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Egypt unveils ancient tomb and sarcophagi in Luxor


Egypt on Saturday unveiled an ancient tomb, sarcophagi and funerary artefacts discovered in the Theban necropolis of Al-Assasif in the southern city of Luxor.

Egypt unveils ancient tomb and sarcophagi in Luxor
Sarcophagus containing the well-preserved mummy of a woman named "Thuya" wrapped in linen, discovered by a French
mission at the site of Tomb TT33 which dates to the 18th dynasty (16th-13th century BC) at Al-Assasif necropolis on
the west bank of the Nile north of the southern Egyptian city of Luxor [Credit: Mohamed Abd El Ghany/Reuters]
In a ceremony in front of the temple of Queen Hatshepsut, Antiquities Minister Khaled al-Anani announced that French and Egyptian archaeologists had discovered "a new tomb... with very nice paintings".


Located between the royal tombs at the Valley of the Queens and the Valley of the Kings, the Al-Assasif necropolis is the burial site of nobles and senior officials close to the pharaohs.

Egypt unveils ancient tomb and sarcophagi in Luxor
Egypt unveils ancient tomb and sarcophagi in Luxor
Egypt unveils ancient tomb and sarcophagi in Luxor
Egyptian workers and archaeologists standing next to an opened intact sarcophagus containing
the well-preserved mummy of a woman named Thuya [Credit: Khaled Desouki/AFP]
Among the finds in the tomb are sarcophagi, statues and some 1,000 funerary figurines called "Ushabtis" made of wood, faience and clay.


The tomb dates back to the Middle Kingdom, which spanned the 11th and 12th dynasties, and belonged to "Thaw-Irkhet-If", mummification supervisor at the Temple of Mut in Karnak, according to the ministry.

Egypt unveils ancient tomb and sarcophagi in Luxor
Egypt unveils ancient tomb and sarcophagi in Luxor
Egypt unveils ancient tomb and sarcophagi in Luxor
A carved black wooden sarcophagus inlaid with gilded sheets, dating to Egypt's Late period (7th-4th century BC),
 lying in a burial chamber decorated with coloured scenes depicting the owner with members of his family, 

discovered by an Egyptian archaeological mission at the site of Tomb TT28 at Al-Assasif necropolis on the
 west bank of the Nile north of the southern Egyptian city of Luxor [Credit: Egypt. Ministry of Culture]
Separately, archaeologists from the French Institute of Eastern Archaeology (IFAO) and the University of Strasbourg have discovered two sarcophagi dating back to the 18th dynasty, Anani told a news conference.


One of the two contains the "well-preserved" mummified remains of a woman named Thuya, the antiquities ministry said in a statement.

Egypt unveils ancient tomb and sarcophagi in Luxor
Egypt unveils ancient tomb and sarcophagi in Luxor
Carved wooden statues and funerary figurines made of wood, faience and clay discovered at the site
of Tomb TT28 at Al-Assasif necropolis
 [Credit: Khaled Desouki/AFP]
Egypt unveils ancient tomb and sarcophagi in Luxor
Broken stele fragment inscribed with hieroglyphics, discovered by a French mission at the site of Tomb TT33
which dates to the 18th dynasty (16th-13th century BC) at Al-Assasif necropolis

[Credit: Khaled Desouki/AFP]
But ministry spokeswoman Nevine Aref told AFP later that work was still ongoing to definitively identify the name of the mummy.

Egyptian authorities regularly announce archaeological discoveries with great fanfare, although the country is often accused of a lack of scientific rigour and neglect of its antiquities.


Archaeological sites, particularly in Luxor, make Egypt a major draw for foreign tourists.

Hit by the turmoil that enveloped Egypt after the 2011 uprising that ousted longtime president Hosni Mubarak, the tourism sector has picked up this year.

Source: AFP [November 26, 2018]

TANN

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