Archaeologists have discovered more than 40 mummies dating back to the Ptolemaic era at a burial site in central Egypt, the country’s antiquities ministry said on Saturday.
The mummies, including the bodies of adults, children, and animals, had been laid on the floor or in open clay coffins in a crumbling underground chamber in the Minya governorate, said Antiquities Minister Khaled el-Enany.
“So far we have more than 40 mummies,” the minister told officials and journalists during a ceremony at the Tunah Al-Gabal site, located 260 kilometers south of Cairo.
Archaeologist Rami Rasmi told Agence France Presse that “forty mummies were discovered, including twelve children and six animals, while the rest were adult men and women.”
While mummification is mostly associated with ancient Egypt, the practice continued under the kingdom founded by Ptolemy, a successor to Alexander the Great, which lasted from 323 BC all the way to 30 BC.
Archaeologist Mohamed Ragab said two tombs were discovered nine meters underground. The tombs contained more than six rooms.
The ancient Greek rulers of Egypt belonging to the Ptolemy dynasty reached the height of their power between the conquests of Alexander the Great and the rise of the Roman empire.