Ancient Egyptian tombs were recently discovered and archaeologists said that they date back 3,500 years. The Antiquities Ministry hopes that the newest discovery will help their efforts to breathe new life into the country’s weakening tourism sector.
The discovery was announced on Dec. 9 by Egyptian officials, and they relayed that the two tombs were excavated in the necropolis of Dra’ Abu el-Naga in Luxor. Archeologists estimated that the burial chambers were from the 18th Dynasty, around 1550-1292 B.C. – between the reigns of King Amenhotep II and King Thutmose IV.
According to National Geographic, the tombs discovered by the excavators were final resting places of two officials who likely served at the ancient capital of Thebes. During the excavation, a number of vivid grave items, an extravagant mural, and a linen-wrapped mummy were found.
The mural was in very good condition, thus the archeologists can clearly see what was illustrated. It shows an image of a person presenting offerings to the dead, which was a common practice in ancient Egypt.
The tombs were dug up on the west bank of the Nile River. It was said that the spot was a cemetery reserved for top Egyptian officials and noblemen.
The expanse of the site is actually a famous place because, in primeval Egyptian history, it was where tombs and temples were built throughout different dynasties of the country.
“It’s truly an exceptional day. The 18th dynasty private tombs were already known. But it’s the first time to enter inside the two tombs,” USA Today quoted Egyptian antiquities minister Khaled Al-Anani as saying.
It was further revealed that one of the tombs has a courtyard lined with stone walls and mud bricks. There are artifacts in this tomb, but they are mostly pieces of a wooden coffin. A six-meter burial shaft that leads to four other chambers was also found.
The second tomb appears to be bigger with five entrances that lead to a rectangular hall. It has two burial shafts placed in the southern and northern sides of the tomb. Some of the relics exhumed from the site include funerary cones, clay vessels, painted wooden funerary masks, and about 450 small statues.
The Antiquities Ministry has been lucky to discover a string of artifacts and structures across Egypt since the beginning of this year. Previously, as the New York Times reported, they also found the tomb of a royal goldsmith whose work was mostly dedicated to Amun, one of the ancient Egyptian gods.
Watch the excavation footage showing the latest tombs to be dug up.