Archaeologists have recently discovered a few Egyptian mummies in Aswan, in southern Egypt, and one of these in particular is extremely well-preserved and has intrigued archaeologists.
As Live Science reports, Abdel Moneim Saeed, the director of Aswan and Nubia antiquities at the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities, explained that archaeologists have surmised that the 2,500-year-old tomb that was discovered to hold the mummies may have been part of a communal burial.
“On his part Dr. Abdel Moneim Saeed General Director of Aswan and Nubia Antiquities said that during the archaeological cleaning of the tomb the mission found a collection of mummies haphazardly buried suggesting that the tomb was used as a communal burial.”
The best preserved of these Aswan mummies was carefully wrapped in linen bandages for its burial and was then placed inside of a sandstone sarcophagus. Because there was no writing at all on the sarcophagus, the ministry has noted that the individual is still a mystery to archaeologists, but research is ongoing to try and determine the identity of this individual.
Close to this mummy’s tomb were the three others that were found in the communal burial. Unlike the other mystery tomb, this one does contain hieroglyphic texts as well as paintings, along with broken pieces of clay sarcophagi. Each of these tombs were also found to contain faience amulets.
Archaeologists found that many of these amulets were fashioned into Egyptian gods like Anubis. The head of a sandstone statue was also placed inside a tomb, but archaeologists are still trying to learn just who this statue head may have depicted.
— Live Science (@LiveScience) September 19, 2018
Archaeologists have tentatively concluded that the Aswan mummies most likely belonged to the Late Period of Egypt which dates from 712 to 332 BC. This was a time of great change for Egypt as during this period of time the country was controlled by foreign entities like Kush, Persia and Assyria. However, once Alexander the Great conquered the country in 332 BC, Egypt once again regained its strong control of the region.
Because of the dating of these communal burials in Aswan to the Late Period, at the moment archaeologists are not certain whether those buried would have been Egyptians or would have been foreigners from other countries.
However, further study of the artifacts found inside of the tombs as well as the hieroglyphic texts may shed light on these burials, including the well-preserved mummy that was also found in Aswan.