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The Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities has announced the discovery of a tomb near Aswan, along the River Nile.

Hieroglyphic text found on the wooden coffin fragments inside of the tomb show that it belonged to a man named Tjt – although it contained at least 34 mummies.  This includes two mummies, one lying on top of the other, which may have been a mother and her child.

The tomb has been dated to between the sixth century B.C and the fourth century A.D.

In addition to the mummies, there were numerous ancient artefacts that may give some insight into the culture.  This included vases and amphorae, which are tall decorated jars with tiny necks and two handles.

There was also an intact stretcher, likely used to bring bodies into the tomb; a small statue of the ba-ba bird (a bird with a human head that represents a human soul and was a typical symbol in burials of the time); and funerary masks painted in gold.

Patrizia Piaccentini, a professor of Egyptology at the University of Milan, directed the excavations. She said that the remains can show us ‘what they ate, how they died, at what age they died’.  Vessels found next to some mummies still contained food.

Anthropology and Archaeology students may be interested in keeping up to date with new information yielded by further research into this tomb, as well as the further excavations in the area planned for November. They may be interested in how this tomb corresponds with other tombs of the era, as well as considering the significance of the artefacts.

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