Egypt unearths first human necropolis with dozens of mummies
The discovery was made in the village of Tuna al-Gabal, a vast archaeological site on the edge of the western desert. The area hosts necropolises mainly for animals and birds.
"We found catacombs containing a number of mummies," said Salah al-Kholi, a Cairo University professor of Egyptology who headed the mission that made the discovery.
Antiquities Minister Khaled el-Enany told reporters near the desert archaeological site that the discovery was "the first human necropolis found in central Egypt with so many mummies".
The necropolis dates back to the pharaonic Late Kingdom and Greco-Roman periods, he said, adding that the find is still in a preliminary stage, and more mummies are expected to be discovered in the area.
Mohamad Hamza, director of excavations at Cairo University, described the find as "important" and "unprecedented, because it's the first human necropolis" unearthed in the area.
The discovery comes as Egypt struggles to revive its tourism sector, partially driven by antiquities sightseeing, that was hit hard by political turmoil since the 2011 uprising.