Science & Tech

30 mummies discovered inside an ancient fire-scorched sacrificial structure

Hidden within a fire-scorched structure near the Nile River in Aswan, Egypt, archaeologists discovered the entrance to a 2,000-year-old family tomb. Inside, they found 30 mummies of various ages, including several arthritis-ridden elderly people, as well as children and a newborn.

Though the archaeologists have yet to date the tomb, they suspect a single family buried their dead in it over generations spanning the the Ptolemaic and Roman periods (the first century B.C. to the second or third century A.D.), according to Patrizia Piacentini, a professor of Egyptology and Egyptian Archaeology at the University of Milan, who was co-director of the excavation.

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The entrance to the newly discovered tomb.

The entrance to the newly discovered tomb. (Image credit: Courtesy of the University of Milan)
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The newly discovered rectangular structure containing the tomb.

The newly discovered rectangular structure containing the tomb. (Image credit: Courtesy of the University of Milan)
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Researchers discovered this colorful cartonnage inside the coffin of a child.

Researchers discovered this colorful cartonnage inside the coffin of a child. (Image credit: Courtesy of the University of Milan)
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The archaeologists discovered a copper necklace with the inscription

The archaeologists discovered a copper necklace with the inscription “Nikostratos” next to a mummy. (Image credit: Courtesy of the University of Milan)
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A broken offering table was among the finds.

The researchers found this broken offering table in front of the tomb. (Image credit: Courtesy of the University of Milan)
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A barbotine bowl was among the finds.

A barbotine bowl was among the finds. (Image credit: Courtesy of the University of Milan)
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A knife with an iron blade and wooden handle was among the finds, and the researchers think it may have been used by ancient robbers to cut the bandages of the mummies.

A knife with an iron blade and wooden handle was among the finds, and the researchers think it may have been used by ancient robbers to cut the bandages of the mummies. (Image credit: Courtesy of the University of Milan)
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The researchers used a portable x-ray machine at the site to analyze the mummified head of a child.

The researchers used a portable x-ray machine at the site to analyze the mummified head of a child. (Image credit: Courtesy of the University of Milan)
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One of the mummies discovered in a coffin inside the tomb.

One of the mummies discovered in a coffin inside the tomb. (Image credit: Courtesy of the University of Milan)
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A mummy with cartonnage covering the feet.

A mummy with cartonnage covering the feet. (Image credit: Courtesy of the University of Milan)

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