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14 May 2017, 02:58 | Mandy Simon
17 mummies discovered in central Egypt
During excavation work in the area, which neighbours the birds and animals necropolis, a mission from Cairo University stumbled this week upon the cachette - a term that describes an unmarked burial site used to house multiple mummies and protect them from looting.
The mummies have been elaborately preserved and are thought to have been officials and priests.
The remarkable find is the first of its kind in the area, the antiquities ministry said on Saturday.
El-Kholi said the mummies were found in burial shafts along with a collection of eight limestone sarcophagi, two of which were carved in clay.
The burial chamber was first detected previous year by a team of Cairo University students using radar.
Dean of the faculty of archaeology, Cairo University Mohamed Hamza believes that they date from the Greco-Roman period of Egypt.
"The discovery is still at its beginning", Antiquities Minister Khaled al-Enany told reporters.
Egyptian authorities hope that new discoveries will improve the tourism image of the country and revive interest among travelers to avoid visiting Egypt after the 2011 uprising. Archaeologists with Cairo University have been excavating at Tuna el-Gebel for about 80 years, El-Kholy said.
"2017 has been one of the landmark years for archaeological discoveries in Egypt", al-Enany said at a press conference in Minya.
A mummy inside the newly discovered burial site in Minya, Egypt May 13, 2017. The Late Period ran from 664 BC until 332 BC. No 2016 figure is yet available.
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