Egypt painted mummies found in sarcophagi in ‘very good condition’.
EGYPT’S archaeologists have discovered eight pharaonic-era mummies near the iconic Great Pyramid of Giza, the country’s Antiquities Ministry revealed.
The archaeologists found several limestone tombs containing a number of colourful coffins, the ministry said in a statement. The discover was made southeast of the Pyramid of King Amenemhat II, who reigned between 1919 and 1885 BC, in Dahshur, the royal necropolis located in the Egyptian desert on the west bank of the Nile. Located some 40km from the country’s capital, Cairo, the eight mummies were dated back to the so-called Late period, which ranged from 1085 to 332 BC, according to Mustafa Waziri, head of Egypt’s Supreme Council of Antiquities.
Three of the eight discovered mummies were in “very good conditions”, he added.
During the Late Period ruled the last six dynasties of native Egyptian rulers.
It ended with the conquests of the Persian Empire by Alexander the Great and the following establishment of the Ptolemaic dynasty, which changed Egypt forever.
Mr Waziri also said the archaeological team who found these coffins has been working in the area since August.
These eight mummies are the latest findings in the region to have been revealed.
Earlier this month, Egypt’s authorities announced the discovery of a 3,000 Egyptian woman perfectly preserved in a tomb near the Valley of the Kings, where had been previously found many other tombs, including Tutankhamun’s.
The woman’s body had been mummified as far back as during the 17th dynasty, which lasted from 1580 to 1550 BC.
Authorities have also revealed the discovery in the same area of the tomb of the overseer of the mummification shrine identified as Thaw-Irkhet-if.
Archaeologists excavated for more than five months to reach it, but their work looks set to hugely help historian gathering more information on the rulers and customs of Ancient Egypt.
The tomb, splendidly decorated with colourful wall painting depicting the owner and his family, contained five coloured masks and 1,000 Ushabti statutes, miniature figurine representing servants who should tend to the dead in the afterlife. It also protected mummies, skeletons and skulls.
Archaeologists believe not all the remaining mummies found in the tomb are from the same family, and they argued the place may have been reused by others during the Late Period.
Egypt has revealed over a dozen ancient discoveries since the beginning of this year.
The country hopes the latest discoveries will improve its image abroad and revive interest among travellers who once flocked to its iconic pharaonic temples and pyramids but who have shunned the country since its 2011 political uprising.