Egypt’s antiquities ministry recently unveiled the tombs of ancient high priests and a sarcophagus dedicated to the sky god, Horus, at an archaeological site in Minya governorate. Here’s all we know about this new excavation. By Bayar Jain
As the world turns towards the dawn of a new era, Egypt has successfully dug up remnants of its glorious ancient history. The desert nation’s Ministry of State of Antiquities recently announced the discovery of mummies dating back to at least 332 BC. The mission found 16 tombs containing 20 sarcophagi, some engraved with hieroglyphics, at the Al-Ghoreifa site, about 300 kilometres (186 miles) south of Cairo, nicknamed the city of the dead. According to the ministry, these shared tombs were dedicated to high priests of the god Djehuty, and to senior officials. Moreover, one of the stone sarcophagi is believed to be dedicated to god Horus, the son of Isis and Osiris. This stone sarcophagus features a depiction of the goddess Nut spreading her wings as well.
As though this wasn’t fascinating enough, the burials unearthed together contain around 700 amulets – some of which are made of gold or precious stones. Close to 10,000 faience shabti figurines – ancient Egyptian funerary statues who accompanied the deceased to the after-life – were also discovered. Painted limestone canopic jars, which were used by ancient Egyptians, to store the entrails of their mummified dead, were also unearthed. Moreover, researchers have unearthed 20 limestone coffins so far, and are on the lookout to dig up more.
One of the most important sarcophagi is that of Grand Jehuti Ayov Ankh. According to the Ministry, the coffin is made of polished limestone and bears his titles, which include the royal treasurer and bearer of the seals.
Over the past few years, Egypt is on an endeavour to promote their archaeological discoveries in a bid to revive tourism, which took a hit from the turmoil that followed its 2011 uprising. With such alluring gems hidden beneath their lands, it won’t be long before the country is thronging with tourists again!