Egyptian archaeologists tout rare finds unearthed at Luxor

Egyptian archaeologists tout rare finds unearthed at Luxor

Egyptian archaeologists inspect mummified remains found at a newly discovered burial site in Luxor's Dra' Abu el-Naga' necropolis, which they say was the first find in the area dating to Ancient Egypt's 13th dynasty, between 1803 BC and 1649 BC.  / Credit: Egyptian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities

Egyptian archaeologists inspect mummified remains found at a newly discovered burial site in Luxor’s Dra’ Abu el-Naga’ necropolis, which they say was the first find in the area dating to Ancient Egypt’s 13th dynasty, between 1803 BC and 1649 BC. / Credit: Egyptian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities

Cairo — Egyptian archaeologists announced on Wednesday the discovery of the first burial site in the city of Luxor that dates back to the ancient 13th dynasty of Egypt. This means that the sarcophagi, remains and artifacts found at the site, in the Dra’ Abu el-Naga’ Necropolis of Luxor, date back almost 4,000 years, between 1803 BC and 1649 BC.

“We have already discovered more than a thousand burial sites in Luxor, but this is the first time we have found one from the 13th dynasty,” said Dr Fathy Yaseen, director general of Upper Antiquities. Egypt, to CBS News about the site, which is over 50 meters wide and 70 meters long.

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Among the finds in the burial site was a complete pink granite sarcophagus, weighing around 11 tons, bearing the name of a minister named Ankho, who lived during the reign of King Sobekhotep II in the 13th Dynasty.

There were also “Ushabtis”, small wooden statuettes painted white to imitate limestone, which pleased connoisseurs.

“I’ve been working in this field for over 25 years now, and this is the first time I’ve seen Ushabtis with scriptures written in hieratic instead of hieroglyphics,” Yaseen told CBS News. Hieratic was the common written form of Ancient Egyptian between the third millennium BCE and the middle of the first millennium BCE.

A “complete city” unearthed

Archaeologists also announced this week that they had unearthed a “complete city” dating back to Roman times in eastern Luxor.

The Egyptian Archaeological Mission said on Tuesday that the city is located near the Luxor Temple.

It was described in a statement by the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities as “the oldest and most important” residential town on the eastern bank of Luxor. It is believed to be an extension of the city of Thebes.

“It’s important because it tells us more about how ordinary Egyptians lived at that time,” Yaseen told CBS News, adding that scientists had “only discovered the northern part of the city so far.” .

The find includes residential buildings, workshops and two dovecotes, used to house pigeons or doves, dating from the 2nd and 3rd centuries, according to the statement.

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