Mummified cats, mice and falcons found in ancient Egyptian tomb

Preserved wall paintings inside the newly discovered burial site Tomb of Tutu at al-Dayabat Sohag

Preserved wall paintings inside the newly discovered burial site Tomb of Tutu at al-Dayabat Sohag

This picture taken on April 5, 2019 shows mummified animals found inside a newly-discovered tomb dating to the Ptolemaic era (323-30 BC) at the Diabat necropolis near the city of Akhmim in Egypt's southern Sohag province, about 500 kilometres south of the capital Cairo.

The tomb's walls notably feature images of funeral processions and of the owner labouring in the fields, along with hieroglyphic inscriptions of his kinship genealogy. The woman is thought to have been aged between 35 and 50 when she died while the boy was 12 to 14.

Dozens of mummified mice have been discovered among about 50 animals found in an ancient tomb that was unveiled in Egypt on Friday.

Among the treasures found inside the tomb were fragments of painted, decorative faces. Eagles, falcons, ibex, cats and mice were all found mummified in the tomb.

The tomb was built for a senior official named Tutu and his wife, Ta-Shirit-Iziz.

Mummified mice and falcons on display at the newly discovered burial site the Tomb of Tutu at al-Dayabat Sohag
REUTERS Mohamed Abd El Ghany Mummified mice and falcons on display at the newly discovered burial site the Tomb of Tutu at al-Dayabat Sohag

Mostafa Waziri, secretary-general of Egypt's Supreme Council of Antiquities, described the burial chamber as a "beautiful, colorful tomb".

The tomb consists of two tiny rooms containing two limestone sarcophagi, as well as a very-well preserved mummy that has not been identified yet. "The lobby is divided in two", he said. A number of other artistic images depict scenes of Tutu "giving and receiving gifts before different gods and goddesses".

Ptolemaic rule spanned about three centuries until the Roman conquest in 30 BC.

Egypt's ancient sites are a draw for tourists and authorities hope new finds can help boost the sector, which suffered after foreigners were scared off by the North African country's 2011 popular uprising and the turmoil and insecurity that followed.

Egypt's tourism industry has been struggling in recent years and the antiquities ministry said Friday's presentation was meant to "draw the world's attention to the civilization and antiquities of Egypt".

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