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A publication of the Archaeological Institute of America

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New Kingdom Tombs Unearthed Near Aswan

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Egypt Aswan tombsASWAN, EGYPT—Mahmoud Afifi of Egypt's Ministry of Antiquities announced in Ahram Online that more than 12 tombs in Gebel el-Silsila have been discovered by an Egyptian-Swedish team led by Maria Nilsson of Lund University and John Ward. Each of the 3,400-year-old tombs excavated so far contained multiple burials and may have belonged to families who lived during the reigns of Thutmose III and Amenhotep II. In general, the condition of the skeletal remains suggests that the people performed hard physical labor but were healthy. An adult crocodile had been placed in the courtyard at the entrance to one of the tombs. Another tomb contained the remains of sheep, goats, and Nile perch. Three infant burials were also found: one of the infants had been wrapped in textiles and placed in a wooden coffin, and two infants were found on their sides in overhangs in the site’s sandstone bluffs. Sandstone sarcophagi, painted cartonnage, painted pottery coffins, ceramic vessels and plates, jewelry, amulets, and scarabs were also recovered. Most of the tombs had been looted in antiquity. For more on archaeology in Egypt, go to “A Pharaoh’s Last Fleet.”

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