There were 12 children among the mummies Credit: Mohamed El-Shahed/AFP
Egyptian archaeologists uncovered a Pharaonic tomb containing 50 mummies dating back to the Ptolemaic era, in Minya, south of Cairo, the ministry of antiquities said on Saturday.
The mummies, 12 of which were of children, were discovered inside four, nine-metre deep burial chambers in the Tuna El-Gebel archaeological site.
The identities of the mummies were still unknown, said Mostafa Waziri, secretary-general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities.
“We have not found names written in hieroglyphics,” he said, adding it was obvious from the mummification method that the individuals whose remains were found had to some extent held important or prestigious positions.
Visitors, including ambassadors from several countries, gathered at the discovery site where 40 of the mummies were exhibited during the announcement ceremony.
Officials believe the newly discovered tombs could be a familial grave for a middle class family Credit: Mohamed El-Shahed/AFP
Some of the mummies were found wrapped in linen while others were placed in stone coffins or wooden sarcophagi.
The archaeological finding was the first of 2019 and was unearthed through a joint mission with the Research Centre for Archaeological Studies of Minya University.