Even death couldn't free some workers from their bosses, archaeologists are finding in a newly discovered cemetery near the pyramids.
It's the first burial ground ever found for the Egyptian working man of 45 centuries ago.Five other cemeteries with 4,000 tombs flank the pyramids. But all 4,000 were reserved for royalty, their families and officials, said Zahi Hawass, director-general of antiquities for the pyramids area and the new dig's excavation chief.
"What we haven't found until now is the working class," said Hawass. "We were shocked when we looked at inscriptions of who was buried in the new tombs.
The first eight tombs, three miles south of the Sphinx, lie at the base of sand hills stretching endlessly into the desert. Hawass said the cemetery undoubtedly extends deep into the dunes.
Tombs date from the fourth dynasty - 4,600 years ago when the Giza pyramids were built - until the sixth, 300 years later.
The new cemetery proves that pharaonic blue-collar workers prepared for eternity as their betters did being buried with amulets, limestone tablets, pottery vessels and more.
Ancient Egyptians didn't practice human sacrifice, so the workers were not killed and buried at the same time as their overseers.