Archaeologists in Egypt have discovered a necropolis containing at least 17 mummies.
Egypt's antiquities ministry said that it has found a necropolis with as many as 30 intact mummies near the city of Minya, the first such find in the area, the media reported. Archaeologists also uncovered a golden sheet, two papyri covered in an ancient Egyptian script called Demotic, and several limestone and clay sarcophagi as well as several mummified animals.
Judging from their elaborate preservation, the mummies likely belonged to officials or priests, he added.
The discovery was made in the village of Tuna el-Gabal, which is a popular archeological site on the edge of western desert.
The artefacts date back to the Greco-Roman era stretching from 332 BC to 395 AD that started with Alexander the Great's conquest of Egypt.
Excavation leader Professor Salah al Kholi, of Cairo University, said: 'As many as 32 mummies could be in the chamber, including those of women, children and infants'.
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"The discovery is still at its beginning", Khaled al-Enany, the antiquities minister, told reporters on Saturday.
Over a dozen Egyptian mummies, which could be over 2.000 years old, have been discovered in an ancient burial site.
"2017 has been a historic year for archaeological discoveries". Tourism accounted for almost 12 percent of Egypt's economy in 2015 and even more in the preceding years.
The mummies in this necropolis is not the only new discovery to come out of Egypt in recent months. "It's as if it's a message from our ancestors who are lending us a hand to help bring tourists back". Egypt's economy has taken a major hit since the 2011 Arab spring uprising, significantly reducing tourism revenue.
There were also animal and bird coffins, the ministry said. Figures for previous year are not yet available.