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Tomb of Army General During King Ramsses II Reign Uncovered in Saqqara

CAIRO - 9 May 2018


An archaeological mission from Cairo University uncovered the tomb of Great Army General, Iwrhya, from King Ramesses II's reign, Head of the mission and Professor of Egyptology Ola el-Aguizy announced Tuesday. 


In a speech delivered during the third annual meeting of archaeological missions in Egypt, inaugurated by Minister of Antiquities Khaled el-Enany on Tuesday, Aguizy said that the tomb, discovered during the 2017/2018 excavation season, is found in the New Kingdom necropolis, south of the Causeway of King Unas in Saqqara, Giza.  She referred that the tomb probably dates back to the reigns of king Sethi I and King Ramesses III in the 19th Dynasty, noting that the tomb is not fully excavated, but information about its owner and his family has been confirmed by the mission working in Saqqara. 


Aguizy said that the owner of the tomb was a great army general in the period of King Ramesses II, and his name, Iwrkhy, appears on the tomb, along with the names of his son and his grandson. According to the inscription found on the tomb’s walls, Iwrkhy's grandson also occupied a significant position.


Iwrkhy began his military career during the reign of king Sethi I and reached higher positions in the Egyptian court during the reign of king Ramesses II; he had foreign origins and was among the few foreigners who could reach high positions in the Egyptian court in the New Kingdom. 


Influenced by the contemporary tombs in the area, the tomb includes a forecourt, a statue room with adjacent plastered vaulted storehouses, a peristyle court and western chapels that are still not excavated, according to Aguizy.  Exceptional scenes from Iwrkhy’s military career and scenes depicting the foreign relations with neighboring countries, including images of mooring boats taking down their loads of Canaanite wine jars, are found on the walls of the statue room and on the blocks. 


Furthermore, the artistic features of the tomb evidently prove that it was constructed in the reigns of king Sethi I and king Ramesses II. 


Additionally, a block, probably detached from the tomb’s northern wall, reflected a scene of an infantry unit and charioteers crossing a waterway with crocodiles. The preliminary study of this scene proved that it represents the eastern boarders of Egypt with its fortified walls. 


Aguizy concluded that it might be a family tomb, but this can only be assured after the excavation of its shaft.

Source: Egypt Today

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