His name was Amenemhat, and he lived in Egypt about 3,500 years ago, toiling away as a royal goldsmith whose work was dedicated to an ancient Egyptian sun god.
After five months of digging under an unforgiving sun, a team of Egyptian archaeologists unearthed the tomb belonging to the goldsmith who had lived in the desert province of Luxor, the authorities said on Saturday.
The jeweler, who lived during the 18th dynasty (about 1567 B.C. to 1320 B.C.), had dedicated his work to Amon-Re, the most powerful deity at the time. Amenemhat’s tomb was found in Draa Abul-Naga, a necropolis for noblemen and rulers near the Valley of the Kings, on the left bank of the Nile River.
The discovery was a relatively modest one, but in a country that has been trying to revive its tourism industry, which has been decimated by political strife and terrorist attacks after the 2011 uprising, officials announced the find with fanfare.
“This find is important for marketing,” Egypt’s antiquities minister, Khaled el-Enany, said at a news conference outside the tomb on Saturday. “This is exactly what Egypt needs.”
The tomb’s main chamber had statues of Amenemhat and his wife seated on chairs, according to Mostafa Waziri, the archaeologist who led the dig. One statue shows her wearing a long dress and wig. A smaller statue, discovered between the couple, depicts one of their sons.