CAIRO: A tomb containing the mummified remains of a man and more than 500 animals has been discovered in the city of Sohag, south of Cairo, Egypt’s Antiquities Minister Khaled Anany has announced.
The tomb, believed to be more than 2,000 years old, was discovered at Al-Dayabat archeological site in Akhmim.
“It is one of the most exciting discoveries ever in the area,” said Dr. Mostafa Waziri, secretary-general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities.
The tomb contains not only a human mummy, but also over 500 mummified animals and birds – like mice, falcons, eagles, cats, dogs and shrews.
Waziri said shrews in ancient Egypt were believed to treat blindness in humans. This was because shrews had night vision.
The tomb’s inscriptions are still very well preserved, with vivid colors depicting characters and hieroglyphics on the wall.
The archaeological team found two small rooms and two sarcophagi. However, only one well-preserved mummy was found, thought to be that of a high-ranking official named Tutu back in the Ptolemaic Period of Ancient Egypt.
The other sarcophagus reportedly belongs to Tutu’s wife, whose mummy is missing from the site.
The discovery of the tomb happened when the Tourism and Antiquities Police caught a group of smugglers in Sohag, taking with them the illegal findings they found in Sohag.
Sohag Governor Dr. Ahmed Al Ansari said that the findings of all these artifacts in Egypt play a big role towards world tourism.
Following numerous discoveries of artifacts and ancient sites, the governorate opened the Sohag National Museum in 2018. The museum, which was in the works for 25 years, was a move to help attract tourists and visitors from around the country to visit the governorate.
Egypt has been attempting to repatriate all ancient artifacts either smuggled or transferred out of the country from around the world in support of the country’s tourism sector.
However, many criticize Egypt for its negligence in keeping these ancient treasures and believe that the artifacts are best kept untouched in foreign countries.