Africa News Egypt Unveils Dozens of Newly Discovered Mummies

Egypt Unveils Dozens of Newly Discovered Mummies


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The site, which was described as a family burial chamber, was discovered a year ago in Tuna el-Gebel , an ancient burial ground not far from the city of Minya in central Egypt. The area is known for its archaeological finds, including the tomb of Petosiris , an ancient Egyptian priest, and a catacomb filled with mummified falcons, ibises and baboons.

Egypt's Ministry of Antiquities posted on the site on Facebook and Twitter , and invited foreign dignitaries and journalists to tour the grave on Saturday.

The tomb of large chambers that reached from 323 BC to 30 BC and were accessible through a corridor and sloping set of stairs. Khaled El-Enany, the minister of antiquities, said in the presentation that the tomb belonged to a family, most likely to elite middle class, and contained the bodies of more than 40 men, women and children.

A woman walking past a mummy ugly inside a sarcophagus at Tuna el-Gebel in Egypt. It was one of many mummies found in a family tomb. Credit Mohamed El-Shahed / Agence France-Presse – Getty Images

Some of the adult mummies still had painted fragments of paperboard at their base which were used for decoration, in the Ptolemaic era, were made of old papyrus scrolls. Some of the children were wrapped in old Egyptian script.

The museum also exhibits bowels and other items and artifacts from the Roman and Byzantine eras.

The site was excavated by the Minya University Minya University. Wagdi Ramadan, who said to the ministry, said that some of the sarcophagi were tucked into niches in a large chamber, in common style at Tuna el-Gebel. Bodies were encased in wooden or stone sarcophagi, while others were tucked in sand or on the floor, wrapped in linen.

The tomb was first discovered in February 2018 and, according to Dr. El-Enany, the first announced discovery this year. He said he was going to be announced in the coming months.

Egypt's cultural and political underpinnings have long been associated with its archaeological past.

Tuna El-Gebel has recently been discovered. Inside were more than 40 mummies, which archaeologists believe were part of an elite middle-class family. Credit Roger Anis / Associated Press

"Said Sharon Waxman, the author of" Loot: The Battle Over the Stolen Treasures of the Ancient World . "" Ancient Egypt is an integral part of modern Egypt's identity. "(Ms. Waxman is a reporter for The New York Times.)

One reason is that archaeological treasures drive tourism, a major industry that keeps Egypt's economy afloat. After the Arab Spring revolution in the Middle East in 2011, Americans stayed away and went back to the country.

In a report published by the World Tourism Organization in the Middle East in 2017, with many tourists coming from Western and Central Europe. If tourists stay away, the economy suffers.

"Tourism, in part, is what fuels the country," Ms. Waxman said. "The big problem in Egypt is that they have such a massive amount of antiquities, they are hard to maintain."


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