In an amazing discovery in the world of archaeology, excavators found an ancient burial ground in Egypt’s Nile Valley. The site yielded a number of treasures, including 40 mummies and 1,000 statues.
After a few months of excavation, the Supreme Council of Antiquities in Egypt announced their new finds on Saturday, Feb 24. The artifacts were located near the city of Minya, south of Cairo, a place that is known to house the ancient catacombs, NBC News reported.
On the site, archaeologists unearthed sarcophagi, and some of them even belong to Egyptian high priests of ancient times. As explained by the excavators, there are many tombs since it is an ancient cemetery designed for family burial chambers.
The archaeological expedition team led by Mostafa Waziri, secretary general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA), revealed that they have exhumed eight tombs with 40 coffins and various relics.
The team mentioned that the artifacts were from the late Pharaonic and early Ptolemaic period. The era is a time that dates back to the deaths of Alexander the Great (323 B.C.) and Cleopatra (30 B.C.).
At any rate, one interesting relic is a sarcophagus of a priest with a hieroglyphic inscription that reads, “happy new year.” But probably, the most precious tombs found were the ones that belong to priests of Thoth, the ancient god of the moon and wisdom.
It was said that the burial site with the stone coffins is over 2,000-years-old, and aside from the priests, their family members were also buried there. The coffins have the names of the deceased written in hieroglyphics.
The high priest’s mummy’s sheets were bronze gilded, and it features blue and red bead embellishments. Beside his sarcophagus, four well-preserved canopic jars were also found. These alabaster containers hold his internal organs and each lid of the jar has an imprint of the faces of god Horus’ sons.
So far, this 26th-dynasty cemetery is the biggest discovery in Minya. Archaeologists stated that they are expecting to find more tombs as soon as they continue with their exploration.
“We will need at least five years to work on the necropolis. This is only the beginning of a new discovery,” Egypt Independent quoted Antiquities Minister Khaled al-Anani as saying.
Meanwhile, Egypt’s artifacts are known to attract many people from around the globe, thus the country is expecting to get more foreign visitors this year and revive its tourism industry.