The mummy was in a sealed wooden coffin unearthed in the archaeological site of Dahshur North in northern Egypt, said Sakuji Yoshimura, who headed the team from Tokyo's Waseda University.

The mummified man was believed to be from a period 3500 to 4000 years ago, older than the era of Tutankhamen, the pharaoh of ancient Egypt who ruled between 1336 BCE and 1327 BCE, Yoshimura said, citing characteristics of the coffin as evidence of its period.

The mummy, wearing a mask painted blue and red that still retained vivid shades, was of high academic value as it was "a perfect mummy that has escaped robbery and other damage," he said on his website late on Friday.

The coffin was painted yellow and inscribed with hieroglyphics in light blue, he said, adding the hieroglyphics showed the mummified man was an administrative officer.