New Kingdom cemetery reveals ancient Egyptian secrets

Sunday 15 Oct 2023

A significant archaeological find disclosed today at Al-Ghoreifa site in Minya’s Tuna Al-Gabal, in Upper Egypt, revealed for the first time the New Kingdom cemetery of the 15th ancient Egyptian nome, said Mostafa Waziri, secretary-general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities.

New Kingdom


While cemeteries from the Old and Middle Kingdoms had been unearthed many years ago, this recent discovery promises to be a significant addition to the annals of archaeology.

The cemetery comprises an array of rock-hewn tombs filled with anthropoid limestone sarcophagi and intricately decorated wooden coffins adorned with religious depictions.

The discovery also included 25,000 statues depicting ancient Egyptian deities and ushabti figurines crafted from faience.

A collection of canopic jars and amulets were also unearthed, alongside mummy masks and an exceptionally well-preserved papyrus, spanning 13 to 15 feet in length and bearing text from the Book of the Dead. This papyrus will be transported to the Grand Egyptian Museum for public display.

Waziri said that among the most significant and aesthetically captivating items within this funerary collection are those attributed to Djehuty, the overseer of the Taurus of Amun Temple, and Nany, Djehuty's singer, along with other high-ranking officials and priests.

Waziri further highlighted the strikingly painted anthropoid coffin of Tadi Essah, the daughter of the High Priest Djehuty, along with its distinguished canopic jars.

Preliminary investigations have revealed that a segment of this cemetery was repurposed during the Late Period (664 BC-332 BC), with thousands of amulets, ushabti figurines, statues, and coffins containing mummies from that era coming to light.

The Egyptian mission commenced its excavation work in Al-Ghoreifa in 2017. More excavation is planned to unveil all the secrets of this cemetery.



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