Minister of Antiquities Mamdouh Eldamaty described the discovery as “important” because it is the first time tombs from the Late Pharaonic period have been found in the area. All the tombs previously discovered have been dated to the Old and Middle Kingdoms.
“With this tomb collection the ancient Egyptian necropolis in Aswan is complete,” Eldamaty said. He added that a collection of limestone and wooden sarcophagi was found with the mummies of the deceased.
Faience statuettes of the four sons of the god Horus and wooden statuettes of the falcon god himself were also unearthed, along with amulets of different shapes, sizes and colours.
Nasr Salama, director-general of Aswan Antiquities, said that each tomb contains a 30-step stairway leading to the main entrance. The tombs are divided into three or four undecorated rooms, he said.
Mostafa Khalil, the head of the archaeological mission, said the architectural style of the tombs is consistent with the 26th-Dynasty period, having been excavated in the stony hillside rather than being rock-hewn.
Khalil said that the tombs were robbed in the aftermath of the 2011 Revolution, part of an upsurge in illegal excavations that occurred in the Aswan area during the security vacuum that followed the removal of president Hosni Mubarak.