It’s possibly the oldest mummy ever found in Egypt. Archaeologists in Egypt discovered a 4,300-year-old mummy during a dig near the Step Pyramid at Saqqara, where the team was uncovering a cemetery of fifth and sixth-dynasty tombs dating back to the 25th century B.C.
“This mummy may be the oldest and most complete mummy found in Egypt to date,” Zahi Hawass, director of the team, said in a statement.
The mummy is believed to have belonged to a man named Hekashepes. Hawass said it was “covered in layers of gold” and buried within a large limestone sarcophagus that had been sealed for 4,300 years, “just as the ancient Egyptians left it.”
The discovery of Hekashepes was not the most exciting find during the excavation. The archaeologists claimed to have found four tombs at the enormous burial site – the largest tomb is thought to have belonged to Khnumdjedef, a priest inspector and nobles’ supervisor.
The discovery comes just days after authorities said they found the ruins of an ancient Roman city near the southern city of Luxor, where they also found dozens of burial sites dating from 1800 B.C. to 1600 B.C.
Egypt has publicized a number of ancient artifact discoveries in recent years in a bid to revitalize its crucial tourism industry.