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French scholar  Auguste Mariette discovered the tomb of the ancient Egyptian high priest Ptashepses. He then partially excavated it and removed key parts of the tomb, including an intricate false door. After these items were recovered, the grave disappeared beneath the sand, and its location remains a mystery. A team of Czech archaeologists has rediscovered the site, long thought lost by Egyptologists.

The Czech Institute of Egyptology, part of Charles University's Faculty of Letters, made this exciting discovery. The tomb of Ptashepses was discovered between the pyramid areas of Abusir and Saqqara in Egypt. One of the most important elements of this site is the discovery of the 4,400-year-old mummified remains of Ptashepses. The research team announced their findings on Facebook. "It was a difficult search that lasted several years," explains Miroslav Barta, head of research at Abusir. “The study of detailed satellite images and ancient maps of the area  led to the rediscovery of the tomb of Ptashepses in 2022.”

The false door and lintel removed by Mariette are now on display in the British Museum. This door, believed by the Egyptians to be a symbolic entrance for the dead to exit the tomb, also contained important inscriptions. These detailed carvings enumerate the major events in Ptashepses' life, from his birth under King Menkaure to his education in the palace and his marriage to the daughter of Pharaoh Uselkaf.

"This very mention indicates that Ptashepses was the first known official of non-royal descent in Egyptian history who was given the privilege of marrying a daughter of a royal family," the institute said. ing. “The lintel also has a reference to one of the earliest testimonies of the god Osiris. That's what makes the official Ptashepses even more unique since he is believed to have originated the idea of ​​introducing the famous god of the Egyptian afterlife into the Egyptian pantheon. ”

After rediscovering the site in 2022, the team conducted excavations throughout 2023. After discovering a vast mastaba structure (a rectangular structure found in Egyptian tombs) measuring 137.7 feet long and 72 feet wide, they finally entered the chamber. There they discovered some of the original grave goods, including votive offerings, pottery, and mummified fish. However, the most important discovery was a mummified body, which sheds light on the development of mummification. 

"This rediscovery of the tomb of a man who changed the course of Egyptian history is one of the expedition's greatest recent discoveries," Barta added. "Research is ongoing and further discoveries may be made that shed new light on his family and his time."

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