LUXOR, Egypt (Reuters) – Archaeologists on Thursday unveiled an unusually large tomb on Luxor’s west bank dated to ancient Egypt’s 18th dynasty.
The 3,500-year-old, 450-square-metre (540-square-yard) tomb contains 18 entrance gates and is believed to have belonged to a nobleman named Shedsu-Djehuty.
Tombs and burial sites are incredibly important to the study of our past and this is particularly true for ancient Egypt. The Egyptian Supreme Council of Antiquities has announced the discovery of a very important tomb in a previously unknown graveyard. They have unearthed the burial place of a soldier in a famous necropolis. This find could help us to better understand the funerary practices of the New Kingdom, its government, and its military.
The discovery of the tomb was announced by the Egyptian Minister of Antiquities. It was unearthed by a team of Egyptian archaeologists led by Amr Nouba. The find was made near the ancient city of Thebes in Upper Egypt near the banks of the Nile , in Gurna, Luxor.
A Magnificent Ancient Egyptian Soldier’s Tomb
The tomb is a complete and self-contained compartment that was made of adobe or baked brick. It is believed that the discovery dates to the Ramesside period , one of the greatest in the history of the New Kingdom in Egypt. The tomb had been cut deep into the rock. The Luxor Times reports that “it is the biggest rock-cut tomb to be unearthed in the ancient city of Thebes.” It is the final resting place of a soldier named Djehuty Shed Sou.
The name of the dead soldier was inscribed on colored pillars and there are also hieroglyphs that list his military and civilian titles. One of the dead man’s titles was that of “holder of the seal of the king of Upper Egypt,” according to the Luxor Times.
Little else is known about Djehuty Shed Sou. However, he must have been a very powerful figure in his time based on the dimension and the location of his tomb. Djehuty Shed Sou must have been favored by the pharaoh to receive the distinction of being buried in the necropolis, which was strictly reserved for the elite.
The tomb, which has several rooms, had an amazing 18 entrances, and this is the largest number of entrances ever found in the necropolis. There is a courtyard before the burial place and there are two deep wells located in the northern and southern corners. The military man’s grave is located in a small graveyard and it is flanked by two imposing tombs that belonged to royal officials from the 18th and 19th dynasty.
The discovery of the soldier’s tomb, possibly the largest non-royal tomb ever found, is changing how we view not only the necropolis but also the burial practices of the New Kingdom. Further investigations may reveal more about the clearly powerful but mysterious figure of Djehuty Shed Sou. This could lead to more insights about the military and the government of the New Kingdom. It is believed that the graveyard will provide many more treasures and finds in the near future.
The west bank of the River Nile at Luxor is home to the Valley of the Kings, where pharaohs and nobles of the New Kingdom were buried in tombs carved into the rock. The 18th dynasty was the first of the New Kingdom dynasties.
The tomb is the latest in a series unveiled by Egypt’s ministry of antiquities, which says more excavation teams have been working as security has improved in Egypt in recent years.