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Graeco-Roman era tomb discovered in Egypt's Aswan


The Egyptian-Italian archaeological mission working at the Aga Khan Mausoleum area, on Aswan West Bank, has discovered a rock-cut tomb of a person named Tjt, that dates back to the Late Pharaonic through to the Graeco-Roman Period.

Graeco-Roman era tomb discovered in Egypt's Aswan
The AGH 26 tomb discovered in Aswan in January 2019 [Credit: Università degli Studi di Milano]


Mostafa Waziri, General Secretary of the Supreme council of Antiquities, said that inside the tomb the mission found parts of a painted wooden coffin, as well as fragments of another adorned with a complete text that includes the name of the owner and an invocation to the gods of the First Cataract Khnum, Satet and Anuket, as well as Hapy, the Nile-god.

Graeco-Roman era tomb discovered in Egypt's Aswan
Cartonnage in the form of a wide necklace [Credit: Università degli Studi di Milano]
Ayman Ashmawy, head of the antiquities ministry's ancient Egyptian department, said that the tomb consists of a stairwayl partly flanked by sculpted blocks leading to the funerary chambers. The entrance was closed by a stone wall found in the original place that had been erected over the stairway.

Graeco-Roman era tomb discovered in Egypt's Aswan
The side room of the tomb, with the sarcophagus carved into the rock[Credit: Università degli Studi di Milano]


Patrizia Piacentini, the head of the mission, said that many amphorae and offering vases were also found, as well as a funerary structure containing four mummies and food vessels. Also found were two mummies, likely of a mother and her child, still covered by painted cartonnage.

Graeco-Roman era tomb discovered in Egypt's Aswan
Two overlapping mummies, probably of a mother and son [Credit: Università degli Studi di Milano]
A round-topped coffin was excavated from the rock floor. In the main room were around 30 mummies, including young children who were deposited in a long lateral niche.

Graeco-Roman era tomb discovered in Egypt's Aswan
Foot cover in cartonnage with golden decoration [Credit: Università degli Studi di Milano]


“Leaning against the north wall of the room was an amazing intact stretcher made of palm wood and linen strips, used by the people who deposited the mummies in the tomb,” Piacentini said.

Graeco-Roman era tomb discovered in Egypt's Aswan
Archaeologist at work inside a tomb [Credit: Università degli Studi di Milano]
At the entrance of the room were vessels containing bitumen for mummification, white cartonnage ready to be painted and a lamp.

Graeco-Roman era tomb discovered in Egypt's Aswan
Statuette of the bird Ba [Credit: Università degli Studi di Milano]


On the right and left sides of the door, many beautiful coloured and gilded cartonnages, fragments of funerary masks painted with gold and a well preserved statuette of the Ba-bird, representing the soul of the deceased, still presenting all the details of the decoration have been found.

Graeco-Roman era tomb discovered in Egypt's Aswan
Terracotta oil lamp [Credit: Università degli Studi di Milano]
The mission has mapped around 300 tombs dating from the 6th century BC to the 4th century AD, located in the area surrounding the Mausoleum of the Aga Khan, on the west bank of the Nile in Aswan. The Egyptian archaeologists had already excavated 25 tombs in the area from 2015 to 2018.

Source: Egypt. Ministry of Antiquities [April 23, 2019]

TANN

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