News of a team of archaeologists’ incredible find hit global headlines on February 2, 2019, long over 2,000 years after the deceased was buried.
The tomb at the Tuna El-Galeb site, 211 miles south of the Egyptian capital Cairo, suddenly challenged the mainstream idea that only adults received the whole mummification treatment.
Identities of the corpses were not clear to experts as no hieroglyphics detailing their names had been inscribed anywhere obvious.
But the level of the grandeur of the extensive 50-person tomb led archaeologists to conclude those buried belonged to an upper-middle-class family, who could have lived as long ago as the Ptolemaic period, which began in 305 BC.
Mostafa Waziri, secretary-general of Egypt’s Supreme Council of Antiquities, said: “We have not found names written in hieroglyphics.”
The mummies were buried nine metres below the ground and found wrapped in linen.
Some of the remains were placed in stone coffins or wooden sarcophagi which remarkably survived almost intact for thousands of years.
Visitors — including ambassadors — gathered at the site on immediately after the discovery in 2019 where 40 of the mummies were exhibited during an announcement ceremony.
Skulls wrapped in linen were among some of the gruesome finds at the site.
Egypt’s Minister of Antiquities Khaled El-Enany said: “The newly discovered tombs are a familial grave which was probably for a family from the upper middle class.”
And he said he hoped archaeologists would learn more about Ancient Egypt’s secrets through the ways the mummies had been buried.
“The methods used in burying the mummies inside the maze of tombs vary in style,” he added.
Some of the bodies had just been buried in the sand.
This archaeological find was the first of 2019 and was discovered through a joint mission with the Research Centre for Archaeological Studies of Minya University in Egypt.