New details emerge on latest discovery of Egyptian tomb and treasure trove
On Saturday, we reported on the incredible finding of an ancient tomb containing a well-preserved Egyptian mummy in a limestone sarcophagus and a collection of 180 ushabti figurines in a newly-discovered tomb in Egypt’s northern province of Dakahliya. As excavations have continued over the weekend, archaeologists have revealed more amazing discoveries, which date back more than 2,500 years.
Excavations have now uncovered three sets of human remains in two tombs and hundreds of funerary objects, including a gold-plated mummy mask and rare amulets. Two limestone sarcophagi have been found with mummies inside.
In one of the sarcophagi, the mummy is covered with gilded cartonnage, a type of material composing Egyptian funerary masks, and decorated with hieroglyphic text. It also contains the cartouche of King Psamtiak I from the 26th Dynasty. Inside was a wooden box filled with 14 amulets and 300 ushabti figurines, funerary figurines which were intended to act as substitutes for the deceased, should he/she be called upon to do manual labour in the afterlife. The most important amulet is one that depicts a trinity of three Ancient Egyptian gods - Amun, Horus and Neftis.
Amulet depicting the trinity of gods. Photo credit
In the second sarcophagus, archaeologists found another mummy, as well as a similar wooden box with 286 ushabti figurines and 29 amulets, among them a heart shaped scarab and garnet amulets. Beside the third skeleton, excavators uncovered 12 amulets featuring the Udjat eye of Horus.
Large collection of Ushabti figurines. Photo credit
The rare discovery was made inside a mastaba tomb at Tel El-Tabila, an ancient necropolis of the Late Ancient Egyptian period (712 – 323 BC). A mastaba tomb is a type of ancient Egyptian tomb in the form of an above ground, flat-roofed, rectangular structure with outward sloping sides that marked the burial site of many eminent Egyptians. They were built with a north-south orientation which was essential for Egyptians so that they may be able to access the afterlife.
Featured image: One of the discovered coffins at Dakahliya. Photo credit.