Researchers in Egypt have discovered more than 40 mummies at a burial site in central Egypt dating to the Ptolemaic era. They include the remains of men, women and children most likely from the same wealthy family, according to Egypt’s Minister of Antiquities, Khaled El-Enany, who unveiled the site to a group of journalists and diplomats from various countries on Saturday.
They had been laid on the floor or in open clay coffins in a crumbling underground chamber in Minya governorate.
While mummification is mostly associated with ancient Egypt, the practice continued under the kingdom founded by Ptolemy, a successor to Alexander the Great, which lasted from 323 BC to 30 BC.
Archaeologist Mohamed Ragab said two tombs were discovered nine metres underground and contained more than six rooms.
Mostafa Waziri, the ministry’s secretary-general, said the identities of the mummies were unclear.
“We have not found names written in hieroglyphics,” he said, adding that the mummification method indicated that those discovered had held relatively important or prestigious positions.