By Sayed Sheasha and Mohamed Zaki
MINYA (Reuters) – Egyptian archaeologists uncovered a tomb containing 50 mummies dating back to the Ptolemaic era, in Minya, south of Cairo, the ministry of antiquities said on Saturday.
The mummies, 12 of which were of children, were discovered inside four, nine-meter deep burial chambers in the Tuna El-Gebel archaeological site.
The identities of the mummies were still unknown, said Mostafa Waziri, secretary-general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities.
“We have not found names written in hieroglyphics,” he said, adding it was obvious from the mummification method that the individuals whose remains were found had to some extent held important or prestigious positions.
Visitors, including ambassadors from several countries, gathered at the discovery site where 40 of the mummies were exhibited during the announcement ceremony.
Some of the mummies were found wrapped in linen while others were placed in stone coffins or wooden sarcophagi.
The archaeological finding was the first of 2019 and was unearthed through a joint mission with the Research Center for Archaeological Studies of Minya University.
(This version of the story removes the word “Pharaonic” from headline and first paragraph)
(Writing by Nadeen EbrahimEditing by Seham Eloraby, David Holmes, William Maclean)