updated 10/18/2010 10:17:29 AM ET 2010-10-18T14:17:29

Egypt's antiquities authority says archaeologists have unearthed a nearly 4,500-year-old tomb of a pharaonic priest close to the Giza Pyramids.

Antiquities chief Zahi Hawass says the discovery could indicate a larger necropolis near the Giza plateau where the three famed pyramids are located.

The tomb dates to the 5th Dynasty, 2465-2323 B.C., belonged to Rudj-ka, a priest who headed the mortuary cult of the pharaoh Khafre, builder of the second largest of the Giza Pyramids.

Khafre died around 2494 B.C., but the cult of worship of pharaohs sometimes lasted after their deaths, Hawass said in a Monday statement.

Hawass said the tomb's walls were decorated with painted reliefs showing Rudj-ka with his wife in front of offerings.

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