First Roman-era cemetery discovered in Saqqara
By: Mustafa Marie
Wed, Nov. 6, 2019
CAIRO - 6 November 2019: The Ministry of Antiquities announced on Nov. 5 the discovery of an archaeological cemetery in Saqqara. It is the first discovered cemetery from the Roman era in this region.
During the last excavation season, a joint Egyptian-Japanese archaeological mission in North Saqqara headed by Nozomu Kawai of Kanazawa University and Waseda University in Japan succeeded in uncovering a Roman catacomb tomb, spanning back to the first and second centuries AD.
Saqqara's General Manager Sabry Farah said the mission found the catacombs in the area northeast the old Saqqara region, where no excavation work has been carried out before.
For his part, Kawai said the discovered catacombs consisted of a domed mud brick building with an internal staircase and a rock carved room made of limestone, where a rock-engraved plaque with a round plate was found containing images of Sokar, Thoth and Anubis from left to right and two lines of Greek inscriptions below the picture. Five terra-cotta statues of Isis-Aphrodite were also found, in addition to a number of clay pots found by the entrance gate.
He added that the mission also found two statues of lions made of limestone. Each statue is about 55 cm in length.
Farah indicated that the mission had found the rock-carved room outside the entrance gate. The room consists of a long hall of about 15 meters in length and about 2 meters in width, with a number of small chambers carved on the sidewalls. Inside the carved chambers a large clay statue of Isis-Aphrodite was discovered in addition to a number of mummies.
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