Discovery of Mummies at the Site of Tuna El-Gebel in Minya Province

Minya Province of Modern Egypt

There is a total of twenty-seven administrative provinces in modern day Egypt. Minya province is one of them. It belongs to the Upper Egypt region. The main city of this province, Minya is located approximately 245 km south of Cairo, on the western bank of the River Nile.

Origin of the name ‘Minya’

The name of this province comes from an ancient Egyptian name of ‘Men’at Khufu’. It means the nursing city of the Khufu. So it indicates a link to the pharaoh Khufu. Thus this region bears great importance. As Khufu built one of the Great Pyramids of Giza.

The present discovery

According to Egypt’s Ministry of Antiquities, this discovery is the outcome of the collaborative archaeological mission of the Ministry of Antiquities and Research Centre for Archaeological Studies of Minya University. This discovery took place at the archaeological site of Tuna El-Gebel. This site belongs to the Ptolemaic era.

area of the discovery

The burials and the mummies

The archaeological mission has unearthed a collection of burial chambers. They also uncovered a total number of fifty mummies from this site. So, this discovery has given the year of 2019 a fresh starting of Egypt’s archaeology. There is a total number of 12 mummies of children.

mummies from the site

Nature of the discovery

It is a burial site. According to experts, this may belong to an elite middle-class family. Because the nature of the burials and grave goods indicate this assumption. All the mummies were found in four burial chambers nine meters deep in the site.

According to Mostafa Waziri, secretary-general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, archaeologists could not found the actual identity of the mummies till now as no names written in hieroglyphics were found.

The condition of the mummies

Some mummies were found in wooden sarcophagi or stone coffins while others in linen. In ancient Egypt, ordinary people used a script. It was ‘demotic script’. This discovery has yielded the evidence of that demotic script as some of the mummies had a decoration of this script. So, this discovery might be helpful in the study of linguistics of ancient Egypt also.

mummies remain

Further studies

This type of rich site has the potentiality to reshape Egypt’s ancient history. The experts will study the pottery sherds and papyrus found in the site. The DNA experts will the DNA of the mummies. Thus more information will come to be known soon. This will definitely help in the proper and unbiased interpretation of this site.