The ruins of a 7,000-year-old city have been unearthed in Egypt, revealing what appears to be a residential area and burial chambers from the early days of the pharaohs.

The structures in the city of Abydos are believed to date back to 5,316 BCE, to the time of Egypt's Early Dynastic Period. Among the buildings found at the site were several huts, approximately 15 mud-brick tombs and an administrative building thought to have been used by officials in charge of building tombs for royal family members.

Egypt's Ministry of Antiquities unveiled the discovery on Wednesday.

The ruins were found approximately 400 metres south of the Temple of Seti I, an ancient pharaoh, according to a translated statement on the ministry's Facebook page. Some of the tombs were quite large, leading archeologists to surmise that they were meant for royalty.

Stone tools and pottery were also found at the site.

Abydos is one of the oldest cities in Egypt, and is thought to have been the country's capital at one point in time. Many pharaohs have been buried or memorialized there, including Seti I, whose memorial temple is a popular tourist attraction.

The newly discovered ruins would have been ancient even in the time of Seti, who lived approximately 3,000 years ago.