A large necropolis containing approximately 50 mummies has been discovered in the Valley of the Kings, west of the Nile, in Egypt.
The valley is known to contain tombs constructed for Pharaohs of the 18th to 20th Dynasties of Ancient Egypt. Major discoveries happened in 2005 and 2008 when new chambers and tomb entrances were found.
The new discovery was made by a Swiss team from the University of Basel who were working with the Egyptian government.
“The immense necropolis contains the remains of mummies that could have been members of the royal family, in particular the sons of the kings Tutmoses III and Tutmoses IV of the 18th dynasty,” the antiquities ministry said.
The archaeologists found death masks portraying the facial features of the dead, wooden coffins (sarcophagi), and canopic jars used to store organs that were removed during embalming.
The found mummies included princes and newborns babies. 30 of the dead could be identified by name due to inscriptions on the jars, including two previously unknown princesses: Ta-Im-Wag-Is and Neferonebo.
Unfortunately almost all previously discovered tombs in the area have been ransacked and robbed. The country has great difficulty securing ancient sites to stop theft. Tourism has also slowed in the area due to political chaos, especially after 1997 when 58 tourists and 4 Egyptians were massacred by Islamic militants nearby in Deir el-Bahri.
The Valley of the Kings is also known to include the tomb of Tutankhamun, better known as King Tut, which was discovered in 1922 by Howard Carter.
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