Archaeologists discovered a tomb that dates back to the 18th Dynasty, containing 8 Pharaonic mummies, 10 coffins, hundreds of ushabti statues and masks coloured with gold in Luxor, Egypt.
The 3500-year-old ancient noble’s tomb was found on the west bank of the Nile River in Luxor, at the Draa Abul Nagaa necropolis. At present little is known about who the mummies belong to. So far archaeologists discovered 10 coffins and 8 mummies, and the excavations are still ongoing. The 18th Dynasty tomb, however, belonged to a nobleman named Userhat who worked as the city judge.
Archaeologist believe the tomb was opened during the reign of the 21st Dynasty, about 3000 years ago. More mummies were added to protect them during a period when tomb-robbing was common. The tomb consists of an open court leading into a rectangular hall, a corridor and an inner chamber. Almost 450 cubic meters of debris were removed out of the open court during excavations. A nine-metre shaft found inside the tomb held a large number of ushabti figurines, as well as wooden masks and a handle of a sarcophagus lid.
Archaeologists found over 1000 small carved ushabti figurines. They were placed with the deceased to help the deceased with responsibilities in the afterlife. Among other finds were white, orange, green, and patterned pots. Close inspection of the sarcophagi revealed they were covered with intricate drawings in red, blue, black, green, and yellow, and featured the carved faces of the dead. Some of them are well preserved, yet other have decayed and broken over the millennia. Six mummies in good condition were discovered in six coffins. One room has not yet been fully excavated, so the number of finds might still grow.
(after Egypt Independent, Daily Mail Online, AFP & Egypt’s Ministry of Antiquities)