CAIRO – A mission of Egyptian archaeologists has discovered a tomb in the southern city of Luxor that dates back to the 18th Dynasty (1550-1295 B.C.), the Egyptian ministry of antiquities reported on Tuesday.
The tomb was found in the area of Dra’ Abu el-Naga’, located on the western bank of the river Nile in Luxor.
The tomb belongs to ancient Egyptian official Userhat, a high-ranking nobleman and a city judge during the period of the New Kingdom of Egypt, and contains eight mummies, 10 sarcophaguses and hundreds of funerary statues, Mustafa Waziry, the director general of Luxor Antiquities told EFE.
Antiquities Minister Khaled al-Anani told state-run Ahram newspaper that although the tomb is small, it is an “important discovery” because the funerary collection is virtually intact.
The tomb has a typical burial T-shape dedicated for nobles, and consists of an open courtyard, a rectangular room and an inner chamber.
After lifting nearly 450 cubic meters of rubble, archaeologists discovered the main entrance of the tomb, as well as other entrances that lead into two different tombs.
A wooden sarcophagus in good condition was found inside the rectangular chamber, as well as a nine-meter deep well linking the two rooms.
Waziry noted that at least 1,500 ushabti funerary figurines were found, as well as wooden masks and the handle of the sarcophagus, which were found in the eastern chamber.
He also noted that the tomb is “completely intact” with inscriptions and colored drawings on its walls.
Waziry told EFE in a telephone conversation that most of the tombs in that area have been either discovered or looted, but Userhat’s tomb has remained untouched as it was located deep under the ground’s surface.
The discoveries made in the chamber in the western part will be revealed later, as the excavations have not yet been concluded.
At the end of the inner chamber an ornate sarcophagus was found in a good condition, which contains several mummies wrapped in linen, dating back to the 21st Dynasty (1969-943 BC).
In that area, there were also numerous ushabtis, carved from ceramics, terracotta and wood, with vessels of variable sizes.