Egypt's newly discovered tombs hold mummies, animal statues

Mummies of cats, scarabs found in newly discovered Egyptian tombs

Mummies of cats, scarabs found in newly discovered Egyptian tombs

The discovery was made by an Egyptian archaeological mission during excavation works at the area located on the stony edge of King Userkaf pyramid complex in Saqqara Necropolis, al-Anany told Xinhua.

An archaeologists works on a statue inside an Egyptian tomb.

To reach the findings, the researchers had to remove more than 350 cubic meters of soil.

Four other tombs were found, including one belonging to Khufu-Imhat, the overseer of buildings in the royal palace.

While investigating the area, archeologists also discovered seven other previously unknown tombs with sarcophagi containing dozens of mummies of cats and around 100 wooden cat statues, alongside one in bronze dedicated to cat goddess Bastet.

Egypt's ancient relics are a draw for tourists and authorities hope new finds can also help attract more visitors.

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He said experts plan to open the tomb in the coming weeks.

Mummified cats inside a tomb, at an ancient necropolis near Egypt's famed pyramids in Saqqara, Giza, Egypt, on Saturday, November10. Two of the insects were wrapped in linen inside a rectangular limestone sarcophagus decorated with paintings of large black beetles considered sacred in ancient Egypt.

Ancient Egyptians mummified human bodies to preserve them for the afterlife, while also preserving the bodies of pets and wild animals for companionship or protection.

Tourism in Egypt suffered in the aftermath of the mass protests that toppled former president Hosni Mubarak in 2011. "It is something really a bit rare", Mr Waziri said. "I never heard about them before".

The team also found painted wooden cobra and crocodile sarcophagi, a collection of gilded statues depicting animal features, as well as objects including amulets, canopic jars, writing tools and papyri baskets.

According to a report by the Reuters news service, as they were preparing the site to present the latest discoveries, archaeologists found the door of another tomb that remains sealed, Waziri, secretary-general of Egypt's Supreme Council of Antiquities, told reporters.

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