Egypt uncovers chamber of mummies

Among the finds of sarcophagi made of limestone and clay coffins with the remains of animals and papyrus, with Egyptian inscriptions.

The mummies are reported to be non-royal, as Kholi described the necropolis at the conference as "the first human necropolis found in central Egypt with so many mummies".

The discovery was made near the Nile Valley city of Minya and is the first such find in the area, the antiquities ministry said on Saturday.

The burial chamber was first detected past year by a team of Cairo University students using radar.

Egyptian authorities hope that new discoveries will improve the tourism image of the country and revive interest among travelers to avoid visiting Egypt after the 2011 uprising.

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"2017 has been a historic year for archaeological discoveries".

"Antiquities are the soft power that distinguishes Egypt", Enany said.

They have found 17 mummies in the catacombs of Minya province located at the south of Cairo.

Salah Al-Kholi, a Cairo University Egyptology professor who led the mission, said as many as 32 mummies may be in the chamber, including mummies of women, children and infants. This era lasted about 600 years after the conquest of the country in 332 BC by Alexander the great.

El-Enany told reporters about this week's cachette discovery at a gala ceremony attended by El-Minya governor Essam Al Bedewi, the ambassadors of Belgium, Hungary and Serbia and a number of top officials from the ministry and Cairo University.


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