Egypt Independent

Photos: Egypt announces large discovery of 26th Dynasty cemetery in Minya

Six kilometres south of Tuna Al-Gabal archaeological site, an Egyptian archaeological expedition announced on Saturday the discovery of an ancient cemetery for family graves, which includes eight tombs, 40 coffins and 1000 statues, dating back to the end of Pharaonic times and the beginning of the Ptolemaic era.

The unearthing was made by an Egyptian mission led by Mostafa Waziri, secretary general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA), who started excavations at end of 2017.

“Excavation work is scheduled to last for five years in an attempt to uncover all the burials of the cemetery,” Egypt’s minister of Antiquities Khaled al-Anany said in a live video posted by the ministry’s page on Facebook during the announcement on Saturday.

He explained that the discovery is still new, and more is yet to come during the upcoming excavations.

Waziri said that during the last three month, the excavation group discovered a group of tombs and burials that belong to priests of the ancient Egyptian god Thoth, the main deity of the 15th nome and its capital Al-Ashmounein.

The tomb also contains 13 burials, in which a large number of ushabti figurines carved in faience were found, including more than 1,000 full statues and hundreds of others broken in pieces.

According to Al Masry Al Youm (AMAY), restorers are now busy collecting all of the parts for restoration.

Waziri added that four canopic jars made of alabaster with lids that have the faces of the four sons of the god Horus were also unearthed on Saturday.

“They are in a very good state of conservation. They still contain the mummified inner organs of the deceased. The jars are decorated with hieroglyphic texts showing the name and titles of their owner,” Wazizi said.

The mummy of high-priest “Djehuty-Irdy-Es” was also found.

AMAY quotes Wazizri describing the mummy decorated with a bronze collar that depict the god Nut. The mummy is decorated having a collection of blue and red beads as well as bronze gilded sheets, two eyes carved in bronze and ornamented with ivory and crystal beads.

“It is seen stretching her wings to protect the deceased, according to an ancient Egyptian belief,” Waziri said, adding that four amulets of semi-precious stones were also found decorated with engraved hieroglyphic texts, one phrase says, “Happy New Year.”

Anany also announced in the video the discovery of 40 limestone sarcophagi of different shapes and sizes, some of them having anthropoid lids decorated with the names and different titles of their owners.  He added that another family tomb was unearthed in the cemetery.