Archaeologists discovered a grave dig the rock and containing dozens of mummies within the southern Egyptian province of Assouan, Egypt’s ministry of antiquities said Tuesday.
Hidden behind a fence, the tomb belonged to a person named Tjt and dates back to the Greco-Roman Period (332 BC -395 AD). It contained the bodies of both adults and children stored across multiple burial chambers, various artefacts, vessels still containing food, and even an intact stretcher used by the people who deposited the mummies in the tomb.
Two mummies found within the Hellenic era place in Assuan, Egypt. The mission included archaeologists from Egypt and Italy, made the discovery at the Aga Khan Mausoleum area, on Aswan West Bank.
They found parts of a painted wooden coffin and fragments of different coffin adorned with text indicating the name of the owner and an invocation to the gods of the First Cataract Khnum, Satet and Anuket, as well as Happy the Nile-god, said Mostafa Waziri, secretary-general of Egypt’s Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA).
The tomb consists of a stairway partly flanked by sculpted blocks reaching to the funerary chambers according to Ayman Ashmawy the head of the artefacts ministry’s ancient Egypt department. The entrance was sealed by a fence found in its original place over the steps.
Fragment of painted cartonnage the material used for funerary masks found inside the tomb. (Photo Credit: Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities)
The main space of the place contained regarding thirty mummies, including the remains of several young children, tucked into a recess on one side of the chamber.
It also contained “an amazing intact stretcher” made with palm wood and linen strips, used by the people who deposited the mummies in the tomb, said Patrizia Piacentini, who led the mission.
At the entrance of the room, archaeologists found vessels containing bitumen for mummification, white cartonnage (a material used for funerary masks), and a lamp.
Statuette of the Ba-bird, a part-bird, part-human statuette representational process the ‘soul of the deceased,’ found within the grave.
To the right and left of the door, the mission also found colourful and gilded cartonnage, fragments of funerary masks painted with gold, and a well-preserved statuette of the Ba-bird, a part-bird, part-human statuette representational process the “soul of the deceased,” the Egyptian ministry explained.
In other parts of the tomb, the researchers found four mummies accompanied by vessels still containing food, and two mummies believed to be a mother and her child, still covered by painted cartonnage. A round-topped coffin was also found excavated directly in the rock floor.
A part of a painted coffin found inside the tomb. (Photo Credit: Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities) The Egyptian-Italian mission has already mapped around 300 tombs in the same Aga Khan Mausoleum area and has excavated 25 of those tombs in the last four years.