Mummies of cats, scarabs found in newly discovered Egyptian tombs

Mummies of cats, scarabs found in newly discovered Egyptian tombs

All these artifacts were found in seven tombs that have been discovered in the last six months on the outskirts of the complex of pyramid of Pharaoh Userkaf in the ancient necropolis of Saqqara, South of Cairo.

Mostafa Waziri told reporters Saturday that the discovery at Saqqara also includes mummies of scarabs, the first ever to be found in the area.

The team intend to explore inside in the coming weeks.

An Egyptian antiquities official said Saturday that archaeologists had discovered seven Pharaonic Age tombs near the capital city of Cairo, holding dozens of cat mummies and an array of wooden carvings depicting various other animals.

Egyptian archaeologists discovered dozens of cat mummies and wooden animal statues in a tomb.

Cats held a special place in Ancient Egypt and were mummified as religious offerings.

Tourism in Egypt suffered in the aftermath of the mass protests that toppled former president Hosni Mubarak in 2011.

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It is worth noting that the Ministry of Antiquities aims to intensify work in West Luxor in order to discover more ancient Egyptian treasures, and to supervise the restoration and maintenance works carried out in Luxor within the government's framework to turn Luxor and Aswan into modern touristic hubs, restoring their solid positions among the worldwide touristic resorts.

Two such mummies were found inside a rectangular limestone sarcophagus with a vaulted lid decorated with three scarabs painted in black, he said.

Over 200 mummies of cats, over 200 mummies of scarabs, as well as several mummies of cobras and alligators, have been found in the tombs.

"The (mummified) scarab is something really unique".

A collection of wooden gilded statues of a lion, a cow and a falcon was also unearthed at the Saqqara site.

"A couple of days ago, when we discovered those coffins, they were sealed coffins with drawings of scarabs", he added.

As archaeologists were preparing the site to present the latest discoveries, they found the sealed, intact door of a Fifth Dynasty tomb. "I never heard about them before".