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A sarcophagus belonging to the treasurer of Rameses II was discovered in its original burial shaft in Saqqara, located 20 miles south of Cairo. The surface tomb of Ptah-em-wia was excavated in 2021 (see, and included wall paintings depicting his life, along with titles describing him as the head of the treasury, the royal scribe, the supervisor of cattle, and the one who oversaw sacrifices at the temple of Rameses II in Thebes. Ptah-em-wia’s underground burial chamber was located beneath the center of the upper tomb’s courtyard. The excavation team had to dig down eight meters before arriving at the burial chamber where the sarcophagus was located. The granite lid bears the images of Egyptian deities and prominently features Nut, the sky goddess, protecting Ptah-em-wia. A piece of the sarcophagus was broken off, likely by robbers who had taken the tomb’s treasures. According to a straightforward reading of the Bible’s chronology, Rameses II was pharaoh of Egypt during the period of the Judges.



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