57 ancient tombs with mummies unearthed in Egypt

May 23, 2010
This undated photo released by the Egyptian Supreme Council of Antiquities on Sunday, May 23, 2010, shows a painted wooden sarcophagus discovered in Lahoun, near Fayoum, some 70 miles (100 kilometers) south of Cairo, in Egypt. The Supreme Council of Antiquities says archeologists have unearthed 57 ancient Egyptian tombs, most of them containing a painted wooden sarcophagus with a mummy inside, with the oldest tombs dating back to around 2750 B.C. and twelve of the tombs belonging to the 18th dynasty which ruled Egypt during the second millennium B.C. (AP Photo/Supreme Council of Antiquities)

(AP) -- Archeologists have unearthed 57 ancient Egyptian tombs, most of which hold an ornately painted wooden sarcophagus with a mummy inside, Egypt's Supreme Council of Antiquities said Sunday.

The oldest date back to around 2750 B.C. during the period of Egypt's first and second dynasties, the council said in a statement. Twelve of the tombs belong the 18th dynasty which ruled Egypt during the second millennium B.C.

The discovery throws new light on Egypt's ancient religions, the council said.

Egypt's archaeology chief, Zahi Hawass, said the mummies dating to the 18th dynasty are covered in linen decorated with religious texts from the Book of the Dead and scenes featuring ancient Egyptian deities.

Abdel Rahman El-Aydi, head of the archaeological mission that made the discovery, said some of the tombs are decorated with religious texts that believed would help the deceased to cross through the underworld.

El-Aydi said one of the oldest tombs is almost completely intact, with all of its funerary equipment and a woo den sarcophagus containing a wrapped in linen.

In 31 tombs dating to around 2030-1840 B.C, discovered scenes of different ancient Egyptian deities, such as the falcon-headed Horus, Hathor, Khnum and Amun, decorating some of the tombs.

The council said the findings were unearthed at Lahoun, in Fayoum, some 70 miles (100 kilometers) south of Cairo.

Last year, some 53 stone tombs dating back to various ancient periods were found in the area.

Explore further: Grant Museum starts major project to preserve rarest skeleton in the world

4 /5 (21 votes)
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Egypt unveils pharaonic 'brain drain' bed

Mar 19, 2009

Egyptian antiquities authorities on Thursday revealed an ancient pharaonic embalming bed unearthed from a mysterious tomb near Luxor used to prepare bodies for mummification more than 3,000 years ago.

Door to afterlife from ancient Egyptian tomb found

Mar 29, 2010

(AP) -- Archaeologists have unearthed a 3,500-year-old door to the afterlife from the tomb of a high-ranking Egyptian official near Karnak temple in Luxor, the Egyptian antiquities authority said Monday.

Egyptian elite tombs accessible for all

May 08, 2008

A number of elite tombs from Ancient Egypt are now accessible to all thanks to the launch of the Mastabase. The Mastabase is a CD-ROM containing descriptions and hieroglyphic inscriptions of scenes of daily life from 337 ...

New ancient Egypt temples discovered in Sinai

Apr 21, 2009

(AP) -- Archaeologists exploring an old military road in the Sinai have unearthed four new temples amidst the 3,000-year-old remains of an ancient fortified city that could have been used to impress foreign ...

Egypt announces find of ancient cat goddess temple

Jan 19, 2010

(AP) -- Archaeologists have unearthed a 2,000-year-old temple that may have been dedicated to the ancient Egyptian cat goddess, Bastet, the Supreme Council of Antiquities said Tuesday.

Recommended for you

Woolly mammoth skeleton sold at UK auction

7 hours ago

The skeleton of an Ice Age woolly mammoth fetched £189,000 ($300,000, 239.000 euros) at auction Wednesday as it went under the hammer in Britain with a host of other rare or extinct species.

Recreating clothes from the Iron Age

15 hours ago

A few years ago, the oldest known piece of clothing ever discovered in Norway, a tunic dating from the Iron Age, was found on a glacier in Breheimen. Now about to be reconstructed using Iron Age textile techniques, ...

User comments : 2

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

ChiRaven
not rated yet May 23, 2010
This is a remarkable time span for a related series of finds ... some 1300 years or so difference, at least.
Skeptic_Heretic
not rated yet May 23, 2010
This is a remarkable time span for a related series of finds ... some 1300 years or so difference, at least.

The more important part is we now can date explicit passages from the book of the dead back an additional 250 years conclusively.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.