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Egypt unearths 'new royal tomb' in Luxor

January 14, 2023

A tomb believed to date back some 3,400 years ago, to the same dynasty of the boy king Tutankhamun, was discovered in Egypt. It was badly worn by flooding in ancient times.

The entrance of a newly-discovered tomb in Egypt's southern province of Luxor.
Egypt has unearthed a royal tomb in Luxor which could date back to 3400 yearsImage: Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities/AFP

Egypt's Tourism Ministry announced on Saturday the discovery of a royal tomb in the West Bank of Luxor, where many ancient Egyptian royal tombs are found.

The tomb was discovered by a joint Egyptian-British team conducting an excavation mission in the Valley of the Kings and Queens in the West Bank in southern Egypt.

The bank is where the iconic tomb of Tutankhamun was discovered over a century ago.

Tutankhamun's tomb discovered 100 years ago

What do we know about the tomb?

Mostafa Waziri, the secretary-general of Egypt's Supreme Council of Antiquities, called the discovery very important. He added that initial investigations estimate that it dates back to ancient Egypt's 18th dynasty. Known as the Thutmosid Dynasty, it spans the period between 1550/1549 BCE to 1292 BCE and is the same dynasty when the boy king, Tutankhamun, very briefly ruled.

Mission Director Piers Litherland said the tomb could belong to a queen or princess from that dynasty.

More information regarding the tomb and its history will be known after the discovery is "archaeologically documented," Waziri added.

Another Egyptian archaeological official, Valley Director Mohsen Kamel, said the tomb was badly preserved due to floods that date back to ancient times. The floods submerged the rooms of the tomb with significant amounts of sand and limestone, which badly wore out many of its inscriptions.

Archaeologists working on the site of a newly-discovered tomb in Egypt's southern province of Luxor.
The tomb's inscriptions were badly worn by floods which happened thousands of years agoImage: Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities/AFP

In recent years, Egypt has uncovered several discoveries that date back to the era of ancient Egypt in an effort to breathe life into its vital tourism sector.

Tourism is a prime source of revenue in the country that could pump much-needed hard currency in turbulent economic times. 

But the sector has sharply deteriorated in recent years, with the COVID-19 pandemic and then Russia's war on Ukraine negatively impacting the number of tourists flying to Egypt.

rmt/sms (AP, AFP)