Egyptian archaeologists in the South of Cairo have uncovered 50 mummies in a Pharaonic tomb, the ministry of antiquities revealed on Saturday. These mummies, discovered in Minya, are believed to date back to the Ptolemaic era.
The massive discovery was made "inside four, nine-meter deep burial chambers in the Tuna El-Gebel archaeological site," according to Reuters. This is also the first major find in this area for 2019.
According to BBC News, some of the mummies were discovered wrapped in linen. Others were found in stone coffins or wooden sarcophagi.
Chillingly, 12 of the mummies discovered were actually the preserved remains of children. As yet, according to Mostafa Waziri, who is the secretary-general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, the identities of the mummies are unknown and no speculation has been made over their potential identities.
"We have not found names written in hieroglyphics," Waziri said.
While they are not ready to speculate yet, Waziri did note, based on the mummification procedures, that the mummies are believed to have held important or prestigious positions.
The Ptolemaic era occurred from 323-30 BC. Ptolemy I Soter founded the Ptolemy kingdom in 305. After Alexander the Great died in 323 BC, Ptolemy I Soter then ascended to the throne. Subsequent kings then took on the name of Ptolemy. During this time, princesses and queens preferred the names Cleopatra, Arsinoe, and Berenice.Some scholars argue the date of the beginning of the Ptolemy kingdom due to a calendar error. According to the ancient Egyptian calendar, Ptolemy crowned himself in 304 BC. However, according to the ancient Macedonian calendar, he was crowned in 305. In the Demotic papyri, the year of 305/4 was subsequently counted as the first year of Ptolemaic Kingdom.
The Ptolemies also followed the tradition set out in the Osiris myth of marrying their siblings.
The demise of the Ptolemy kingdom occurred after their involvement in several civil wars which concluded in their conquest by Rome.An announcement regarding the new find was made, and guests, which included ambassadors from other countries, were able to visit the site. During the announcement ceremony, the guests were able to have a look at 40 of the mummies discovered on the site.
This is not the first discovery of a large group of mummies being made in Minya. In 2017, as reported by the Inquisitr, a necropolis containing 17 mummies was discovered in the same area. In addition to this, Tuna El-Gebel is also known for its large hauls of mummified animals.
It is unclear yet if this find is related or separate to the 40 mummies found in 2018 in the same area, as previously reported by the Inquisitr in February of last year.