Tomb of Khuwy: A Fifth Dynasty Nobleman

Fifth dynasty in ancient Egypt

The fifth dynasty in ancient Egypt belonged to the time period of the Old Kingdom. According to archaeological and literary evidence, this period existed between early 25th century BCE to the mid 24th century BCE. This period is very important in understanding ancient Egyptian history. Because this period had witnessed a number of changes in the domain of religion. Pyramid Texts started to appear during this time. Besides this, the cult of Ra gained importance during this time.

The discovery of the tomb

A team of archaeologists discovered a tomb near Saqqara necropolis, 35 kilometers south of Cairo in the month of March 2019. The Ministry of Antiquities, Egypt announced this discovery during the mid of the month of April of the same year. Mohamed Megahed led the excavation in this burial site.

people visiting the burial site

Whom the tomb belongs to?

The tomb belongs to a senior official. The name of that person was Khuwy who belonged to the time period of the Fifth Dynasty.

The mummy

Archaeologists discovered the mummy of the senior official, Khuwy. But it was found fragmented into several pieces. Besides this, they also discovered some canopic jars. These canopic jars were one of the important components of the funerary system in ancient Egypt. Because these special jars kept the organs of the body of the deceased person. According to the Ministry of Antiquities. ancient Egyptians used oils in the burial process.

Discovery of paintings

Archaeologists discovered a great number of paintings inside the tomb. All the paintings were ornate. These paintings boast a special green resin throughout. These paintings indicate royalty. The excavator thought so. The paintings also depicted daily life activities. So these paintings revealed so much about the ancient Egyptian societies through the mirror of art.

well preserved paintings inside the tomb

The architecture of the tomb

The tomb was L-shaped. It started with a small corridor. The corridor headed downwards into an antechamber. From there, the corridor headed towards a larger chamber. This chamber had painted reliefs. These reliefs depicted the tomb owner seated at an offerings table. The north wall of the tomb indicated an influence from the architectural blueprint of the dynasty’s royal pyramids. So, the architecture and design of this tomb are very impressive and attractive. The tomb was made of white limestone bricks.

paintings on the limestone-bricked wall

The interpretation

Now, coming to the interpretation, one thing was very clear from this discovery. It was that the owner of the tomb probably had a good relationship with the then Pharaoh Djedkare Isesis. Because the first reason behind this assumption is the high-ranked post of the owner of the tomb. The other reason was obviously the unique architectural style of the tomb which was only seen in the royal pyramids. So, this discovery added a new chapter to the history of ancient Egypt.