Mummified animals discovered in ancient Egyptian tomb
“Yesterday's the past, tomorrow's the future, but today is a gift. That's why it's called the present.”
The Ancient Egyptian era is definitely a gift that keeps on giving, periodically reaching out to present-day Egypt to remind us of the glory & grandeur of a lost civilization. In recent years, archeologists have unearthed several Pharaonic relics dating back to a variety of different periods in Ancient Egypt.
In 2018 alone, more than 25 significant archeological discoveries were made across Egyptian territories; from fragments of an Amenhotep III statue and remnants of an ancient celebration hall dating back to the era of Ramses II to well-kept tombs containing more than 40 coffins of Pharaonic priests and 1000 Ushabti statues, it would be safe to assume that the past will keep on unveiling itself to the future for years to come.
Perhaps one of the most prominent discoveries to date came when the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities recently announced finding a well-preserved, beautifully coloured Egyptian tomb that contained human remains and more than 50 mummified animals. This unprecedented collection of embalmed animals includes cats, mice, ibex and birds such as falcons and eagles.
The burial site was discovered near the Egyptian governorate of Sohag, in the city of Akhmim - a desert area along the Nile about 390 KM south of Cairo. Sohag was labeled by the Egyptian government as “one of the most historically rich cities in Egypt”.
"It's one of the most exciting discoveries ever in the area" said Dr Mostafa Waziri, Secretary General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA).
The colourful, well-conserved tomb is believed to be from the Ptolemaic period, dating back more than 2000 years ago and spanning around three centuries up to the Roman conquest of Egypt in the year 30 BC. The spectacular find is thought to have belonged to a high-ranking official named Tutu & his spouse T-Cheret Isis. The tomb is made up of two large rooms covered in colourful pictures, hieroglyphics and inscriptions. The artefacts and relics that excavators found inside include fragments of decorative face masks, two limestone jars with human burials and the mummified animals. The painted walls of the burial site’s striking entrance show several illustrations of the alleged owner working in the fields, depicting his family genealogy in hieroglyphics as well as funeral processions.
“It shows images of the owner of the burial room, Tutu, giving and receiving gifts before different gods and goddesses” said Dr Waziri.
The Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities stated that the ancient burial ground was found after a gang was arrested while trying to smuggle the precious artefacts. The site was later passed on to Dr Waziri for excavation purposes, following an investigation on the attempted robbery.
Egypt’s ancient history and historical heritage have long been attracting tourists from all over the world, and authorities have recently been exerting tremendous effort to boost the tourism sector. The governorate saw the inauguration of the Sohag museum in 2018, further setting in stone its importance and growing reputation as one of the country’s most valuable sites for discovering & understanding the history of Ancient Egypt.