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Ancient doorway to afterlife discovered in Egypt

Mon Mar 29, 6:52 am ET

CAIRO (AFP) – A large red granite false door from the tomb of an ancient queen's powerful vizier has been discovered in Luxor, Egypt's culture minister said on Monday.

The carved stone door -- which ancient Egyptians believed was the threshold to the afterlife -- was unearthed near the Karnak Temple in Luxor and belongs to the tomb of User, a powerful advisor to the 18th dynasty Queen Hatshepsut, Faruk Hosni said in a statement.

The door, 1.75 metres (5.7 feet) high and 50 cm (19 inches) thick, is engraved with religious texts and various titles used by User, including mayor of the city, vizier and prince, antiquities chief Zahi Hawass was quoted as saying.

"The newly discovered door was reused during the Roman period. It was removed from the tomb of User and used in the wall of a Roman structure," said Mansur Boraik, who headed the excavation mission.

Hatshepsut, who ruled Egypt between 1479 BC and 1458 BC, was the longest reigning female pharaoh.