Mummies Discovered In Egypt
- Archaeologists working in an oasis city in Egypt's western
desert have found 11 more mummies, including one of a
three-year-old boy whose gold mask portrays him crying,
"It is the first time a mask was
drawn with this rare expression, which indicates that
his parents (who were buried with him) died before him,"
the excavation leader, Zahi Hawas, said.
The mummies dating back 1,800 years were
discovered in tombs at the Greco-Roman-era necropolis
in the Bahariya oasis city of Bawiti, where 300 mummies
have been found since 1999. The area may contain 10,000
The newfound mummies, all belonging to
one family, are more important than those found previously
in Bawiti because the masks "depict the exact features
of the face," Hawas said.
One mask portrayed a woman with pink flesh
tones, a long nose, thin lips smacked with rouge, and
wide eyes set off by mascara.
The artwork "also shows the level of
wealth in the area which thrived on alcohol distilled from
dates," Hawas said.
In the vicinity, they also discovered the
tombs of the parents of the governor of the Bahariya oasis,
who were buried around 500 years before the Christian era
during the 26th Pharaonic dynasty, Hawas said.
Archeologists will open the coffin of the
father of the governor in a few days and continue the search
for other members of the family.
Last May, antiquities officials reported the
discovery of the tomb of the governor inside a humanoid stone
sarcophagus.According to inscriptions on the coffin, the governor
fulfilled several roles, including priest, for various pharaonic
The vast cemetery, spreading over two square
miles within the city of Bawiti, dates back to the Greco-Roman
era (330 BC to 400 AD) and is situated around 375 km southwest
The mummies were buried when the oasis was
home to 500,000 people, at a time when Egypt's population
was seven million, according to Hawas, who is the director
of antiquities at the Giza pyramids.