Archaeologists in the year 2000 announced the
discovery of the symbolic tomb of the ancient Egyptian god, Osiris,
buried deep underneath one of the Giza pyramids.
According to Egyptian archaeologist, Zahi Hawass,
the discovery of the granite sarcophagus became possible after water
levels inside the pyramids sank. The sarcophagus was estimated to
date from 500 BC, during the Late Period's 27th Persian Dynasty. It
was surrounded by the remains of four pillars which had been built
in the shape of a hieroglyphic 'House of Osiris'.
Ruler of the underworld
Osiris, father of Horus, was one of the most
important gods of ancient Egypt. According to mythology he was
murdered by his wicked brother Seth (otherwise known as Seti or
Sutekh). He was buried by Isis, his sister-wife, and brought back
to life as the judge of the dead and ruler of the underworld. His
appearance was of a mummified man wearing a white cone-like headdress
The Greek historian, Herodotus, mentioned the
existence of this tomb in his description of Egypt in the middle of
the fifth century BC, but it had never been possible until now to
access it due to the high water levels.
After the sediment and water were cleared from
the shaft which was located between the Sphinx and the Pyramid of
Chefren (Khafre), archaeologists found three underground levels,
with the submerged Osiris sarcophagus at the lowest, about thirty
metres below the surface.
Zahi Hawas had been waiting for quite some time
to be able to access the shaft. His chance finally came when the
water went down about a year ago. Many people already believed that
there were tunnels connecting to the Sphinx and another leading to
the Great Pyramid, but only when the researchers sent a young boy
into a tunnel in the west wall did they find this exciting
The excavation also unearthed 3,000 year-old bones
and pottery found in the underground water.