Egypt uncovers chamber of mummies, sees life for tourism

Egypt discovers new necropolis in Minya, first in area

Egyptian archaeologists have discovered 17 mummies in catacombs in central Egypt, antiquities ministry announced on Saturday.

The new discovery also includes six sarcophagi, two clay coffins, two papyri written in demotic script as well as a number of vessels, he said.

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".

That's likely why he saw this breaking news item about 17 mummies being unearthed in the Egyptian village of Tuna al-Gabal pop up and seized on the opportunity to crack a goofy-ass joke.

The burial site where the mummies were found is believed to date back to the Late Period of Ancient Egypt.

What makes this pioneering finding crucial is that it's the first human necropolis found in the region, explained Mohamed Hamza, director of excavations for Cairo University.




The discovery comes as Egypt struggles to revive its tourism sector, partially driven by antiquities sightseeing, which was hit hard by political turmoil since the 2011 uprising.

An ancient burial was at a depth of about eight meters under the ground.

Salah al-Kholi, a university professor of Egyptology, said: "We found catacombs containing a number of mummies".

"The discovery is still at its beginning", Antiquities Minister Khaled al-Enany told reporters.

In March, pharaoh statues, dating back 3,700 years, were discovered in a muddy pit in a suburb of Cairo.

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