Egypt has opened the tomb of Neferhotep, known as the ‘scribe of Amun’ in the Al-Khokha area on Luxor’s West Bank.
Sunday’s opening followed a 25-year restoration project in collaboration with the Argentinian expedition from the Buenos Aires University.
The opening ceremony was attended by Mostafa Waziry, secretary general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, Gonzalo Urriolabeitia, Argentina’s ambassador to Cairo, as well as officials and archeologists from both countries.
“Today's opening of the tomb adds a significant new tourist destination to the attractions of Luxor's West Bank, particularly amidst the surge of tourists to the country during the winter season,” said Waziry, noting that the tomb displays beautifully painted scenes and inscriptions.
Dating back to the 18th Dynasty, during the era of king Ay (1327 to 1323 B.C.), the burial chamber belongs to a major stateman named Neferhotep, who held many titles that indicate a higher social status, including ‘the scribe of great Amun’, according to Mohammed Abdel-Badie, head of the Central Administration for the Antiquities of Upper Egypt.
The restoration of the tomb began in 2000. Experts from the University of Buenos Aires recorded and studied the texts in the tomb before starting their work. But the actual restoration began in 2013 when a German archaeological team cleaned wall paintings in the tomb, and mended damaged stonework and layers of color on inscriptions, said Fathi Yassin, director general of antiquities in Upper Egypt.
The studies of the old paint showed that Ancient Egyptian mural painters used dyes, along with Arabic resin, as a color medium in the tomb, said Yassin in statements during the opening.
Al-Khokha is one of several cemeteries dedicated to ancient Egyptian statemen; they are characterized with walls featuring full records of the daily habits, religious beliefs, and political and military life at the time. They also shed lights on the architecture and funerary arts in Ancient Egypt.