Millennia-old mummy found in Egypt tomb

Millennia-old mummy found in Egypt tomb
An Egyptian mummy was discovered by experts in a tomb near the southern Egyptian town of Luxor, the antiquities ministry said on Sunday.
2 min read
13 November, 2016
Experts have restored Egyptian artefacts that are thousands of years old [AFP]

Spanish archaeologists discovered a millennia-old mummy in "very good condition" near the southern Egyptian town of Luxor, the antiquities ministry said on Sunday. 

The find was in a tomb probably dating from between 1075-664 BC, on the west bank of the Nile river 700 kilometres (435 miles) south of Cairo, a statement said.

The mummy was found bound with linen that was stuck together with plaster.

It was in a brightly coloured wooden sarcophagus and had been buried near a temple from the era of fourth-millennium warrior king Thutmose III.

The tomb was likely to have belonged to a nobleman, Amenrenef, who was "a servant of the royal household", the ministry said.

The archaeological team's head, Myriam Seco Alvarez, said the mummy was decorated with "many colourful decorations recalling religious symbols from ancient Egypt, such as the goddesses Isis and Nephtys displaying their wings, and the four sons of Horus".

The earliest evidence of mummification in Egypt suggests that the practice of wrapping bodies to preserve them after death dates back as far as 4500 BC.

Luxor, a city of half a million people on the banks of the Nile, abounds with temples and tombs built by Egypt's pharaohs.

It is a key site for Egypt's tourist industry which has been battered by political instability and militant violence since the 2011 revolution that toppled long-time dictator Hosni Mubarak.

Meanwhile, a report released earlier this year showed looting of historical sites in Egypt surged amid the chaos that has followed the revolution in 2011.

Publishing her findings in the journal Antiquity, "space archaeologist" Sarah Parcak, an associate professor of anthropology at the University of Alabama, has examined satellite images of huge excavations left in the ground in recent years by tomb-robbers.

"The number of looting pits dug during 2009 and 2010 is, in our opinion, simply staggering," the study says.

Recording a total of 17,762 looting pits between 2009 and 2010, the study found that this number had surged to an annual average of 38,000 between 2011 and 2013. This evidence suggests a strong link between the increase in looting and the upheaval of the Arab Spring.