Spanish team find large pharaonic tomb that was probably built for a member of the royal family or a high-ranking statesman
Spanish archaeologists have discovered a 4,000-year-old pharaonic tomb belonging to a leader from the 11th dynasty of Egypt in Luxor, the antiquities ministry said on Monday.
The wide surface of the tomb showed it was that of "someone from the royal family or a high-ranking statesman," the antiquities minister, Mohamed Ibrahim, said.
The Spanish team was led by José Galán, who said the tomb would provide new insights into the dynasty that ruled in Luxor, the modern site of the city of Thebes, which was then the capital of ancient Egypt.
"This discovery confirms the presence of many tombs from the 11th dynasty in the Deraa Abu Naga region," said Galán.
One tomb dating back to the same period was discovered in the area five years ago. It contained a red sarcophagus, a well-preserved mummy, as well as arrows and arches that are now on display in Luxor's museum.
"The tomb may have been used as a mass grave, given the high number of human remains [discovered in it]," Ali al-Asfar, an antiquities ministry official, said on Monday, referring to the newly discovered site.
But it was also used during the 17th dynasty as pottery tools and utensils from this period were discovered in the tomb, Asfar added.
Luxor, a city of some 500,000 people on the banks of the Nile in southern Egypt, is an open-air museum of intricate temples and pharaonic tombs.