Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Mummies and Ushabti figurines unearthed in Luxor's Pharaonic tomb

Egypt's antiquities ministry announced Tuesday the unearthing of a funerary collection of a New Kingdom tomb, including mummies and Ushabti figurines, in upper Egypt's Luxor governorate.

"An Egyptian archaeological mission working in the Draa Abul Nagaa necropolis on Luxor's west bank unearthed the funerary collection of a New Kingdom tomb of Userhat, the city juror," Dr. Mostafa Waziri, head of the archaeological mission told Xinhua.

The new tomb's opening comes as the world celebrates the annual April 18 World Heritage Day.

The opening was attended by Egyptian minister of antiquities Khaled al-Anany, Luxor's governor, a number of Egyptian officials and local and international archaeologists.

Meanwhile, Waziri said the tomb is a typical prototype of a nobleman's tomb, adding that the tomb's T-shape consists of an open court leading into a rectangular hall, a corridor and then into an inner chamber.

After removing almost 450 meters of debris from the open court, Waziri explained that the entrance of Userhat's tomb in addition to a further two entrances which lead to two joint tombs was discovered.

"Excavation work is at its full swing to unveil the other two tombs' secrets," he added.

Inside the rectangular hall, a well-preserved wooden coffin which was decorated with colored scenes was unearthed and a nine-meters-deep shaft was uncovered, added the ministry in a press release.

The mission also located two rooms inside the shaft, one on the eastern side where a collection of Ushabti figurines, wooden masks and a handle of a sarcophagus lid were unearthed, according to the press release.

The second one is located on the western side but has not yet been completely excavated.

The ministry revealed that the tomb's corridor leads into an inner chamber where a cachette of sarcophagi was found.

"It houses a sarcophagi collection dating from the 21st Dynasty with mummies wrapped in linen as per the custom back then. A collection of Ushabti figurines carved in faience, terracotta and wood was also unearthed plus another clay pots collection of varying shapes and sizes," read the press release.

As one of the most ancient civilizations, Egypt has been hard at work in an effort to preserve its archaeological heritage.

Also, in an attempt to revive the country's ailing tourism sector, which has suffered from an acute recession in the past few years due to political turmoil and security issues, Egypt is keen to uncover the Pharaohs' archaelogical secrets as well as other ancient civilizations throughout the country.

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