Ancient Egyptian Tomb Discovered Near Giza Pyramids Belonging To High Priest And 'Purifier' Of King Khafre

Sarcophagi are seen inside a burial shaft at the Giza pyramid plateau, on the southwestern outskirts of the Egyptian capital Cairo, on May 4, 2019, following the discovery of several Old Kingdom tombs and burial shafts. MAHMOUD KHALED/AFP/Getty

Archaeologists have discovered an ancient Egyptian burial ground near the pyramids of Giza containing a tomb belonging to two high-ranking members of Egypt's fifth dynasty.

A team of archaeologists working near the pyramids said they found a limestone family tomb dating back to around the 25th to the 24th century BC, according to a statement from Egypt's Ministry of Antiquities.

Inside the tomb, researchers found two mummies believed to be Behnui-Ka, who was a priest and judge during Egypt's fifth dynasty and Nwi, who served in at least five roles during his liftime including "chief of the great state" and the "purifier" of the pharaoh Khafre, according to Egypt's Ministry of Antiquities.

Khafre, who has been credited with having built the second of the three pyramids of Giza, is believed to have reigned over Egypt for as many as 25 years.

The Ministry said that in addition to finding the remains of two high-ranking officials, archaeologists also discovered a number of artefacts in the tomb, including a limestone statue of its owner, his wife and their son.

Many late period wooden painted and decorated anthropoid coffins were also discovered at the site, the ministry said, as well as wooden and lay funerary masks.

It added that the cemetary also appeared to have been used extensively duting the Late Period, starting early 7th century BC.

Egypt's Ministry of Antiquities said in its statement that the latest discovery not only has "scientific and archaeological value, but it is a good promotion to Egypt as well as showing to the whole world' Egypt's true image and...power."

Recently, archaeologists in Egypt also uncovered an ancient tomb belonging to another high-ranking official.

The tomb, located in the ancient burial ground of Saqqara, south of the capital, Cairo, was found to hold an official known as "Khuwy," who is thought to have been a nobleman during the Fifth Dynasty.

The tomb was located close to the pyramid of Djedkare Isesi, the penultimate pharaoh of the Fifth Dynasty, prompting suggestions that Khuwy may have been related to Djedkare, as Newsweek previously reported.

The Egyptian government has expressed hope that the recent archaeological findings will help boost tourism to the area, which has still been struggling to recover in the wake of the 2011 Arab Spring.

As part of efforts to ramp up tourism, development of the Grand Egyptian Museum has also been underway, with the long-awaited museum expected to officially open in mid-2020.