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Archaeologists Find Egyptian Tomb With More Than 30 Mummies

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An Egyptian-Italian team of archaeologists dug out dozens of mummies from a tomb at the Aga Khan Mausoleum area of Aswan West Bank in Egypt.

Archaeologists believe that the tomb, which they were able to reach behind a wall of solid rock, belonged to a person named Tjt.

It dates back to the years late in the time of the pharaohs during the Graeco-Roman period in 332 BCE to 395 CE. Inside the tomb are dozens of human remains as well as coffin fragments, ancient jars, and many others.

Inside Tjt's Tomb

In a report from Ahram Online, Ayman Ashmawy recalls that the tomb had a stairway to the funerary chambers with the entrance originally sealed by a stone wall over the stairs.

While the tomb contained several burial chambers with dozens of mummified human remains, its main chamber was found to hold around 30 mummies, a group that included a number of young children tucked away in one corner of the room.

Dr. Mostafa Waziri, who is the general secretary of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, reveals that the team discovered parts of a painted wooden coffin inside the tomb. Fragments of another tomb displayed complete text, which included Tjt's name as well as invocations to a number of gods.

"Leaning against the north wall of the room was an amazing intact stretcher made of palm wood and linen strips, used by the people who deposited the mummies in the tomb," Patrizia Piacentini, the lead archaeologist of the mission, tells Ahram Online.

She recalls that the team discovered plenty of vases inside the tomb along with a funerary structure with four mummies and vessels with food still inside. Two other mummies, reportedly of a mother and child, were also found.

By the room's entrance are containers of bitumen for the mummification process, white cartonnage, and even a lamp.

Beautifully designed cartonnages, gilded funerary masks, and a well-preserved statuette of Ba-bird flank the entrance as well. The Ba-bird is a part-human, part-bird representation of the deceased soul, and a statuette of it often accompanies many ancient Egyptian tombs.

A Fruitful Mission

The recently discovered tomb is one of the notable discoveries of Piacentini's mission.

So far, this mission has mapped about 300 tombs in the Aga Khan Mausoleum area on the west bank of the Nile. All the tombs are dated from the 6th century BC to 4th century AD.

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