According to Egypt, a 4,400 year old tomb was discovered outside of Cairo

This image from the video from Saturday, February 3, 2018, shows murals in a 4,400-year-old tomb near the pyramids outside of Cairo, Egypt. The Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities announced the discovery on Saturday, saying the tomb likely belongs to a high-ranking official named Hetpet during the 5th Dynasty of Ancient Egypt. The tomb contains murals on which Hetpet observes various hunting and fishing scenes. (AP Photo / APTN)

Archaeologists in Egypt have discovered a 4,400-year-old tomb near the country’s famous pyramids on the Giza Plateau just outside Cairo, the Ministry of Antiquities said on Saturday. This is the latest discovery that authorities hope will help revitalize the country’s stunning tourism sector.

The tomb was found in a larger area of ​​the western necropolis of Giza, which is home to tombs from the Old Kingdom.

It probably belonged to a woman named Hetpet, who archaeologists believe was close to the ancient Egyptian kings of the 5th Dynasty.

The grave, which was unveiled to the media on Saturday, is made of adobe bricks and contains murals in good condition depicting Hetpet observing various hunting and fishing scenes.

Other scenes also show a monkey – monkeys were usually kept as pets in Pharaonic times – picking fruit. Similar scenes were found in other tombs of the later 12th dynasty, according to the ministry. Another scene shows a monkey dancing in front of an orchestra.

According to the ministry, the archaeological mission behind the discovery began excavating last October. Archaeologists have been making discoveries near the site since the 19th century, and Mostafa al-Waziri, who led the mission, believes more can be found.

“This is a very promising area. We expect more,” Al-Waziri told local reporters. “We removed between 250 and 300 cubic meters of earth to find the grave.”

According to Egypt, a 4,400 year old tomb was discovered outside of Cairo

This image from the video from Saturday, February 3, 2018, shows murals in a 4,400-year-old tomb near the pyramids outside of Cairo, Egypt. The Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities announced the discovery on Saturday, saying the tomb likely belongs to a high-ranking official named Hetpet during the 5th Dynasty of Ancient Egypt. The tomb contains murals on which Hetpet observes various hunting and fishing scenes. (AP Photo / APTN)

“What we see above the surface of the earth in Egypt does not exceed 40 percent of what the core contains,” he added.

Al-Waziri believes that Hetpet had another tomb in Giza’s western necropolis and said excavations are under way to find this one too.

Hetpet is a figure known in ancient Egypt, although her mummy has not yet been discovered. Fragments of artifacts by Hetpet were found in the same area as early as 1909 and were brought to a museum in Berlin at the time, said antiques minister Khaled al-Anani on Saturday, speaking with reporters and Western diplomats on site.

Despite all the discoveries that have already been made about ancient Egypt, experts hope that – thanks in part to modern technology – they can find many more treasures that are still hidden under the vast desert.

According to Egypt, a 4,400 year old tomb was discovered outside of Cairo

In this file photo dated August 30, 2015, camels rest between trips with their owners against the backdrop of the pyramids in Giza, Egypt. Archaeologists in Egypt say they discovered a 4,400 year old tomb near the pyramids outside of Cairo. The Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities announced the discovery on Saturday, saying the tomb likely belongs to a high-ranking official named Hetpet during the 5th Dynasty of Ancient Egypt. (AP Photo / Courtney Bonnell, File)

The area of ​​newest discovery is near a new museum under construction that displays some of Egypt’s most unique and valuable artifacts, including many that belong to the famous boy King Tutankhamun.

The first phase of the Grand Egyptian Museum is expected to open later this year, while opening is slated for 2022.

In January, Egypt placed the ancient statue of one of its most famous pharaohs, Ramses II, in the atrium of the museum, which will contain 43 massive statues.

Throughout 2017, the Ministry of Antiquities made a number of discoveries across Egypt – including some in the southern city of Luxor, known for its spectacular temples and tombs spanning different dynasties from ancient Egyptian history.

According to Egypt, a 4,400 year old tomb was discovered outside of Cairo

This Saturday, October 24, 2015, the file photo, the Sphinx and the historic site of the Giza Pyramids will be illuminated with blue light as part of the celebration of the 70th anniversary of the United Nations in Giza, just outside Cairo, Egypt. Archaeologists in Egypt say they discovered a 4,400 year old tomb near the pyramids outside of Cairo. The Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities announced the discovery on Saturday, saying the tomb likely belongs to a high-ranking official named Hetpet during the 5th Dynasty of Ancient Egypt. (AP Photo / Amr Nabil, file)

Egypt hopes the inauguration of the new museum, along with the recent discoveries, will draw visitors back to the country where tourism has been affected by extremist and political attacks following the 2011 popular uprising that overthrew longtime autocrat Hosni Mubarak and the struggles of authorities Unrest was riddled with an uprising by militant Islamists.

The government tightened security around archaeological and tourist sites and spent millions of dollars to improve airport security, particularly after the Islamic State Group crashed a Russian airliner over the troubled Sinai Peninsula in 2015, killing 224 people killed on board.

The bombings dealt a serious blow to Egypt’s vital tourism sector after Russia suspended flights to and from Egypt.

In December, Cairo and Moscow signed a security protocol and announced plans to resume Russian flights to the Egyptian capital, due to begin this month.

According to Egypt, a 4,400 year old tomb was discovered outside of Cairo

In this file photo from Monday, November 9, 2015, an Egyptian police officer walks near a pyramid in Giza, Egypt. The Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities announced the discovery of a 4,400 year old tomb near the pyramids outside of Cairo on Saturday, February 3, 2018. (AP Photo / Nariman El-Mofty, FILE) Egypt places the Colossus of Ramses II in the atrium of the new museum (update)

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