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Egyptian Archaeologists Find Goldsmith’s 3,500-Year-Old Tomb

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His name was Amenemhat, and he lived in Egypt about 3,500 years ago, toiling away as a royal goldsmith whose work was dedicated to an ancient Egyptian sun god.

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A wooden sacophagus was among the items unearthed. The niche dates to Egypt’s 18th dynasty New Kingdom era — about the 15th century BC, the antiquities ministry said. Credit Khaled Desouki/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

After five months of digging under an unforgiving sun, a team of Egyptian archaeologists unearthed the tomb belonging to the goldsmith who had lived in the desert province of Luxor, the authorities said on Saturday.

The jeweler, who lived during the 18th dynasty (about 1567 B.C. to 1320 B.C.), had dedicated his work to Amon-Re, the most powerful deity at the time. Amenemhat’s tomb was found in Draa Abul-Naga, a necropolis for noblemen and rulers near the Valley of the Kings, on the left bank of the Nile River.

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Small funerary statues carved in wood, clay and limestone recovered at the site. Credit Khaled Desouki/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

The discovery was a relatively modest one, but in a country that has been trying to revive its tourism industry, which has been decimated by political strife and terrorist attacks after the 2011 uprising, officials announced the find with fanfare.

“This find is important for marketing,” Egypt’s antiquities minister, Khaled el-Enany, said at a news conference outside the tomb on Saturday. “This is exactly what Egypt needs.”

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A funerary mask and wood parts of coffins were among the items presented at a news conference in Luxor, Egypt, on Saturday. Credit Nariman El-Mofty/Associated Press

The tomb’s main chamber had statues of Amenemhat and his wife seated on chairs, according to Mostafa Waziri, the archaeologist who led the dig. One statue shows her wearing a long dress and wig. A smaller statue, discovered between the couple, depicts one of their sons.

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