Another Ancient Cemetery Discovered Near Cairo

Another Ancient Cemetery Discovered Near CairoAnother Ancient Cemetery Discovered Near Cairo

Egyptian archeologists have discovered an ancient cemetery near the Nile Valley city of Minya, south of Cairo.

The site, which hosts a range of family tombs and graves of more than 2,000 years old, is expected to take another five years to excavate.

Antiquities minister Khaled El-Enany said on Saturday the discovery near Tuna al-Gabal, south of Cairo, consisted of a large number of burial shafts dating from the late Pharaonic period to the early Ptolomaic era, Euronews reported.

In 2017, the ministry found a necropolis holding at least 17 mummies in the area of Tuna al-Gabal, a vast archeological site on the edge of the western desert.

The area is also known to include tombs, a funerary building and a large necropolis for thousands of mummified ibis and baboon birds, as well as other animals.

"It's only the beginning," said Enany. "We are very soon going to add a new archeological attraction to Middle Egypt."

Egypt hopes the new finds can help revive tourism hit hard by political turmoil following the 2011 uprising.

The number of tourists visiting the country rose 54% to 8.3 million last year, still below the 14.7 million who came in 2010.

Archeologists started excavation in the area late last year and found tombs belonging to priests of Thoth, the ancient god of the moon and wisdom. One tomb includes more than 1,000 statues and four well preserved alabaster canopic jars inscribed with hieroglyphics and designed to hold the mummified internal organs of their owner—Thoth. The priest's mummy was also found decorated with blue and red beads and bronze gilded sheets.

Another tomb included several coffins, statues depicting ancient priests and other funerary artifacts.

Mostafa Waziri, the head of the archeological mission, said eight tombs have been uncovered so far and he expects to discover more soon.

Some 40 stone coffins, believed to belong to the priest's family members and a necklace charm bearing the hieroglyphic inscription "happy new year" have also been found.

Waziri said the scarab charm had been unearthed last New Year's Eve in a "wonderful coincidence".


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