50 Ptolemaic era Egyptian mummies found at Tuna El-Gebel site in Minya

Approximately 50 Egyptian mummies have been found at the Tuna El-Gebel site in the Minya province.

The past 12 months have seen an influx of new finds and discoveries which offer new insights into Egyptian mummies and the reign of the Pharaohs. This latest find follows the December reveal of an almost pristine burial chamber in Saqqara, south of the capital city of Cairo.

Mostafa Waziri, secretary-general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities said that the burial chamber containing the mummies, did not have any hieroglyphics present which identified them, but due to the nature and technique of the mummification, it could be believed that they were of a wealthy, middle class family, who were entombed along with their pets.

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This expedition, carried out as part of an ongoing project spearheaded by the Research Centre for Archaeological Studies of Minya University, was involved in exploring the burial chambers, which were cut deep into the rock.

Some of the mummies were laid to rest in stone coffins, while others were wrapped in linen, or places in wooden sarcophagi.

Estimates placed the mummies as being from the Ptolemaic period, which lasted from 323-30BC. This would correspond with the early Roman or Byzantine periods.

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A form of script, known as “demotic handwriting”, was found painted onto some of the linens which wrapped the bodies.

It has also been stated that pottery, papyri and colorful mummy cases were also unearthed as part of the dig.

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The official Egyptian Minister of Antiques Twitter page has been posting updated imagery as it emerges.

Images (c) MOHAMED EL-SHAHED/AFP/AFP/Getty Images
Colin J McCracken
Colin J McCracken

Director and Executive Editor

Colin J McCracken is an Irish editor and writer of both fiction and journalism. Coming from a background in education and film, his passions are split between the environmental and the entertaining. Constantly striving for a more sustainable existence and trying to balance it while simultaneously buying too many books.