Egypt State Information Service
Culture Minister Farouq Hosni announced on Sunday 23/5/2010 that forty-five tombs have been unearthed in Lahoun, Fayyoum, containing a group of painted wooden sarcophagi with mummies inside.
Zahi Hawwas, Head of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, said archaeologists found a tomb dating back to the 18th dynasty (1569-1315 B.C) containing 12 wooden sarcophagi each with a mummy inside.
The mummies are in perfect condition and wrapped in linen decorated with religious texts from the Book of the Dead and scenes featuring ancient Egyptian gods.
Dr. Abdel Rahman El-Aydi, head of the archaeological mission, pointed out that the first and second dynasties cemeteries are composed of 14 tombs. One of the tombs is almost completely intact, including all of its funerary equipment and a wooden sarcophagus with a mummy wrapped with linen.
The Middle New Kingdoms cemetery contains 31 tombs most of which are dated to the 11th and 12th dynasties (2030-1840 BC). Each tomb includes a painted wooden sarcophagus bearing a mummy covered with cartonnage, decorated with religious texts that help the deceased to cross through the underworld, as well as scenes of different ancient Egyptian deities, such as Horus, Hathor, Khnum and Amun.
Also, at the four corners of king Senwosret II’s temple, the mission has located four shafts filled with a large collection of clay vessels.
Last year, the mission found 53 stone tombs from the Middle and New Kingdom, as well as the Late Period and the Roman era.
Archeologists have unearthed 57 ancient Egyptian tombs, most of which hold an ornately painted wooden sarcophagus with a mummy inside, Egypt's Supreme Council of Antiquities said Sunday.
The oldest tombs date back to around 2750 B.C. during the period of Egypt's first and second dynasties, the council said in a statement. Twelve of the tombs belong the 18th dynasty which ruled Egypt during the second millennium B.C.
The discovery throws new light on Egypt's ancient religions, the council said.
Egypt's archaeology chief, Zahi Hawass, said the mummies dating to the 18th dynasty are covered in linen decorated with religious texts from the Book of the Dead and scenes featuring ancient Egyptian deities.
Abdel Rahman El-Aydi, head of the archaeological mission that made the discovery, said some of the tombs are decorated with religious texts that ancient Egyptians believed would help the deceased to cross through the underworld.
Heritage Key (An Wuyts)
Archaeologists last week discovered 45 ancient Egyptian tombs at the site of El-Lahoun, in the Fayum. In a statement issued by the Supreme Council of Antiquities, Minister of Culture Farouk Hosni claims that a sarcophagus holding a mummy has been found in in each of the tombs, located about 70 miles from Cairo.
One of the tombs unearthed during the dig is from the 18th dynasty (1550-1295 BC), and contains at least 12 wooden sarcophagi stacked on top of each other. Each of these sarcophagi is thought to hold a mummy covered in cartonnage.
The mummies are decorated with religious texts from the Book of the Dead and scenes featuring different ancient Egyptian gods and goddesses.
Four cemeteries have also been discovered, the oldest dating to the 1st and 2nd Dynasty (ca. 2750-2649BC). Mission leader Dr Abdel Rahman El-Aydi says the cemetery is composed of fourteen tombs, with one of the burials found almost completely intact. All of its funerary equipment and a wooden sarcophagus with a linen-wrapped mummy were unearthed.
The second cemetery belongs to the 11th and 12th Dynasty (2030-1840BC.) Each tomb includes a painted wooden sarcophagus bearing a mummy covered with cartonnage. This was decorated with religious texts which help the deceased with their journey through the afterlife.
The third and fourth cemeteries are dated to the New Kingdom (1550-1070BC) and the Late Period (724-343BC) respectively.