THE ANCIENT tomb of an Egyptian musician who was buried alongside 50 mummified pets has been discovered by archaeologists.
It was built for a man named Tutu and his wife, though their remains are mysteriously missing from the finely painted site.
Mummified shrew-mice found in the ancient tomb[/caption]
The couple died 2,500 years ago and clearly had a fondness for animals.
They were buried with around 50 mummified creatures, including mice, ibis and falcons, presumably as part of a lavish burial ceremony.
Paintings strewn across the tomb’s walls depict funeral processions and images of the owner working in the fields, as well as his family history written in hieroglyphics.
Mostafa Waziri, a top boss at Egypt’s Supreme Council of Antiquities, described the burial chamber as a “beautiful, colourful tomb”.
Mummified falcons and other bird species[/caption]
“The tomb is made up of a central lobby, and a burial room with two stone coffins. The lobby is divided in two”, he said.
“It shows images of the owner of the burial room, Tutu, giving and receiving gifts before different gods and goddesses”.
“We see the same thing for his wife, Ta-Shirit-Iziz, with the difference that (we see) verses from a book, the book of the afterlife,” he added.
The two bodies were not in their sarcophagi in the chamber.
However, their likeness was painted across the walls of the tomb, a common practice in ancient Egypt.
The woman, whose name is unknown, was presumably a musician as she’s portrayed playing a rattle-like instrument called a sistrum.
The burial chamber was found alongside seven others at an ancient cemetery south of Cairo.
They were discovered in the area last October, when authorities found smugglers digging illegally for artefacts.
Detailed paintings inside the tomb[/caption]
A well-preserved painting found by the team[/caption]
Three were opened during a live streamed event run by American channel Discovery on Sunday.
One contained the well-preserved mummy of a powerful priest, wrapped in linen and decorated with a golden figure depicting Isis, an ancient Egyptian goddess.
At the burial site in Minya province, the team also found a rare wax head. “I never discovered in the late period anything like this,” team member Zahi Hawass said.
Excavation at the ancient site is continuing.
“I really believe that this site needs excavation maybe for the coming 50 years,” Hawass told Reuters a day before the sarcophagi were opened. He expects more tombs to be found there.
In 1927, a huge limestone sarcophagus was found in the area and placed in the Egyptian Museum in Cairo, but the site was then forgotten, Hawass said.
But two years ago an unauthorised digger was found at the site and stopped, he said. That’s what alerted archaeologists and excavation began.
The dig uncovered scores of mummies inside other tombs[/caption]
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