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: In Brief: Modern technology locates ancient tombs

1 shares

Related Stories

Egypt unveils pharaonic 'brain drain' bed

March 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

March 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 8, 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

April 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 delegations visiting ...

Recommended for you

Metacognition training boosts gen chem exam scores

October 20, 2017

It's a lesson in scholastic humility: You waltz into an exam, confident that you've got a good enough grip on the class material to swing an 80 percent or so, maybe a 90 if some of the questions go your way.

Scientists see order in complex patterns of river deltas

October 19, 2017

River deltas, with their intricate networks of waterways, coastal barrier islands, wetlands and estuaries, often appear to have been formed by random processes, but scientists at the University of California, Irvine and other ...

Six degrees of separation: Why it is a small world after all

October 19, 2017

It's a small world after all - and now science has explained why. A study conducted by the University of Leicester and KU Leuven, Belgium, examined how small worlds emerge spontaneously in all kinds of networks, including ...

Ancient DNA offers new view on saber-toothed cats' past

October 19, 2017

Researchers who've analyzed the complete mitochondrial genomes from ancient samples representing two species of saber-toothed cats have a new take on the animals' history over the last 50,000 years. The data suggest that ...

2 comments

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.