WHAT’S BEING CLAIMED:
- The Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities announced on Saturday the excavation of two small tombs from ancient times dating about 1400 B.C.
- The tombs, located in the southern Egyptian city of Luxor, reportedly contain a trove of mysterious funeral treasures.
- According to the Associated Press, the necropolis on the western bank of the Nile river is a known burial site of top officials from the 18th dynasty.
Archaeologists have found two small tombs on the site of ancient metropolis of Thebes dating back some 3,500 years.
“It is truly an exceptional day,” said antiquities minister Khaled El-Enany in the announcement.
El-Enany said that even though the tombs were already discovered, this is the first time that modern archaeologists got inside.
German Egyptologist Friederike Kampp-Seyfried first documented the small tombs in the 1990s but were never opened. They were named after Kampp-Seyfried and are known as Kampp 161 and Kampp 150. National Geographic reported that Kampp 161 was left untouched while Kampp 150 was opened only up to its entrance.
Kampp 161 was described as a tomb with brick-lined courtyard enclosing a burial shaft with wooden coffins inside. It has inscriptions and engravings linked to the reigns of King Amenhotep II and King Thutmose IV. The inscriptions all over it indicate that it may be the tomb of someone named “Djehuty Mes” or someone named “Maati.”
Kampp 150 has five separate entrances with a rectangular hall that holds two burial shafts inside. It has about 100 small conical-shaped objects made of mud, known as funerary cones. Those cones were customary to burial practices in Upper Egypt. Engravings include a man offering food to four oxen.
According to the National Geographic, one of the walls of Kampp 161 has carvings showing the occupant and his wife presented with offerings. It has a mummy inside, wrapped in linen that “could be a top official or a powerful person.”
Kampp 161 also has more than 400 statues and other artifacts. The ministry revealed that a cartouche in one of the tombs has the name of King Thutmose I carved on it. Thutmose I ruled in the early part of the 18th dynasty.
The ministry hopes to revive Egypt’s tourism industry with discoveries like this. Before the excavation of the tombs, there was a recent announcement that cosmic rays discovered a hidden chamber inside the largest of the Giza pyramids. Also, a tomb of a goldsmith was found in Luxor in September.
Egypt’s tourism industry declined after former President Hosni Mubarak was ousted in 2011, according to Reuters.
In a 2016 Al-Monitor interview, El-Enany said: “The situation has not returned to the way it was before the January 25 Revolution in 2011.” El-Enany described the latest tomb excavations to Ahram Online as a sign that “our ancient Egyptian ancestors are bestowing their blessing on Egypt’s economy.”