In Photos: 22 Persian, Roman and Coptic tombs discovered in Upper Egypt's Minya

Nevine El-Aref , Friday 24 Feb 2023

The Egyptian-Spanish archaeological mission from Barcelona University uncovered 22 tombs from the Persian, Roman and Coptic periods during excavation work carried out at the Al-Bahnasa archaeological site in the upper Egyptian governorate of Minya.



Among the discovered tombs are six funerary complexes from the Roman and Persian periods and 16 individual tombs belonging to the Coptic-Byzantine period, according to a statement from the mission.

Many of the bodies found inside the tombs were protected with decorated shrouds.

One of the more notable finds were offerings consisting of two frogs deposited inside two jars.

Elsewhere in the necropolis, consolidation work has been executed on the structure of a Basilica found within the necropolis as well as the restoration of the mural paintings in the crypt, the statement added.

“The restoration team has carried out consolidation and restoration work both in situ and in the laboratory,” pointed out Maite Mascort and Esther Pons, directors of the mission from the Spanish side.

They explained that epigraphic studies of the walls of the crypt of the basilica were carried out, along with the texts inscribed on papyri and ostraca (pottery).

Architectural consolidation-adjustment-restoration tasks have been carried out in different structures and areas of the site.

Aerial photographs with kites, 3D studies of structures and parts, as well as partial and general topography and photogrammetry of the site were also taken.

Work at the Al-Bahnasa site over the past archaeological season, which ended in January, focused on the upper necropolis, one of the most important and relevant areas of the site, said Mostafa Waziry, secretary general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities.

“It has been a very interesting season due to the numerous and unprecedented archaeological findings and the new scientific hypotheses raised,” he said, adding that all the recovered material will advance study of the area.

Hassan Amer, professor of Egyptology at Cairo university and field director, said that the necropolis is divided into four sectors, where both archaeological work and anthropological studies of the exhumed individuals were carried out as well as consolidation and restoration of some of the wall paintings, and of the objects recovered during the excavation.

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