Ancient Necropolis Found in Cairo, With Mummified Organs in Jars

One tomb includes more than 1,000 statues and four jars that held the mummified internal organs of high priests.

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Archaeologists discovered an ancient necropolis (cemetery) with 40 sarcophagi and mummified remains in Egypt. They found tombs belonging to erstwhile high priests of Thoth, the ancient Egyptian moon god.

The large cemetery is located north of Tuna al-Gabal area, near the Nile Valley city of Minya in Cairo and hosts a range of family tombs along with the graves of the high priests.

One tomb includes more than 1,000 statues and four well-preserved alabaster canopic jars inscribed with hieroglyphics and designed to hold the mummified internal organs of a high priest of Thoth. The priest's mummy was also found decorated with blue and red beads and bronze-gilded sheets.

40 Sarcophagi (decorated coffins) found in the Necropolis
40 Sarcophagi (decorated coffins) found in the Necropolis
(Photo: AP)

The area is known to house ancient catacombs from the Pharaonic Late Period and the Ptolemaic dynasty.

Another tomb includes several coffins, statues depicting ancient priests and other funerary artefacts.

Mostafa Waziri, head of the archaeological mission, says eight tombs have been uncovered so far and he expects more will be discovered soon.

In 2017, the ministry found a necropolis holding at least 17 mummies in the area of Tuna al-Gabal. The area is also known to include tombs, a funerary building and a large necropolis for thousands of mummified ibis and baboon birds, as well as other animals.

Egypt hopes that recent discoveries across the country will help spur the vital tourism sector, partially driven by antiquities sightseeing, which was hit hard by political turmoil following the 2011 uprising.

In another discovery, archaeologists found a multi-coloured mosaic floor underneath Northern Thessaloniki, Greece's second-largest city.

The well-preserved floor mosaics belong to the 4th century AD.

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