Dozens of mummies, including mother and child, discovered in Egyptian tomb

Dozens of mummies, including mother and child, discovered in Egyptian tomb

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Dozens of mummies, including mother and child, discovered in Egyptian tomb

A significant archaeological discovery in the southeast of the country has been announced by the Ministry of Antiquities in Egypt. 30 Egyptian mummies that are about 2000 years old have been discovered by an international team.

The mummies include adults, children and infants and have been discovered in a network of burial chambers. Also brought to light was a room full of things related to ancient funeral practises.

Archaeologists discovered mummified remains of dozens of ancient Egyptians

During a critical period of change, this discovery is supposed to allow us to understand Ancient Egypt better.

A team of Italian and Egyptian archaeologists working in Aswan, Egypt, discovered the mummies. It was once a major border post on the Nubian border, and in ancient times it was known as Swenett.

The area where the discovery was made is named after the nearby Aga Khan Mausoleum, which holds the remains of an Imam revered by the Nizari Ismali sect of Islam.

There are several dozen burial sites , from various periods in this location. In the past four years the team, in this location, has “mapped about 300 tombs, 25 of which have been excavated over the last four years” according to Geek.com.

Rock Cut Tomb

The rock-cut tomb containing more than 30 mummies at the Aga Khan Mausoleum area on Aswan West Bank in Egypt.

While investigating a previously unexcavated area, archaeologists came across a tomb that was cut into the rock. This burial site was found concealed behind a stone wall and remarkably it had not been discovered by grave robbers .

The experts entered and found that it contained one large tomb and several connected burial chambers, one tomb had been cut into the floor. A number of other rooms were also located. The experts found writing that indicated that it belonged to an individual named Tjt.

 

30 Egyptian Mummies

In total, some 30 mummies were found, still wrapped in linen bandages. They included the cadavers of men, women, and children.

According to Newsweek they found the remains of “children tucked into a recess on one side” of the main tomb. In one area, what is believed to be a dead mother holding an infant was found. Four other mummies in a structure containing several jars still holding food were also discovered.

 

Artifacts Recovered

Statuette of the Ba-bird, a part-bird, part-human figurine depicting the ‘soul of the deceased,’ found inside the tomb.

A great many items were found in the tomb complex. The artifacts all date to the Hellenistic and Roman period (333 BC to 300 AD). This was a time when Graeco-Roman influences were merging with the native Egyptian culture, to create syncretic religious and funerary practices .

In one room team-members found evidence that the funerary trade was practiced in the tomb. Experts found a range of items that were used in the mummification process such as bitumen and line.

A stretcher made from palm wood and pieces of linen, presumably for carrying mummies was also found.

They found a remarkable figurine of a Ba-Bird, which has a bird’s body and a human head. This represented the soul or non-material being of the dead person.

A Funerary Workshop in the Tomb

In the same room, they also found a lot of cartonnage, material made of strips of cloth, papyrus, and layers of plaster. They also found some half-finished funerary masks.

It seemed that workers made the cartouche here and fashioned it into masks and other funerary items, which were hand-painted with brightly colored symbols and designs. The team investigated the many fragments of masks and coffins in the tomb-complex and they provided invaluable information.

Fragment of painted cartonnage found inside the tomb.

They found invocations to some gods, including Hapy, the god of the river Nile and Satet or Satis, who was one of the patron deities of Egypt’s southern border with Nubia.

The discovery of a series of burial chambers that are perfectly preserved is a major find. The mummies can offer new insights into burial practices and religious beliefs in the Classical period .

Moreover, the workshop or storeroom is helping us to understand the funerary trade in Ancient Egypt. It is hoped that there are many more exciting finds to be made in the Aga Khan Mausoleum area in Aswan.

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P. Natasha Covers Classical Archaeology news and has been with Histecho since 2017. She has a Master's degree in MA Archaeology from New York University's Science, Health and Environmental Reporting program. A California native, she also holds a Bachelor of science in molecular biology and a Master of Science in biology from the University of California, San Diego.

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