Egypt unveils ancient burial site containing 50 mummies

Mummies were discovered inside burial chambers in the Tuna El-Gebel site

Egyptian archaeologists have uncovered a tomb containing 50 mummies dating back to the Ptolemaic era. Video: Reuters

 

Egyptian archaeologists have uncovered a tomb containing 50 mummies dating back to the Ptolemaic era, in Minya, south of Cairo, the ministry of antiquities has said.

The mummies, 12 of which were of children, were discovered inside four, nine-metre deep burial chambers in the Tuna El-Gebel archaeological site.

The identities of the mummies were still unknown, said Mostafa Waziri, secretary-general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities.

A videographer films mummies found at Tuna el-Gebel archaeological site in Minya, 270km south of Cairo on Saturday. Photograph: EPA
A videographer films mummies found at Tuna el-Gebel archaeological site in Minya, 270km south of Cairo on Saturday. Photograph: EPA

“We have not found names written in hieroglyphics,” he said, adding it was obvious from the mummification method that the individuals whose remains were found had to some extent held important or prestigious positions.

Visitors, including ambassadors from several countries, gathered at the discovery site where 40 of the mummies were exhibited during the announcement ceremony.

The newly-discovered mummies found in burial chambers at the necropolis of Tuna el-Gebel in Egypt’s southern Minya province. Photograph: AFP
The newly-discovered mummies found in burial chambers at the necropolis of Tuna el-Gebel in Egypt’s southern Minya province. Photograph: AFP

Some of the mummies were found wrapped in linen while others were placed in stone coffins or wooden sarcophagi.

Newly-discovered mummies wrapped in linen found in burial chambers dating to the Ptolemaic era (323-30 BC) at the necropolis of Tuna el-Gebel in Egypt’s southern Minya province. Photograph: AFP
Newly-discovered mummies wrapped in linen found in burial chambers dating to the Ptolemaic era (323-30 BC) at the necropolis of Tuna el-Gebel in Egypt’s southern Minya province. Photograph: AFP

The archaeological finding was the first of 2019 and was unearthed through a joint mission with the Research Centre for Archaeological Studies of Minya University. - Agencies