Egypt says 4,400-year-old tomb discovered outside Cairo

Archaeologists in Egypt say they have discovered a 4,400-year-old tomb near the pyramids outside Cairo.

Wall paintings depict high-ranking official Hetpet observing different hunting and fishing scenes

Mostafa Wazir, secretary general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, inspects a discovery from Egypt’s antiquities authorities at the Giza plateau, the site of the three ancient pyramids on the outskirts of Cairo, on Saturday. (Amr Abdallah Dalsh/Reuters )

Archaeologists in Egypt say they have discovered a 4,400-year-old tomb near the pyramids outside Cairo.

Egypt's Antiquities Ministry announced the discovery Saturday and said the tomb likely belonged to a high-ranking official known as Hetpet during the 5th Dynasty of ancient Egypt.

The tomb includes wall paintings depicting Hetpet observing different hunting and fishing scenes.

A guide from the Ministry of Antiquities inspects a discovery from Egypt’s antiquities authorities at the Giza plateau on Saturday. (Amr Abdallah Dalsh/Reuters )

Mostafa Al-Waziri, leader of the archaeological mission, says the scenes depict a monkey — at the time commonly kept as domestic animals — reaping fruit and another dancing before an orchestra.

He believes Hetpet, a woman thought to be close to ancient Egyptian royals, had another tomb in Giza's western necropolis, which is home to the tombs of top officials of Egypt's Old Kingdom.

Al-Waziri says excavation work is underway for the other tomb.