Archaeologists have discovered three tombs that date back to the Ptolomaic era which lasted from 330BC to 32BC, in burial grounds in al-Kameen al-Sahrawi area southwest Samalout in Minya, some 250km south of Cairo. The tombs are built in the catacomb style which includes multi-storey burial compartments in each tomb. So far, 20 tombs have been found at the site which has been under excavation since 2015. The recent find has yielded a number of sarcophagi, as well as clay fragments.
Egypt’s Antiquities Ministry said the discovery “suggests that the area was a great cemetery for a long span of time”.
One of the tombs, which was reached through a shaft carved in rock, contained four sarcophagi sculpted so as to depict a human face. Another included six burial holes, one for the burial of a small child.
Ali al-Bakry, head of the archaeological mission that made the discovery, said one of the tombs contained bones believed to be the remains of “men, women and children of various ages”. A statement by the Antiquities ministry said works were under way to reveal more secrets about the site.
20 August 2017