Egypt has announced the discovery of a 4,400 year old tomb belonging to a senior official from the fifth dynasty of the pharaohs.

Announcing the discovery was Antiquities Minister Khaled al-Anani, who said the tomb was "exceptionally well preserved" and many statues of different sizes and colours.

The site of the tomb is in Saqqara, which is south of the Egyptian capital, Cairo. Saqqara is also home to the Step Pyramid.

The tomb reportedly belonged to a high priest named "Wahtye", who during the Fifth Dynasty of the Old Kingdom, under the reign of King Neferirkare.

Advertisement
Mostafa Waziri, secretary general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, speaks inside a recently uncovered tomb of the Priest royal Purification during the reign of King Nefer Ir-Ka-Re. Photo / AP
Mostafa Waziri, secretary general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, speaks inside a recently uncovered tomb of the Priest royal Purification during the reign of King Nefer Ir-Ka-Re. Photo / AP

King Neferirkare was the third king of the Fifth Dynasty and he ruled from between 2500-2300 BC, according to AFP.

The tomb is decorated with scenes of the high priest and his family, according to the ministry.

Experts also say the tomb is also decorated in the name of Wahtye's mother, "Merit Meen", while his wife's name was "Weret-Ptah".

According to Britannica, the distribution of tombs came during the Fifth Dynasty, after high officials were no longer considered part of the royal family, while some still did marry princesses.

Mustafa Abdo, chief of excavation workers, walks at a recently uncovered tomb of the Priest royal Purification during the reign of King Nefer Ir-Ka-Re. Photo / AP
Mustafa Abdo, chief of excavation workers, walks at a recently uncovered tomb of the Priest royal Purification during the reign of King Nefer Ir-Ka-Re. Photo / AP

Tombs were built away from Pyramids and apparently some of the finest tombs can be found in Saqqarah.

Egypt's tourism has suffered, ever since the 2011 uprising. Egypt has been keen to promote new archaeological finds in recent years in hopes of attracting more visitors.