It is believed that due to their proximity to a necropolis the rock-cut chambers could have a religious significance.
A team from the archaeological survey mission operating in the desert plateau region, west of Abidos (Upper Egypt), revealed a group of openings distributed on the elevated side of a cliff.
Dr. Mustafa Waziri, Secretary General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, explained that these openings are located in the area of the sacred valley south of the royal cemetery at Umm al-Qa’ab, and their antiquity would date back to the Ptolemaic era (323 -30 BC).
Upon close examination, these entrances were found to lead to chambers cut into the rock, no more than 1.20 meters high, and most ranging from one to two rooms — though there are some with three and another group consisting of five rooms connected to each other through narrow slits cut through the rock walls that separate them.
Mohamed Abdel-Badi, head of the Upper Egypt Central Antiquities Department and head of the mission, said these rooms are undecorated and are located on deep vertical wells attached to natural water tunnels.
Likewise, the expert explained that many of them contain ceramic fragments, benches, terraces, a series of sunken circles or cut niches in the floor, in addition to a series of small holes in the walls directly under the ceiling, and holes or handles near from the entrance openings, where ropes were probably hooked.
The team also found a room with inscriptions containing the following names: Khuusu-n-Hor, his mother Amenirdis, and grandmother Nes-Hor.
For his part, Dr. Matthew Adams, from the Institute of Fine Arts of the University of New York and co-director of the North Abidos Mission, said that these rock-cut chambers are not cemeteries, since there are no indications that any of them have been used. for burial.
However, its presence within the sacred valley south of the royal cemetery at Umm al-Qaab (which in ancient Egyptian thought was the path to the other world) and its location on a high and hardly accessible level of the cliff, could indicate that these constructions were of great religious importance.
Source: Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities .