A Spanish-Italian archaeological team, in cooperation with the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities, has made an incredible discovery in the necropolis of Sheikh Abd el-Qurna, on the West Bank at Thebes, Egypt – an enormous ancient reproduction of the mythical Tomb of Osiris as described by Egyptian legend, complete with multiple shafts and chambers. Inside the tomb complex, researchers found a carving of Osiris and a room with a wall relief depicting a demon holding knives.
Entrance to the funerary complex of Osiris. Photo credit: MinProject
“The symbolism of Osiris is very evident here, since all the elements recalling the mythical Osiris tomb are present,” writes Luxor Times Magazine, “a big staircase of 3.5 meter long with a 4 meter high ceiling at the bottom leading to the Netherworld and another one leading directly to the Osiris statue, which is therefore at a higher level and ideally isolated on ‘his island’; the Osiris statue itself; the empty corridor surrounding it which symbolizes the channel of water (see Osireion in Abydos); the expected burial chamber below the statue, thus identifying the deceased with Osiris.”
Part of the tomb was initially discovered by archaeologist Philippe Virey in the 1880s and some attempts were made to sketch out the main structure in the 20th century. However, it was not until recently that the full extent of the structure was discovered through excavations. The funerary complex will continue to be explored and the chambers cleared of debris in the Autumn of this year.
Sketch showing the outline of the tomb of Osiris. Drawing of the tomb's architecture made by Raffaella Carrera, MinProject