Egypt’s most fascinating archaeological discoveries you’ve never heard of

by | 18 Jul 2023

So rich in ancient treasure is Egypt that – despite being an international archaeological site for around 200 years – new discoveries are still being unearthed.

With the disclosure of each new site, we’re gifted fresh insights into one of the most intriguing cultures in history. From remarkably well-preserved remains to whole new sections of the Great Pyramid, these are the most tantalising new discoveries made in just the last year.

And inevitably, they tease the question: what else lies undiscovered?

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Recent excavations in Saqqara Necropolis, near Cairo, have discovered the 4,300-year-old mummified remains of a man, named Hekashepes, wrapped in gold. Archaeologists found the remarkably well-preserved body (which is unusual for its period) in January 2023, in a limestone sarcophagus within a burial shaft.

According to the archaeologists, this could be the “oldest” and “most complete” mummy ever discovered, holding great significance for those studying the earlier period of ancient Egypt. By conducting scientific analysis of the skeleton and teeth, researchers hope to uncover details about Hekashepes’ origins, dietary habits, health conditions, age at the time of death, and the possible cause of his demise.

It provides a rare glimpse into the burial practices of the past and valuable insights into a time when limited data existed on demographics, population health, life expectancy, and diet.


Later in the year, in the same Necropolis, researchers discovered two new embalming workshops and tombs. In these workshops, which date back to the 30th dynasty (around 2,400 years ago), archaeologists found rooms equipped with stony beds, clay pots and ancient instruments used for the mummification process.

As well as this, two new tombs were also discovered: that of Ne Hesut Ba, a priest who served during the Fifth Dynasty, and Men Kheber, a priest from a later era. Painted on the tomb walls are fascinating hieroglyphics depicting scenes of daily life, agriculture, hunting, and images of the deceased. These fascinating archaeological discoveries provide a glimpse into the art, rituals, and customs of ancient Egypt, further enriching our understanding of this remarkable civilization.


The Saqqara Necroplis seems to be a goldmine of discovery. Here, a collaborative team of Dutch and Italian archaeologists, in conjunction with Egypt’s Supreme Council of Antiquities, unearthed an underground tomb complex dating back 3,200 years. They attributed this tomb to , a prominent steward of the temple of Amun during the reign of Pharaoh Ramses II around 1250 BCE.

The complex stands as a testament to the ingenuity of this ancient civilization, and holds a freestanding temple adorned with intricate details, including an impressive entrance, a colonnaded courtyard, a passageway leading to subterranean burial chambers, and three exquisite chapels.

Delving deeper into the tomb’s depths, the archaeologists were greeted by captivating images capturing Panehsy and his wife Baia engaged in sacred rituals. Among these depictions is a remarkable stone relief, presenting the deceased couple seated at an offering table opposite a priest known as Piay, who is elegantly adorned with a leopard skin mantle draped over his shoulders. The accompanying hieroglyphic text indicates that Piay likely served as a subordinate to Panehsy.

This newfound tomb complex offers a fascinating window into the life and beliefs of Panehsy and his role within the temple of Amun, through which we gain valuable insights into the religious practices and hierarchical structures of ancient Egyptian society.


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In another remarkable find, the renowned ScanPyramids project discovered a hidden chamber within the 4,500-year-old Pyramid of Khufu, also known as the . Using advanced non-invasive technologies such as infrared thermography and ultrasound, the researchers located a sealed-off corridor above the pyramid’s main entrance. This inaccessible corridor, measuring nine meters in length and two meters in width, is shrouded in mystery, as archaeologists do not yet know what it was used for. Though it’s been hypothesized that it was built to redistribute weight above the main entrance.

Whatever the case, we believe, like Christoph Grosse (leading member of the ScanPyramids project), that this new discovery may lead to even more hidden mysteries within the pyramids.

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Archaeologists from Leipzig University’s Institute of Egyptology made significant progress in uncovering more remains of the Matriya Sun Temple in Heliopolis.

Aptly named the “City of the Sun”, Heliopolis was the cultural center of the sun god Atum and one of the oldest cities in Ancient Egypt. In the Sun Temple, traces of white ash flooring and mud-brick structures were found, along with quartzite stones from the time of Horemheb, the last pharaoh of the 18th Dynasty. As well as these, excavations found stonework from the era of Psamtik II, remnants of limestone flooring, an unidentified royal statue, the base of a statue attributed to King Ramses II, and a large inscription carved on pink granite. These findings contribute to our understanding of this predynastic city, and offer new avenues for exploration in Egypt’s archaeological landscape.

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These remarkable archaeological discoveries don’t only reveal the mysteries of the past, but also inspire us to appreciate the beauty of Egypt’s present. There’s no better way to do so than to explore this timeless land for yourself. If you’re planning a trip to Egypt, taking one of our premium guided tours is the best way to ensure you have a truly insightful experience. With such a rich and complicated culture, you’ll want to lean on the knowledge of destination experts like ours, who have carefully designed our itineraries with taste and craft. They’ve made sure that you’ll uncover Egypt’s most iconic sights as well as its lesser-known treasures, so you’ll end your trip far more enlightened on this enigmatic and mysterious civilization.

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I'm Jay – born in Italy, raised in South London. Having French sisters and Hungarian ancestors, I've always been fascinated with the world and its cultures, and I carry this curiosity into my writing for Insightful. My favourite destinations I've traveled to so far have been Italy, Peru, France and Brazil.