From the Sands of Time: The ‘Ghost of a Pharaoh’ Unearthed in an Underground Tomb, Bringing a Heartwarming Touch to Egypt’s Mystical Legacy

Pyramid of Unas - Madain Project (en)

The Pyramid of Unas is the smallest Old Kingdom pyramid built for the ninth and final king of the Fifth Dynasty. Unas ordered for the pyramid to be constructed between Sekhemket and Djoser, in North Saqqara, but decided to keep it small due to the extensive quarrying needed.

Photographed from below, a large beige stone wall and ceiling are covered in various etchings and symbols.

The pyramid subsequently succumbed under its poor structure and, as a result, it is now almost completely ruined – meaning archaeologists were unable to safely look inside.

However, historian Bettany Hughes was granted access for the first time in more than two decades during the filming of her Channel 5 documentary “The Nile: Egypt’s Great River”.

An ornate engraving in a large stone wall depicts the head of a figure beneath sunrays. To its right are more figures etched into two levels on top of one another. On the left is an engraving of two feet.

She travelled down a long causeway, deep below the structure before entering a room filled with writing.

She said last week: “Three granite slabs once booked this passage, separating the outside world from the burial chamber of Unas.

“Oh, my goodness, this is so beautiful.

The Pyramid of Unas was recently opened

The Pyramid of Unas was recently opened (Image: GETTY)

Betteny Hughes visited the pyramid in her new show

Betteny Hughes visited the pyramid in her new show (Image: CHANNEL 5)

“I’ve seen pictures of this, but I’ve never been in here.

“Floor to ceiling, you’ve got the walls covered in hieroglyphs.

A person wearing a white cap, white shirt, and backpack points at etchings covering a large stone wall in a dark room with a low ceiling.

“Look at the state of them, they’re so beautifully preserved.”

Ms Hughes then talked viewers through exactly what the walls reveal.

She added: “Ritual spells for the dead.

“Unas was a man with quite an ego and we can tell this here because this is his name (carved in stone).

“It’s in what’s called a cartouche, which is French for a bullet.

“You can see the name of Unas absolutely everywhere!

“And I don’t know if you can see here, there’s another symbol that keeps on appearing, it’s these waves of water.

“The importance of water and rivers couldn’t be clearer, one spell even claims Unas is he who has cased the land to be underwater.

The walls were covered in hieroglyphs

The walls were covered in hieroglyphs (Image: CHANNEL 5)

The ghost of Unas

The supposed ghost of Unas (Image: CHANNEL 5)

However, Ms Hughes also detailed how archaeologists have now made an even more interesting find.

She continued: “Not only did Unas tell us that he was the most powerful king, but he had divine powers and what he’s saying here is that it’s him that caused the Nile to flood.

“This is not a man I would have liked to have met in the flesh and it seems although he isn’t here – we don’t ave his body.

“But there’s something that’s recently been discovered.

“If you look on the wall, there indented in, is the ghost of Unas, so he’s still here with us.”