Ancient EGYPTIAN cemetery discovered with 40 MUMMIES and Happy New Year necklace | Science | News

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The contents of the necropolis included four well-preserved jars designed to hold the mummified organs of the tomb’s owner.

Egypt’s Antiquities Ministry announced the discovery of the necropolis, near the Nile Valley city of Minya, on Saturday.

The burial site, which is more than 2,000 years old, held a priest’s mummy decorated with blue and red beads and bronze gilded sheets.

Archaeologists also uncovered 40 sarcophagi believed to belong to the priest’s family members – some bearing the names of their owners in hieroglyphics.

Another tomb includes several coffins, statues depicting ancient priests, and more funeral artefacts.

Archaeologists started excavation work in the area late last year on a quest to find the remainder of the cemetery of Upper Egypt’s 15th nome during ancient times.

They now believe they have uncovered tombs belonging to priests of Thoth – the ancient god of the moon and wisdom.

Mostafa Waziri, secretary-general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, said the scarab charm with the new year greeting had been unearthed last New Year’s Eve in a “wonderful coincidence”.

He said eight tombs have been uncovered so far and he expects more will be discovered soon.

Of the new burial site, Antiquities Minister Khaled al-Anani said: “We will need at least five years to work on the necropolis.

“This is only the beginning of a new discovery.”

The necropolis is believed to date back to the so called ‘Late Period’ of ancient Egypt and the Ptolemaic era, the time between the death of Alexander the Great (323 BC) and Cleopatra (30 BC).

Earlier this month archaeologists discovered a 4,400-year-old tomb near the country’s famed pyramids at the Giza plateau just outside of Cairo.

The tomb was found in a wider area of Giza’s western necropolis, which is known to be home to tombs from the Old Kingdom.

It likely belonged to a woman known as Hetpet, who archaeologists believe was close to ancient Egyptian royals of the 5th Dynasty more than four millennia ago.

Egypt hopes that the recent discoveries will help spur the country’s vital tourism sector which has always been helped by antiquities sightseeing but suffered a severe drop after 2011’s political uprising.

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