- Archaeologists at Abusir Archaeological Cemetery at Giza have found the tomb of Shepseskaf ‘ankh
- The vast tomb belonged to the Head of Physicians of Upper and Lower Egypt in the Fifth Dynasty of the Old Kingdom – 4,500 years ago
- A large door covered in hieroglyphs revealed that its occupant was the ‘Priest of Khnum,’ or ‘Priest of Magic’
PUBLISHED: 08:35 EST, 24 October 2013 | UPDATED: 10:15 EST, 24 October 2013
A ‘huge’ limestone tomb belonging to an important Egyptian physician has been discovered.
Archaeologists at Abusir Archaeological Cemetery at Giza have unearthed the final resting place of Shepseskaf ‘ankh that has been undisturbed for 4,500 years.
The generous size of the tomb, which is 69 by 45 feet long and 13 feet high, indicates the importance of the ancient medical professional, who was Head of Physicians of Upper and Lower Egypt in the Fifth Dynasty of the Old Kingdom.
Archaeologists at Abusir Archaeological Cemetery at Giza have unearthed the final resting place of Shepseskaf ‘ankh that has been undiscovered for 4,500 years. The generous size of he tomb indicates the importance of the ancient medical professional
Vice head of the Ancient Egyptian sector, Ali ALasfar, said a large door covered in hieroglyphs revealed that its occupant is the ‘Priest of Khnum,’ or ‘Priest of Magic’.
The false door with the name and title of its owner is located inside a chapel where the tomb itself was found, Fox News reported.
The door in the eastern part of the tomb also says that the medicine man was one of the most important royal physicians in Ancient Egypt at the time.
The large door covered in hieroglyphs revealed that its occupant is the ‘Priest of Khnum’ or ‘Priest of Magic’
It is the third tomb of a physician discovered in Abusir Cemetery, which is an enormous necropolis close to modern Cairo and served as an elite burial place for the Ancient Egyptian capital of Memphis.
Antiquities Minister Ibrahim Ali, said: ‘This discovery is important because this is the tomb of one of the greatest doctors from the time of the pyramid builders; one of the doctors closely tied to the king.’
The necropolis where the tomb was found is part of a vast pyramid field that stretches from north Giza to Saqqara and was designed to supplement Giza, which was already filled up with funeral monuments of the 5th Dynasty pharaohs, Heritage Daily reported.
The physician’s tomb makes up part of a 21 by 14 metre plot surrounded by walls four metres tall that is thought to belong to a family.
The archaeologists must have been relieved to find the tomb and highly-carved door intact, as parts of the site, along with Saqqara and Dahshur was damaged by looters during the Egyptian protests in 2011.
Ancient Egyptian physicians used numerous methods to heal patients but many of their techniques were also based on religious beliefs and most physicians were also priests.
It was common for different priests to act as specialist medics, as they believed that different gods governed different parts of the human body.
Much of what is known about the priests and doctors comes from ancient papyrus manuscripts that reveal the cures they used as well as how they performed operations and used surgical implements to remove cysts and tumours.
Some of the ‘cures’ composed of 600 drugs and 800 procedures, developed by the ancient physicians – such as applying direct pressure to cuts – are still used today.
It is the third tomb of a physician discovered in Abusir Cemetery (excavations are pictured), which is an enormous necropolis close to modern Cairo and served as one of the most elite burial places for the Ancient Egyptian capital of Memphis
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