Chamber of 17 Mummies Discovered in Egypt's Minya

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It said in a statement that the cachette housed 17 non-royal mummies.

"The discovery is still at its beginning", Khaled al-Enany, the antiquities minister, told reporters on Saturday.

The discovery was made in the village of Tuna el-Gabal, a vast archaeological site on the edge of the western desert.

The mummies have not yet been dated but are believed to date to Egypt's Greco-Roman period.

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Animal and bird coffins were also found according to the ministry, but as of yet the mummies have not been dated.

Egyptologist Salah al-Kholi said the discovery was "the first human necropolis found in central Egypt with so many mummies", before saying "It could herald even more discoveries in the area".

A number of mummies inside the newly discovered burial site in Minya, Egypt May 13, 2017. "News of antiquities are the things that attract the world to Egypt". The lack of tourists devastated the Egyptian government, and they are hoping that this archaeological discovery, and the many that they hope will follow, will help usher the tourists back into Egypt.

Mummies lying in catacombs following their discovery in the Tuna el-Gabal district.

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But a popular uprising in 2011 that overthrew veteran strongman Hosni Mubarak ushered in years of unrest that battered the economy and drove away tourists.

The mummies were elaborately preserved therefore likely belong to officials and priest, the Egyptian Minister of Antiquities said.

He said the papyri would be transferred to the Grand Egyptian Museum for restoration.

In April, eight mummies were uncovered inside a 3,500-year-old tomb in the southern city of Luxor.

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