Sixteen ancient tombs containing mummified bodies of high priests uncovered in Egypt

Margie Jones
03/11/2023

THE tombs of Ancient Egyptian high priests and sarcophagi dedicated to the sky god Horus are among a treasure trove of discoveries made by archaeologists.

Sixteen tombs filled with remains and artefacts dating back thousands of years were unveiled Thursday following excavations at a vast burial ground in central Egypt.

Sixteen ancient tombs containing mummified bodies of high priests uncovered in Egypt - News

An Egyptian mummy in a limestone sarcophagus is inspected by an archaeologistCredit: AFP – Getty

Egypts Antiquities Ministry announced the discoveries in the village of Tuna al-Gabal, near the Nile Valley city of Minya.

The site boasts an array of previously excavated finds, including funerary buildings and catacombs filled with thousands of mummified ibis and baboon birds.

The long-abandoned tombs date back to three dynasties, from 664-3 BC, in the Pharaonic Late Period.

Among the new treasures presented are 20 sarcophagi made from limestone and etched with hieroglyphic texts.

Sixteen ancient tombs containing mummified bodies of high priests uncovered in Egypt - News

Sixteen tombs filled with ancient remains and artefacts were unveiled ThursdayCredit: AFP – Getty

Sixteen ancient tombs containing mummified bodies of high priests uncovered in Egypt - News

A limestone sarcophagus engraved with hieroglyphicsCredit: AFP – Getty

Sixteen ancient tombs containing mummified bodies of high priests uncovered in Egypt - News

The long-abandoned tombs date back to three dynasties, from 664-3 BC, in the Pharaonic Late PeriodCredit: AFP – Getty
Five wooden coffins, hundreds of amulets and 10,000 blue funerary statues, known as ushabti figurines, which are fixtures in the ancient tombs of the area, were also found.

The sarcophagus lids are moulded into mummy-like figures of men.

While such contents can be looted or decay over time, Mostafa Waziri, secretary-general of Egypt’s Supreme Council of Antiquities, described the tombs as in “good condition”.

The sarcophagi stone remained “well-polished”, he added.

Sixteen ancient tombs containing mummified bodies of high priests uncovered in Egypt - News

A skeleton discovered at the site in central EgyptCredit: AFP – Getty

Sixteen ancient tombs containing mummified bodies of high priests uncovered in Egypt - News

Five wooden coffins were among the finds made by archaeologistsCredit: AFP – Getty

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