Press release with photos.
A Fifth Dynasty tomb (2465 - 2323 BC) of the priest, Rudj-Ka was recently uncovered in an area south of the pyramid builders’ necropolis.
Minister of Culture, Farouk Hosny announced that the discovery was made during routine excavation work at the necropolis by an Egyptian archaeological team from the Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA).
Dr. Zahi Hawass, Secretary General of the SCA, said that Rudj-Ka had several titles and would have been an important member of the ancient Egyptian court. Primarily Rudj-ka served as a purification priest for Khafre (2520-2494 BC) and his mortuary cult at Giza. Khafre’s pyramid complex and mortuary cult remained functioning well after the king’s death thanks to a group of priests and administrators who were provisioned through royal endowments.
Hawass pointed out that the tomb is the first to be found in this area and that it is very unique because of its distinguished architectural design. The superstructure of the tomb is constructed out of limestone blocks, which create a maze-like pathway to the main entrance. The burial chamber itself is cut directly into a cliff face.
Hawass continued that the tomb’s walls are beautifully decorated with painted reliefs featuring Rudj-ka with his wife in front of an offering table filled with gifts of bread, goose and cattle. Daily life scenes depicting Rudj-ka fishing and boating are also shown.
“This tomb could be the first of many in the area. Hopefully we have located a new necropolis dedicated to certain members of the royal court,” said Hawass. He also suggested that this area could be a continuation of the western necropolis at Giza, which may have resulted from overcrowding in the Giza plateau.
Discovery News (Rossella Lorenzi)
With photos of the painted interior.
Archaeologists have unearthed a more than 4,000-year-old tomb of a pharaonic priest near the Giza pyramids, Egypt’s authorities announced on Monday.
Beautifully decorated, the burial site is located near the tombs of the pyramid-builders.
It belonged to Rudj-Ka, a priest who lived during the Fifth Dynasty (2465 - 2323 B.C.) and was responsible for the mortuary cult of the pharaoh Khafre, also known as Chephren.
The son of Khufu, or Cheops, the Fourth Dynasty king Khafre is best known as the owner of the second largest of the Giza Pyramids.
According to Zahi Hawass, general secretary of Egypt's Supreme Council of Antiquities, Khafre’s pyramid complex and mortuary cult remained functioning well after the king’s death, thanks to a group of priests who conducted rituals and prayers in honor of the dead pharaoh.
Rudj-Ka was one of those priests. An important member of the ancient Egyptian court, he was provisioned through a royal endowment to serve as a purification priest.
Built from limestone blocks, which create a maze-like pathway to the main entrance, Rudj-Ka's tomb is cut directly into a cliff face and boasts walls painted with beautiful scenes of daily life in ancient Egypt.
Luxor Times has two additional photographs, one of the tomb's exterior.
And in Spanish.