'Astonishing' 3,500-year-old Egyptian tombs discovered in Luxor
Published Thursday, April 18, 2019 2:39PM EDT
Last Updated Thursday, April 18, 2019 3:36PM EDT
The Egyptian government has announced the discovery of one of the largest, well-preserved tombs ever found near the ancient city of Luxor.
The discoveries date from Egypt’s 19th Dynasty (1292 to 1189 BC) and were uncovered on the West Bank of Luxor, Egypt’s Ministry of Antiquities announced Thursday.
The larger tomb had a remarkable 18 entrances and belongs to an unknown figure named Djehutyshedsu.
“As long as we continue to explore Gurna (a village near Luxor), we’ll always find new treasures,” according to Amr Nouby, head of the excavation team.
Two adjacent well-preserved burial sites bear the names Akhmenu, of whom little is known, and Meryra, believed to be a supervisor of the treasury.
“Meryra’s belongings were found complete, which is an incredibly rare occurrence,” the ministry said in a video announcing the discovery.
The finds include a large number of small Ushabti figurines, used in ancient Egyptian religion and placed among the grave goods to act as slaves for the deceased in the afterlife.
The discoveries were made near the Valley of Kings in the Nile delta.
Luxor, which was the ancient city of Thebes, is home to numerous treasures from ancient Egyptian civilization including statues of Ramesses II, the Luxor Temple and the Karnak Temple.
Egypt’s Minister of Tourism Rania al-Mashat told Egypt Today that tourism to the country has increased recently, particularly with Chinese visitors.
The announcement was made on World Heritage Day, April 18.