Last updated March 8, 2018 at 10:10 am
An ancient necropolis has been uncovered at an archaeological site in Tuna Al-Gabal, south of Cairo.
The discovery contains several tombs and burial shafts from the late pharaonic period and the early Ptolemaic dynasty.
The discovery was part of ongoing work to find the remainder of the cemetery of Upper Egypt’s 15th nome (a territorial division of ancient Egypt) during ancient times.
The excavation site, on the west bank of the Nile River, is one section of an area already known to archaeologists for family tombs and graves. Excavation at this new site began at the end of 2017.
“We will need at least five years to work on the necropolis,” Antiquities Minister Khaled al-Anani said, “This is only the beginning of a new discovery.”
Tombs belong to revered priests of ancient Egyptian god
The tombs and burials discovered belong to priests of the ancient Egyptian god Thoth, the ancient god of the moon and wisdom.
One of the biggest findings is one that belongs to “Hersa-Essei”, one of the of the leading high priests of Thoth. Within this tomb, it contained 13 burials containing over 1,000 figurines, with many more broken.
The mummy of another high priest, “Djehuty-Irdy-Es” was also found. It was accompanied by four well preserved alabaster canopic jars covered in hieroglyphics and the faces of the four sons of the god, Horus, that still contain the mummified internal organs of the priest.
The priest’s mummy was also found decorated with a bronze collar as well as blue and red beads and bronze gilded sheets with ivory and crystal beads. Four amulets of semi-precious stones, were also found on the mummy. It is decorated with hieroglyphic texts, one of which is engraved with a phrase saying: ”Happy New Year.”
Archaeologists also uncovered 40 limestone sarcophagi believed to belong to the priest’s family members, some decorated with the names of their owners in hieroglyphics.
Another tomb includes several coffins, statues depicting ancient priests and other funerary artifacts.
Mostafa Waziri, head of the archaeological mission, says eight tombs have been uncovered so far and he expects more will be discovered soon.