Kamil Vodera/Czech Institute of Archaeology

So far the archaeologists have cleared two shaft tombs in the Abusir necropolis; one of them (shown here, see drawing), belonging to the sixth-century B.C. official Iufaa, is 80 feet deep and 45 feet square at the top. At the bottom of the shaft was a vaulted burial chamber with a 13-foot-long, 8-foot-high sarcophagus. To protect archaeologists from the crumbling walls of the shaft, the Czech team had a massive concrete roof built over the burial chamber.