Dozens of Mummies in a Rock-cut Tomb at Aswan

Why Aswan is a famous city?

Aswan is a city in Egypt. It is the capital of the Aswan Governorate. It is located on the east bank of Nile in the southern part of Egypt. This city has a long history. Archaeologically, explorations and excavations at Aswan revealed significant evidence which helped to reconstruct the ancient history of this country. So, Aswan is archaeologically significant. Aswan is famous for another reason. It is the Aswan Dam. Because this dam plays a crucial role in the economy of Egypt presently. Aswan is also a busy market and tourist center.

The discovery of a tomb

In the month of April of 2019, archaeologists discovered a tomb. They found this tomb in the southern part of Aswan. The exact location of the tomb is near the mausoleum of Aga Khan in the west bank of Aswan. It represents a very special type as it is a rock-cut tomb. A joint collaborative team of Egyptian and Italian archaeologists conducted this discovery. Patrizia Piacentini led it.

the entrance of the rock-cut tomb at Aswan

Which time period the tomb belongs to?

The researchers examined and analyzed the tomb and its antiquities. This analysis pointed out the tomb to have belonged to a specific person. Some fragments from painted wood from coffins showcased the name of that person as ‘Tjit’. According to researchers, this person lived around the starting of the Graeco-Roman period. This period existed between approximately 332 BCE to 395 CE. According to the Egypt Ministry of Antiquities, Tjit was most probably the owner of this tomb.

What archaeologists discovered in the tomb?

Archaeologists discovered a number of mummies in the tomb. Besides this, they also found a number of grave goods. These included vases, coffin fragments, intricately decorated masks, cartonnage, and a statuette. They also found evidence of funerary trade.

The Mummies

There was a main big room in the tomb. Archaeologists discovered about 30 mummies in this room. These mummies included remains of several young children. These child remains were inserted into a recess on one side of the chamber.

Archaeologists recovered several other mummies from other parts of the tomb. Among them, two were concealed in a painted cartonnage. According to researchers, these mummies may refer to the bodies of a mother and her child.

Apart from this, the research team also uncovered four other mummies. They were in a structure. It contained several jars holding food. So, this is a great point which came up from this discovery. Because these mummies probably indicate the practice of burying child and mother together. The reason for their death could be any fatal decease. Further scientific investigations will throw light on this matter.

mummies recovered from the tomb

The evidence of funerary trade

The discovery of this tomb added extra chapters to the history of trade in ancient Egypt. Here the trade specifically refers to the funerary trade. A number of goods have been recovered by the archaeologists. These are a mummy-transporting stretcher made from palm wood and pieces of linen, several jars of bitumen, a lamp and a painted statuette of the Ba-bird; part-bird and part-human figurine depicting the ‚Äúsoul of the deceased” etc. So, from this point of view, this is an important discovery.

Ba-bird – part-bird and part-human figurine depicting the soul of the deceased

Cartonnage and funerary masks

Archaeologists discovered cartonnages and funerary masks in the tomb. Ancient Egyptians made these things from layers of papyrus and plaster. Then they decorated theses items with bold and colorful designs.