First Published: 2017-04-18

Archaeologists unearth ancient tomb near Egypt's Luxor
18th Dynasty tomb discovered in Draa Abul Nagaa necropolis near famed Valley of the Kings hailed as 'important discovery'.
Middle East Online

Members of archaeological team work on wooden coffin discovered in 3,500-year-old tomb

CAIRO - Egyptian archaeologists have unearthed several mummies, colourful wooden sarcophagi and more than 1,000 funerary statues in a 3,500-year-old tomb near the city of Luxor hailed as an "important discovery".

Antiquities officials had initially said six mummies along with partial remains were discovered near the southern city, but said they had later identified two more mummies.

"There are 10 coffins and eight mummies. The excavation is ongoing," Mostafa Waziri, the head of the archeological mission, said.

The 18th Dynasty tomb, discovered in the Draa Abul Nagaa necropolis near the famed Valley of the Kings, belonged to a nobleman named Userhat who worked as the city judge, the ministry said in a Tuesday statement.

It was opened to add more mummies during the 21st Dynasty, about 3,000 years ago, to protect them during a period when tomb-robbing was common, said Waziri, the head of the archaeological mission, at the site.

"It was a surprise how much was being displayed inside" the tomb, Antiquities Minister Khaled el-Enany told reporters outside the tomb.

"We found a large number of Ushabti (small carved figurines), more than 1,000 of them," Enany said.

"This is an important discovery," he said.

Ushabti figurines were often placed with the deceased in ancient Egyptian tombs to help with responsibilities in the afterlife.

Inside the tomb, archaeologists wearing white masks and latex gloves inspected the sarcophagi, which were covered with intricate drawings in red, blue, black, green, and yellow, and featured the carved faces of the dead.

The coffins were mainly well-preserved, though some had deteriorated and broken over the years.

Archeologists were also examining a mummy wrapped in linen which was inside one of the coffins.

White, orange, green, and patterned pots were also found in the tombs.

"It is a T-shaped tomb (which) consists of an open court leading into a rectangular hall, a corridor and an inner chamber," the ministry said in a statement.

A nine-metre shaft inside the tomb held the Ushabti figurines, as well as "wooden masks and a handle of a sarcophagus lid," the ministry said.

Another room in the tomb was also discovered, though it has not yet been completely excavated, it said.

Nevine el-Aref, the spokeswoman for the antiquities ministry, said "there is evidence and traces that new mummies could be discovered in the future."

 

Russia mulls supplying S-300 missile systems to Syria

Bashir fires Sudan foreign minister

Washington: Assad still has 'limited' chemical capability

US has 'concerns' about Turkey holding fair vote under state of emergency

Saudi women embrace sports headscarves

Saudi Arabia to host first public film screening

Fiery kites adopted as new tactic by Gaza protesters

HRW criticises Lebanon for evicting Syria refugees

Saudi says intercepted ballistic missile from Yemen

European MPs urge US not to scrap Iran deal

Oil price soars to highest level in years

Two more pro-Kurdish MPs stripped of Turkey seats

Oil theft 'costing Libya over $750 million annually'

Turkey's snap polls: bold gambit or checkmate for Erdogan?

Iran arrests senior official over public concert

Bahrain sentences 24 to jail, strips citizenship

UN experts urge Iran to cancel Kurd's death sentence

Moderate quake strikes near Iran nuclear power plant

Syria regime forces caught in surprise IS attack

Turkey sentences 18 to life for killing ‘hero’ coup soldier

Exxon faces setback in Iraq as oil and water mix

Libya to clamp down on fuel smuggling

Yemen to arrest colonel for overlooking African migrant rape

Erdogan sends Turkey to snap polls on June 24

Qatar joins Gulf military exercise in apparent compromise

Saudi-Russia oil alliance likely to undercut OPEC

UN in security talks with Syria on chemical probe

Riyadh says two al Qaeda militants killed in Yemen

Record of women candidates in Lebanon, but you can't tell from TV

Sudan protests to UN over Egypt voting in disputed area

Erdogan calls Turkey snap polls for June 24

Rights watchdog say African migrants face rape, torture in Yemen

Nine years since last vote, Lebanon in election fever

Israeli fire neat Gaza border injures five Palestinian

Egypt army says killed jihadist leader in Sinai

Iraq sentences over 300 people to death for IS links

Syria chemical weapons visit delayed after gunfire

Syria regime shells last jihadist pockets in Damascus

After the war is won, ‘we shall not return’ to Mosul

Saudi Arabia to host cinema test screening with 'Black Panther'

Trump voices support for US pastor jailed in Turkey

Rouhani says Iran will make or buy any weapons it needs

US fears ceding influence to Russia, Iran in Syria

Nationalist Erdogan ally calls for snap Turkey elections

Saudi renews offer to deploy troops to Syria