The Egyptian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities announced on Friday the discovery of a group of tombs from the Persian, Roman and Coptic eras in the Al-Bhansa region, Minya governorate.
The discovery was made by the Spanish-Egyptian archaeological mission, a collaboration between Egypt’s Supreme Council of Archeology and the University of Barcelona.
The burial site that the mission was excavating was hiding three Roman limestone tombs, three other individual tombs from the Persian era, and sixteen Byzantine and Coptic tombs.
Diversity of tombs in Egypt burial site
As reported by Dr. Esther Pons Melado and Dr. Maite Mascort, heads of the Spanish team of the mission, their finds during the last excavation season included a closed cemetery that had not been opened before.
Preliminary studies of the oldest tombs found at the site, from the El-Sawy era, indicated that they were looted in antiquity, which explains the lack of funerary objects in them, according to Dr Adel Akasha, Head of the central administration of the archaeology department of Central Egypt.
Dr Akasha added that the Roman era tombs discovered by the mission are built of limestone. Most of them are vaulted, not engraved, and they were found demolished to the level of the foundations.
These tombs, like those of the Coptic era, are rectangular holes in the ground, the upper part of which was built towards the east. Some pottery vessels and lamps were found next to them.
Additional on-site work and studies
The mission also carried out work to process the archaeological finds that were discovered and to consolidate and strengthen the murals on the walls of the basilica at the site, said Dr Hassan Amer, professor of Egyptian antiquities at the Faculty of Archeology, Cairo University and director of the excavations.
In addition, the team of experts studied the Coptic and Greek texts on the murals and on the panels, and documented the finds by taking numerous 3D and aerial photos.
All the discoveries will be studied and announced in due course, when excavation works on the site have been completed, said Dr. Mustafa Waziri, Secretary-General of Egypt’s Supreme Council for Archeology.