nekhen. Photo source .