CAIRO: Egyptian archaeologists have discovered the tomb of a priest who conducted prayer rituals before statues of a dead pharaoh more than 4,000 years ago, the antiquities council said on Monday.
The tomb, which belonged to the priest Rwd-ka and dated back to the Fifth Dynasty of 2514 to 2374 BC, was found near the pyramids of Giza, antiquities chief Zahi Hawass told AFP.
Rudj-ka headed the mortuary cult of the pharaoh Khafre, builder of the second largest of the Giza Pyramids. Khafre died around 2494 BC, but the cult of worship of pharaohs sometimes lasted after their deaths, Hawass said in a Monday statement.
One of the priest’s roles was to lead a series or rituals and prayers before statues of a departed pharaoh who was venerated as a God.
Partly carved from stone, the tomb is painted with a picture of the priest and his wife at a table laden with offerings.
Its walls feature pastoral scenes of cattle grazing and being milked, as well as a single image of a cow giving birth, said Hawass.
Hawass says the discovery could indicate a larger necropolis near the Giza plateau where the three famed pyramids are located.
“Perhaps this tomb will be the beginning of discovering other tombs for classes other than the workers,” he added.