New documentary series features Egyptologist's 'dream discovery' of sarcophagus
Every archaeologist has the fantasy of making one such discovery in their life that tells us something important about our past. Egyptologist and professor Ola El Aguizy fulfilled this dream when she discovered an Egyptian sarcophagus from deep beneath the sands near Cairo, Egypt. Archaeologists and other experts hailed this latest find as a "dream discovery." Read on to know more about it.
Since 2005, El Aguizy has led several excavations at Saqqara
An emeritus professor of the faculty of archaeology at the University of Cairo, El Aguizy is an expert with demotics and has written several publications in her life. She has led several excavations at Saqqara since 2005, where she discovered the tombs of various notable figures connected to Ramesses II. Her work is featured in the National Geographic documentary series Lost Treasures of Egypt.
In 2021, El Aguizy uncovered the surface-level tomb of Ptah-em-Wia
In 2021, El Aguizy and her team uncovered the surface-level tomb of Ptah-em-Wia, who was believed to run the treasury of ancient Egyptian Pharaoh Ramses I. This year, she found a sarcophagus in the same tomb which could reveal a lot about those who ruled Egypt after Tutankhamun. At the center of the tomb's courtyard, the team first spotted a vertical shaft's top.
Discovery of the sarcophagus down the shaft
The top of the vertical shaft suggested a passage to a burial chamber. The shaft was quite deep at eight meters and it took them one week to remove the sand using a bucket attached to a hand-operated rope winch. El Aguizy squeezed herself into the bucket and made a slow descent down the shaft, and discovered the sarcophagus at the bottom.
The hieroglyphs depict Ptah-em-Wia's closeness to the king
"The discovery of this sarcophagus in its original place in the burial shaft was very exciting because it is the sarcophagus of the owner of the tomb, which is not always the case," El Aguizy told the Observer. The titles of Ptah-em-Wia listed in the hieroglyphs in the tomb highlight his closeness to King Pharaoh Ramses II, proving his important role in the administration.
Sarcophagus has images of a series of ancient Egyptian gods
The sarcophagus has images of a series of ancient Egyptian gods. The initial studies of the sarcophagus are complete. However, it will be further analyzed and studied to reveal more about its occupant. "She's a grandmother, she's in her 70s and she's still going out there doing this really quite a hazardous job," Tom Cook, the documentary series producer said about El Aguizy.