Minister of Antiquities Dr.Khaled El-Enany announced today Saturday the first discovery of year 2019 from Tuna El-Gebel archaeological site in Menia.
A joint mission from the Ministry of Antiquities and the Research Centre for Archaeological Studies of Menia University has stumbled upon a collection of Ptolemaic burial chambers engraved in rock and filled with a large number of mummies of different sizes and genders.
Dr. Rania Al-Mashat, Minister of Tourism, Major General Kassem Hussein, Menia Governor, Dr. Mostafa Waziri Secretary General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, along with ambassadors and cultural attaché from 11 foreign countries among them Malta, Czech Republic, Spain, Serbia, Ireland, Bella Russia, and China along with their families, as well as Dr. Mostafa Abdel Nabi Head of Menia University and members of parliament in Menia have attended the announcement ceremony held on site.
In his speech Dr. El- Enany welcomes all the attendees and said that the newly discovered tombs are a familial grave who was probably for a family from the elite middle class.
The grave consists of a number of burial chambers inside it found a large number of human mummies of different genders and age. All are in a good conservation condition and among them found mummies of children wrapped in linen, or decorated with Demotic handwriting. Mummies of men and women were also unearthed and some of its wrappings still bear fragments of its coloured carttonage covers near their feet.
Dr. Mostafa Waziri Secretary General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities explains that ostraca and fragments of papyri were unearthed in the grave which its studies helped in revealing the date of the grave that could go back to the Ptolemaic, the early Roman and Byzantine periods.
Dr. Waziri pointed out that the methods used in burying the mummies inside the maze of tombs varies in style. Some of them were buried inside stone or wooden sarcophagi while others were buried in sands or on the floors of the tombs or inside niches.
Dr.Wagdi Ramadan, Head of the mission pointed out that
the mission started its work for the first time in Tuna El-Gebel in February 2018 when it discovered a tomb engraved in rock composed of a corridor leading to sloping stairs that opened to a rectangular chamber with a number of burials.
Another chamber was also located at the western side filled with mummies and large stone sarcophagi. At the northern side there is a third chamber with a collection of stone sarcophagi inside niches. This is the typical burying style used in Tuna El- Gebel which once was the necropolis of Egypt’s 15th nome during the late New Kingdom and the beginning of the New Intermediate Period.
Fathi Awad Director of Tuna Al- Gebel said that Tuna El-Gebel archaeological site has several tombs among them the tomb of Petosiris, and the animal sacred cemetery, Isadora tomb, the Roman cemetery as well as two of the frontiers reliefs of king Akhenatun.