In the year 2023, new discoveries in Egypt catapulted the nation into the spotlight, as it emerged as a radiant beacon, illuminating the vast tapestry of its archaeological wonders. A succession of groundbreaking findings unfolded, unravelling the enigmatic threads of the country’s ancient history and revealing the grandeur that lay concealed beneath the sands of time. These remarkable revelations transcended the boundaries of conventional understanding, transporting us from the sacred grounds of Saqqara Necropolis to the hidden depths of the Mediterranean coast.
Across this captivating journey, seven extraordinary findings emerged as pivotal chapters, each contributing to the narrative of Egypt’s rich and storied past. These discoveries not only captivated the world but also served as a testament to the resilience of the country’s cultural heritage, inviting a global audience to witness and appreciate the profound depths of its historical legacy.
Below are seven new discoveries in Egypt in 2023;
1. Saqqara Necropolis: Tombs and Gold-Covered Sarcophagus
A year-long excavation at Saqqara Necropolis, just outside Cairo, unearthed treasures from the fifth and sixth dynasties (around 2500-2100 B.C.). Among the discoveries were two tombs, one belonging to Khnumdjedef, a revered fifth dynasty priest, and the other to Meri, a palace official known as “the keeper of the secrets.” The site also revealed a gold-covered sarcophagus, unveiling a mummy adorned with layers of gold—a testament to the opulence of ancient burial practices. It is most definitely one of our favourite new discoveries in Egypt in 2023.
2. Saqqara Embalming Workshops and Tombs
The Saqqara Necropolis continued to reveal its secrets with the discovery of two human and animal embalming workshops and two tombs. Dating back to the 30th dynasty (about 2,400 years ago), the workshops featured rooms equipped with stony beds for mummification, providing a rare glimpse into the intricate process. The tombs, belonging to priests Ne Hesut Ba and Men Kheber, offered vivid depictions of daily life and sacred rituals.
3. Hidden Chamber in the Pyramid of Khufu
The iconic Pyramid of Khufu, part of the Giza complex, surprised researchers with the revelation of a sealed-off corridor. Discovered by the ScanPyramids project using advanced technologies like infrared thermography and ultrasound, this mysterious corridor, measuring nine meters in length and two meters in width, poses questions about its purpose and hints at the possibility of further hidden chambers within the pyramid—a tantalizing prospect for future exploration.
4. Matriya Sun Temple in Heliopolis
Archaeologists from Leipzig University’s Institute of Egyptology made significant strides in uncovering more remains of the Matriya Sun Temple in Heliopolis. The discoveries included traces of white ash flooring, mud-brick structures, quartzite stones from the time of Horemheb, and artefacts from the era of Psamtik II. These findings shed light on the predynastic city, offering fresh perspectives on Egypt’s archaeological landscape.
5. Treasures from Thonis-Heracleion
Diving into the Mediterranean coast of Egypt, an underwater archaeological team led by Franck Goddio unveiled treasures at the site of a sunken temple in Thonis-Heracleion. A sealed-off chamber above the entrance yielded silver ritual instruments, gold jewellery, and artefacts showcasing the opulence of the temple. The discoveries also showcased the Greek influence in the region, with a Greek sanctuary dedicated to Aphrodite and relics indicating the presence of Greek mercenaries. It is one of the new discoveries in Egypt in 2023.
6. New Kingdom Burial Sites near Luxor
The ancient city of Luxor revealed its secrets with the discovery of dozens of burial sites from the New Kingdom era (1800-1600 B.C.). Alongside these graves, the remnants of an ancient Roman city spoke to the diverse layers of history coexisting in this remarkable region. The findings provided valuable insights into burial practices and the interactions between different civilizations.
7. Advanced CT Scans of Mummified Teenage Boy
In a fascinating revelation, scientists from Cairo University utilized advanced CT scans to delve into the mysteries of a mummified teenage boy discovered in 1916. The scans not only unveiled the boy’s likely high social status, adorned with 49 gold and precious stone amulets but also challenged preconceptions about his non-Egyptian origin. This discovery added a nuanced layer to our understanding of mummification practices and cultural diversity in ancient Egypt.
These 7 new discoveries in Egypt collectively underscore Egypt’s commitment to unravelling its ancient mysteries. As the country aims to draw in 30 million tourists annually by 2028, these archaeological wonders serve as a testament to Egypt’s enduring allure and cultural richness, inviting the world to explore the profound depths of its historical legacy.