17 mummies newly discovered buried in Minya cemetery

17 mummies newly discovered buried in Minya cemetery

17 mummies newly discovered buried in Minya cemetery

The necropolis, uncovered eight metres below ground in Minya, a province about 250km south of Cairo, contained limestone and clay sarcophagi, animal coffins and papyrus inscribed with Demotic script.

Egyptologist Salah al-Kholi said the discovery was "the first human necropolis found in central Egypt with so many mummies", before saying "It could herald even more discoveries in the area".

Chairman of Cairo University, Gaber Nassar, said "we will continue to fund the antiquities discoveries in Touna el-Gabal district, and turn it into an important center at the tourist map of Egypt". The ancient artefacts were reportedly found at the Tuna Al-Gabal site at the city in Upper Egypt. Experts from the Faculty of Archaeology at Cairo University have been working at the site, near the necropolis of birds and animals. It also includes tombs and a funerary building, reports Daily Mail.

The mummies were elaborately preserved therefore likely belong to officials and priests, he said.

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Excavation work had started in the area after a team of Cairo University students detected the existence of a burial site in 2016.

Egypt's Antiquities Minister Khaled Al-Anani said the year had been a historic one for archaeological discoveries in the country.

Egypt's tourism sector, which relies heavily on its ancient history, has been badly hit by political turmoil since the 2011 uprising. This era lasted about 600 years after the conquest of the country in 332 BC by Alexander the great.

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