Egypt Unveils Dozens of Newly Discovered Mummies | Modern Society of USA

Egypt Unveils Dozens of Newly Discovered Mummies

Egypt Unveils Dozens of Newly Discovered Mummies

Dozens of newly discovered mummies from the Ptolemaic era were unveiled at an Egyptian burial site this weekend, one of a number of sites the country plans to disclose this year, according to Egypt’s Ministry of Antiquities.

The site, which was described as a family burial chamber, was discovered a year ago hollowed out of rock at 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 information about the site on Facebook and Twitter, and invited foreign dignitaries and journalists to tour the tomb on Saturday.

The tomb consisted of numerous chambers that dated from 323 B.C. to 30 B.C. and that 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 from the elite middle class, and contained the bodies of more than 40 men, women and children.

Some of the adult mummies still had painted fragments of cartonnage at the base of their feet which were used for decoration and, in the Ptolemaic era, were made of old papyrus scrolls. Some of the children were wrapped in linen decorated with ancient Egyptian script.

The ministry also displayed bowls and other items and found family artifacts from the Roman and Byzantine eras.

The site was excavated by the ministry and archaeologists from nearby Minya University. Wagdi Ramadan, who the ministry said headed the mission, said Saturday that some of the sarcophagi were tucked into niches in one large chamber, a burial style common at Tuna el-Gebel. Bodies were encased in wooden or stone sarcophagi, while others were tucked in sand or laid 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 expected to announce more finds in the coming months.

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

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