New Tombs in Egypt Opened to Tourists

There have been seven new tombs in Egypt opened to tourists.  These tombs in Egypt date back more than 3,000 years.  These new tombs in Egypt are located on a site in south Saqqara, about 30 km south of Cairo.

Zahi Hawass, the Minister of State for Antiquities in Egypt, announced the opening of these new tombs in Egypt on his website on May 22. Since Egypt’s revolution that ousted president Hosni Mubarak, tourism has faltered, and Egypt’s tourism minister has forecasted a 25 percent drop in tourist revenue for 2011.

The tombs date from the New Kingdom, a period that lasted from 16th to 11th century B.C., and include chambers for Maya, the treasurer of King Tutankhamen, and Horemheb, King Tut’s general.

Zahi Hawass, Egypt’s Minister of Antiquities, said he hopes to draw more tourists to the site, which is close to the Step Pyramid of Djoser.

These tombs in Egypt have been investigated and restored by a team of Dutch archeologists who began work on the site in the 1970s. Some of the chambers were first discovered in 1843 by German explorer Richard Lepsius, but were not fully excavated.

A labourer works on the partly damaged statue of Maya and his wife Merit in south Saqqara, Egypt. A labourer works on the partly damaged statue of Maya and his wife Merit in south Saqqara, Egypt. Nasser Nasser/Associated Press

The south Saqqara area was a necropolis for Memphis, which succeeded Luxor (Thebes) as ancient Egypt’s capital under the reign of Pharaoh Akhenaten, Tutankhamen’s father.

After his death, the country was in turmoil and the young King Tut relied on Maya and Horemheb for their financial and diplomatic skills as he moved the religious capital back to Luxor.

“Maya was responsible for restoring order in Egypt, while his colleague Horemheb restored order abroad,” the antiquities ministry said in a statement.

Maya’s temple, which was unfinished, features images of Maya and his wife Merit. Horemheb built a tomb at the south Saqqara site, but was buried at the famous Valley of the Kings on Luxor’s west bank as he later became a king.

The tomb of Merneith — steward of the Temple of Aten under Akhenaten — is built of mud brick encased in limestone blocks and features friezes of metal workers and chapels for offerings.

Other tombs were built for Ptahemwia, who was the royal butler under both Akhenaten and Tutankhamen, and for Pay and his son Raia. Father and, later, son oversaw the harem during King Tut’s reign.

Book your place on the tour and visit these brand new sites.  Mystery, Magic and Adventure awaits you in Egypt so book your place on the tour today.

To Download the 2013 Tour to Egypt Itinerary and Pricing