Ancient Tomb Discovered in Egypt
Archaeologists make one of the biggest discoveries since 1922, when King Tut’s tomb was uncovered
Archaeologists say they've made a huge discovery in Egypt – by accident! A U.S.-based team has uncovered an ancient tomb containing five sarcophagi with mummies. The tomb was found in the Valley of the Kings outside Luxor, Egypt. This is the first tomb uncovered in the area since King Tutankhamun's tomb was discovered in 1922.
A team of archaeologists from the University of Memphis was actually working on the nearby site of a 19th Dynasty pharaoh when it made the discovery. Archaeologists found the remains of the huts of men who had worked on the tomb and a shaft leading to the tomb.
"It was a wonderful thing," said Edwin Brock, of the team that discovered the tomb. "It was just so amazing to find an intact tomb here after all the work that's been done before. This was totally unexpected."
Inside the Ancient Tomb
The tomb was found at the bottom of a 33-foot deep pit. A narrow shaft leads down another 16 feet to the tomb door, which is made of stone blocks. The tomb is thought to be about 3,000 years old. Archaeologists say it dates to the 18th Dynasty. They say it is the most important discovery of its kind in more than eighty years!
Inside the tomb are five sarcophagi with mummies. One sarcophagus has fallen and another is partly open, showing the brown cloth that covers the mummy inside. The sarcophagi have colorful funeral masks.
Researchers say the tomb is relatively bare and undecorated. The tomb’s appearance has led researchers to believe that it does not belong to a pharaoh. They say it was probably built for people connected to the royal family.
"It’s somebody who had the favor of the king because not everybody could come and make their tomb in the Valley of the Kings," said Otto Schaden, who led the U.S. team.
After archaeologists finish clearing debris from the shaft, they can search the tomb for hieroglyphs that identify those buried inside. The goal is to remove the sarcophagi before the weather gets too hot to work in the desert, Schaden said. High temperatures usually begin in May and mark the end of the digging season for archaeologists.
By Jill Egan
A view inside the newly-discovered tomb.
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