Antiquities Minister Khaled al-Anani has announced a discovery of two small tombs dating back about 3,500 years, in the necropolis of Draa Abu al-Naga on the Nile’s West Bank in Luxor, the present-day site of Egypt’s ancient capital of Thebes.
The tombs date back to the 18th Dynasty (1550-1292 BC) and belong to officials who likely served at Thebes, now a UNESCO world heritage site.
An excited Mr Anani, said that the 18th-dynasty tombs were already known, but that this was the first time anyone ventured inside them.
Both tombs were known by the special numbers given to them by German archaeologist Frederica Kampp who discovered them in the 1990s, Mr Anani said. The first tomb is “Kampp 161” and was never excavated before, whereas the second is “Kampp 150” and was excavated by Kampp its entrance gate but no further, the minister said.
Kampp 161 probably dates to the reigns of Amenhotep II or Thutmose IV, based on stylistic and architectural comparisons with other tombs in the area, making it around 3,400 years old. The western wall of the tomb features an elaborate depiction of a social event, possibly a banquet, with a figure presenting offerings to the tomb’s occupant and his wife. Wooden funerary masks, the remains of furniture, and a decorated coffin were discovered in the tomb.
Kampp 150 most likely dates to the reign of Thutmose I—roughly a century earlier than Kampp 161—based on a cartouche found in the tomb. While no name-bearing inscription was found, many funerary seals bearing the names of a writer named Maati and his wife Mohi, found in the tomb’s courtyard, may hint at the identification of the tomb’s occupant. Archaeologists found colourful wooden statues, funerary masks and a linen-wrapped mummy in the tomb.
According to the ministry, among the artefacts found inside are funerary cones, painted wooden funerary masks, clay vessels, about 450 statues and a mummy wrapped in linen who was probably a top official. A cartouche carved on the ceiling bears the name of King Thutmose I of the early 18th Dynasty.
The year 2017 has been marked with a series of announcements by the Antiquities Mininstry of new discoveries in various regions in Egypt. The site of Draa Abul-Naga boasted a number of these discoveries; Watani has reported on most of them.