CAIRO — Archaeologists in Egypt have unearthed an ancient burial site with at least 17 mummies, most fully intact, antiquities officials said Saturday, in the latest in a series of historical discoveries.
The country’s Antiquities Minister, Khaled al-Enany, has described this findings as a helping hand for its struggling tourism sector.
The non-royal mummies were found inside a catacomb by a Cairo University expedition in the village of Tuna al-Gabal.
Stone and clay sarcophagi, inscriptions and animal coffins as well as papyrus pieces written in the ancient Demotic language were also discovered in the 3-kilometre-long site.
The funerary site, uncovered eight metres below ground in Minya, a province about 250 kilometres south of Cairo, contained limestone and clay sarcophagi, animal coffins, and papyrus inscribed with Demotic script.
The burial chamber was first detected last year by a team of Cairo University students using radar.
The mummies have not yet been dated but are believed to date to Egypt’s Greco-Roman period, a roughly 600-year span that followed the country’s conquest by Alexander the Great in 332 BC, according to Mohamed Hamza, a Cairo University archaeology dean in charge of the excavations.
Egypt is hoping the recent discoveries will brighten its image abroad and revive interest among travellers that once flocked to its iconic pharaonic temples and pyramids but have shunned the country since its 2011 political uprising.
“2017 has been a historic year for archaeological discoveries,” Minister Khaled Al-Anani told a news conference in announcing the find on Saturday.
“It’s as if it’s a message from our ancestors who are lending us a hand to help bring tourists back.”
Salah Al-Kholi, a Cairo University Egyptology professor who led the mission, said as many as 32 mummies, including mummies of women, children and infants, may be in the chamber.Follow @gorkhapost
WASHINGTON — United States President Donald Trump has said that missile attacks at the heart of Syria’s chemical weapons program a success.
He proclaimed on Twitter: “Mission accomplished,” echoing former President George W Bush, whose use of the same phrase in 2003 to describe the US invasion of Iraq was widely ridiculed as violence there dragged on for years.
“We believe that by hitting Barzeh, in particular, we’ve attacked the heart of the Syrian chemicals weapon program,” US Lieutenant General Kenneth McKenzie said at the Pentagon.
The United States, France and Britain launched 105 missiles in retaliation for a suspected poison gas attack in Syria a week ago, targeting what the Pentagon said were three chemical weapons facilities, including a research and development center in Damascus’ Barzeh district and two installations near Homs.
Western powers said on Saturday their missile attacks struck at the heart of Syria’s chemical weapons program, but the restrained assault appeared unlikely to halt Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s progress in the 7-year-old civil war.
The bombing was the biggest intervention by Western countries against Assad and his superpower ally Russia, but the three countries said the strikes were limited to Syria’s chemical weapons capabilities and not aimed at toppling Assad or intervening in the civil war.
The air attack, denounced by Damascus and its allies as an illegal act of aggression, was unlikely to alter the course of a multisided war that has killed at least half a million people.Follow @gorkhapost