Archaeologists In Egypt Have Discovered The Mysterious Tomb Of A Priest Who Was Pharaoh’s ‘Sole Friend’

Besides being the 'sole friend' of the pharaoh, this ancient Egyptian priest was also the 'keeper of the secret of the Morning House'.

The tomb complex of a priest and friend of the pharaoh has been found in Abusir, Egypt.
Iurii Kazakov / Shutterstock

Besides being the 'sole friend' of the pharaoh, this ancient Egyptian priest was also the 'keeper of the secret of the Morning House'.

Archaeologists have uncovered an extraordinary and mysterious tomb complex. The complex is located near a pyramid — proximate to Abusir in Egypt — which is said to belong to the “sole friend” of a pharaoh. With a tomb and chapel making up the funerary complex, archaeologists were eager to learn who was buried here — and what pharaoh they might have been referring to.

According to Live Science, despite past raids of the tomb, the ancient Egyptian tomb complex was still in relatively good shape. Inscriptions that were found on the fragments of a statue therein spoke of a priest named Kaires who was not only the “sole friend of the king,” but was also “the keeper of the secret of the Morning House.”

Archaeologists from the Czech Institute of Egyptology have explained that the Morning House was the name that was given to the special location where the pharaoh would have donned his clothes each morning and also eaten his breakfast. Kaires must have been an important person indeed to have been the master of such a place, experts contend.

However, these were far from the only inscriptions that described the priest’s different vocations. Kaires was also said to be “overseer of all king’s works,” and “foremost of the House of Life.” This House of Life was yet another important and sacred place, being the location of a large library which held a treasure trove of papyri dedicated to knowledge during ancient Egyptian times.

When looking for further descriptions of Kaires, archaeologists also found another inscription which referred to him as the “inspector of the priests serving in the pyramid complexes.” As far as who the pharaoh was that was referred to, the pyramid where the tomb complex was found was dedicated to Neferirkare, who ruled Egypt from 2446–2438 BC. It is worthwhile to note, however, that the tomb also belonged to his predecessor — Sahure.

While it would be quite impossible to say if Kaires was in actuality really the “sole friend” of a pharaoh like Neferirkare or even of Sahure, he certainly must have been thought of as a great man to have been buried in such an elaborate and luxurious tomb complex. This notion is reinforced by the fact that he was laid to rest in a location that was normally used for royalty and those who had reached the highest levels of state.

To further illustrate what high esteem this man was held in by his contemporaries, archaeologists also found that at the base of the chapel in Kaires’ tomb were basalt blocks. This finding was further proof of his standing in society, as basalt was normally reserved only for the tombs of pharaohs.

Excavation work continues today in Egypt at the tomb complex of Kaires, the “sole friend” of the pharaoh. While the sarcophagus belonging to the priest has been found, his mummified remains are still missing.