A “maze of tombs” containing dozens of mummies has been unearthed at an historical burial website in Higher Egypt, officers mentioned.
Greater than 40 mummies suspected of belonging to an upper-middle-class household have been not too long ago discovered within the Tuna el-Gebel archaeological website in Minya, south of Cairo, Egypt’s Minister of Antiquities Khaled El-Enany mentioned on Saturday.
The household, which included not less than 10 kids, is believed to have lived throughout the Ptolemaic, early Roman or Byzantine interval, which dates again to 323-30 BC.
“All are in a superb conservation situation,” the ministry mentioned in an announcement. “A few of them have been buried inside stone or picket sarcophagi whereas others have been buried in sands or on the flooring of the tombs or inside niches.”
Pottery and papyri have been additionally discovered throughout the chambers.
“Demotic handwriting,” a type of historical Egyptian script that was utilized by unusual individuals, was additionally discovered adorning a few of the mummies, The Related Press reported.
The burial website’s location was first found final February by researchers from the ministry and Minya College who “stumbled upon” the graves after discovering a hidden hall, the ministry mentioned.
Tuna el-Gebel was as soon as the necropolis of Egypt’s 15th Nome, or province. It accommodates an unknown variety of tombs, notably for mummified animals, like ibis and baboons.
Throughout final yr’s discovery by the ministry, archaeologists discovered eight human tombs, together with 40 limestone sarcophagi. Previous to this, in 2017, archaeologists at Cairo College unearthed one other tomb in Tuna el-Gebel that contained not less than 17 mummies, Egypt At this time reported.
El-Enany final yr mentioned his ministry would proceed excavating Tuna el-Gebel for the subsequent 5 years “in an try and uncover all of the burials of the cemetery,” in response to Newsweek.
Egypt has been working to revive its tourism trade, which took a nosedive following the 2011 revolution.