Goddess Hathor's Fifth Dynasty Priestess Hetpet's Tomb Unveiled A Century After Discovery In Egypt

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Goddess Hathor's Fifth Dynasty Priestess Hetpet's Tomb Unveiled A Century After Discovery In Egypt

Archaeologists working in Egypt have discovered a 4,400-year-old tomb close to Cairo, one that contains rare wall paintings and is thought to be the tomb of a priestess named Hetpet. Mostafa Waziri, the secretary general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, announced the discovery located near the Giza pyramids. 

“The tomb is in very good condition,” Dr. Waziri said. “There are colored depictions of traditional scenes: animals grazing, fishing, bird-catching, offerings, sacrifice, soldiers and fruit-gathering.”

Hetpet is believed to have been close to Egyptian royals of the Fifth Dynasty, part of a prosperous period in Egyptian history known as the Old Kingdom during which the pyramids, temples and palaces were built under the rule of pharaohs. Hetpet served as a priestess for Hathor, a goddess depicted as a cow and associated with fertility, motherhood and love. By this time in women's history, female priests were not that common in ancient Egypt, but Hathor's priesthood was an exception. 

Hetpet's name was first seen on antiquities uncovered at the site in 1909 by a British explorer who sent them to Berlin and Frankfurt.  The tomb itself was not unearthed until more than a century later in 2017