CAIRO: A massive tomb was discovered Monday in Luxor’s Valley of the Kings, containing the remains of nearly 50 mummies associated with members of the royal families of kings Tuthmosis IV and Amenhotep III from the 18th Dynasty, Antiquities Minister Mohamed Ibrahim said in Monday statement.
The tomb also includes the remains of wooden coffins and cartonnage; a type of material used for composing masks made of fabric and gypsum, featuring the face of each mummy.
Ibrahim added that a mission from the University of Basel, Switzerland uncovered the tomb, in cooperation with the Ministry of Antiquities, pointing out that the hieratic engravings discovered inside the tomb revealed the identity of more than thirty mummies.
Head of the Ancient Egyptian Department at the Ministry of State for Antiquities Aly El-Asfar said that the tomb still needs further anthropological studies, noting that there is an urgent need to conduct several studies on the funerary tools discovered inside the tomb to learn more about this era’s daily life and burial habits.
The tomb contains the remains of 50 people, including well mummified newborn babies and fragments of the funerary tools, head of the mission Elina Palin said in the statement, adding that the existence of the wood coffins and cartonnage inside the tomb indicate that the tomb was used for the burial purposes once again after it had been deserted for a period of time as a royal tomb.
“The initial inspection indicates that the archaeological remains inside the tombs have been looted several times in previous eras,” Palin said.
Out of 63 tombs that have been excavated so far in the Valley of the Kings, only 23 are opened, Khaled Abu El Haggag, chief antiquity inspector at the Valley of the Kings, told The Cairo Post in a previous statement.
“Some tombs have never been opened to the public since they were discovered because they are either in a bad state of preservation or their excavation has not been completed yet,” he said.
Further, an exact replica of Tutankhamun’s tomb is to open April 30 under the supervision of Egypt’s Supreme Council for Antiquities (SCA) in the west bank of Luxor to protect the original tomb from further deterioration.