Archaeologists in Egypt are calling the unearthing of a new tomb a "one-of-a-kind" find. The hidden tomb of an Egyptian royal priest had been untouched for around 4,400 years and is covered with exceptionally preserved statues and hieroglyphics. The discovery was made last Thursday in the Saqqara pyramid complex just south of Cairo.
It's an ancient treasure chest spread out over two levels – a tomb so perfectly preserved it's been called the most "significant discovery in decades." More than two dozen statues guard the chamber and drawings of a family are spread throughout like an Egyptian photo album.
The walls are covered in carvings depicting some of their favorite activities: hunting, musical performances and even sailing. They're modern-day outings set in stone and vibrantly painted more than 4,400 years ago. It's a time in Egyptian history excavation leader Dr. Mostafa Waziri said little is known about.
"The discovery today, it's one of the most important ones for me… Because number one, it's almost intact tomb. Number two, it's old kingdom," Waziri said.
Waziri's team believe the tomb was the final resting place of a royal priest named Wahtye, who served during Egypt's Fifth Dynasty under King Neferirkare. Apparently Wahtye really loved his mother.
"He mentioned the name of his mother almost everywhere here," Waziri said.
More than one dozen discoveries have been made in Egypt this year including a sarcophagus in Luxor, an ancient necropolis, and the tomb of a high priestess. These ancient secrets are good for both history and Egypt's struggling tourism industry.
Archaeologists are now hopeful they'll find Wahtye's sarcophagus, believed to be still hidden within the tomb.