Egypt Lures Visitors with 4,000 Year Old Tomb

Scenes from the Tomb of Mehu. ©Public Domain Scenes from the Tomb of Mehu. ©Public Domain

Since the 2011 political uprising, tourism in Egypt has suffered as visitors remain wary about visitng the region due to safety concerns. According to the Egyptian Minister of Antiquities, Khaled El Anany, in a bid to revive the travel industry, Egypt has opened a 4,000 year old tomb to entice visitors back to the land of the pyramids.

Who Was Mehu?

The mastaba ("house for eternity") in Saqqara was originally discovered in 1940 by prominent Egyptologist Zaki Saad, but has remained off limits to the public for over 80 years. The tomb belonged to Mehu, who, according to egyptologists, was a vizier to either king Teti (2345–2333 BC) or king Pepi I Meyre (2332–2287). A vizier was the highest ranking position below the pharoah, and in the Old Kingdom, they were often members of the royal family. Mehu was not royal, but he still held an quite an impressive post: he was the Overseer of the Treasuries, and of Upper Egypt, and he was also the palace director and chief of the judges.

There are two chambers in particular that boast incredibly well preserved and colourful inscriptions. The images depict dancing, hunting, a harvest, a list of Mehu's titles, and even an alligator marriage! The tomb was opened to the public on September 8th.

Egyptian officials hope that this move will demonstrate that the country is a safe place to visit, and that everyone can enjoy taking in the wonders of its ancient past.

Want to know more about Ancient Egypt?

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