Archaeologists in Egypt have revealed the discovery of two previously unexplored tombs in the city of Luxor that are thought to date back about 3,500 years.
They displayed a number of items that were found in the tombs, including a mummy, figurines, and wooden masks. The tombs were found by a German archaeologist in the 1990s, but had been kept sealed until recently. They are known as Kampp 161 and Kampp 157.
The tombs have been opened in the hope of attracting tourists. Since 2011, tourism to the country has struggled in the wake of terrorist attacks and political turmoil.
“It’s truly an exceptional day,” Antiquities Minister Khaled al-Anani said at the unveiling on Saturday, December 9, reported AP. “The 18th dynasty private tombs were already known. But it’s the first time to enter inside the two tombs.”
It’s thought that the tombs originate from between the reigns of King Amenhotep II (1427 to 1401 BCE) and King Thutmose IV (1401 to 1391 BCE). The identity of the mummy is not yet known, but wall inscriptions revealed the likely time period the tombs originate from.
They’re located on the west bank of the Nile river, in the Draa Abul Naga necropolis. This is an area known for its temples and burial grounds, close to the Valley of Kings where many Ancient Egyptian pharaohs were buried, according to the BBC.
One of the tombs has a courtyard lined with mud-brick and stone walls, with a burial shaft leading to four side chambers. The other tomb has five entrances, which lead to a rectangular hall with two burial shafts.
About 450 statues were found in the tombs, along with fragments of wooden coffins. There’s also a cartouche (carving) on the ceiling that contains the name of King Thutmose I (who reigned from around 1506 to 1493 BCE). The mummy was found wrapped in linen, while there are also bright wall paintings.
Many other discoveries have been made recently in Egypt, including the tomb of a royal goldsmith. With these tombs now open and their antiques on display, it’s hoped they will inspire a new wave of tourists to see remarkable artifacts from Egypt’s “New Kingdom”, with 2017 now declared the year of discoveries in Egypt.