17 mummies found in Egyptian burial chamber, more could be unearthed

Archaeologists have made a stunning discovery in Egypt’s Nile Valley: They’ve unearthed at least 17 mostly intact mummies in a burial ground in the province of Minya, about 140 miles south of Cairo, according to news outlets.

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The ancient remains, believed to be about 1,500 years old, were found in a necropolis at a large archaeological site in the village of Tuna al-Gabal, The Associated Press reported, where thousands of mummified animals have previously been found.

"It's the first human necropolis to be found here,” Antiquities Minister Khaled al-Anani told reporters, according to the AP

Some of the 17 mummies found by archaeologists are seen in this photo of  the catacombs under Tuna al-Gabal in Minya, Egypt.
Photo: Khaled Desouki, AFP/Getty

The mummies are likely the remains of priests and officials because they were elaborately preserved, al-Anani said.

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The site could contain more than 30 mummies, an Egyptologist, Salah al-Kholi, told The Telegraph

Archaeologists also found a half-dozen sarcophagi, papyrus, clay and limestone coffins and other vessels.

Egyptian officials hope the discovery might help bolster the nation’s floundering tourism industry.

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