A team of researchers led by Lund University has discovered 12 new tombs in Gebel el Silsila,  lactated 65 kilometers north of Aswan in Upper Egypt. The tombs date back to the 18th Dynasty or Thutmosid period.

The research team found crypts cut into the rock, rock-cut tombs with one or two chambers, niches that were probably used for offering as well as a tomb that contains many animal burials. The researchers also found some juvenal burials, some of which remain perfectly preserved.

The team determined that the archaeological material used to create the tombs and burials was material that was used during the time period after reigns of Thutmosis III and Amenhotep II. Apart from this, the research team also found many cultural artifacts like sandstone sarcophagi, painted cartonnage as well as sculptured pottery coffins, which were sometimes painted.


Skulls and bones. Credit: Lund University

The researchers add that they also discovered textile, organic wrapping and ceramic vessels. The mission also lead to the discovery of plates, scarabs, jewelry and amulets during the time period. The analysis reveals that the human remains were healthy individuals. Although they found fractures of the long bones, the researchers say that the remains do not indicate malnutrition and infection.

On the other hand, the fractures indicate that these humans could have worked in labor intensive environments. Interestingly, the injuries were already in the advanced stage of healing, which means that these people had good medical care even at this early time.

The discovery ultimately shows that Gebel el Silsila actually holds some mysteries, and probably hold more surprising findings, that changes how scientists look at it. The research team says they look forward to finding out this area’s function and the role it played during the New Kingdom. Last year, a team of archaeologists in Egypt has also located an ancient city that dates back 7,000 years ago. The place could have been resided by important Egyptian officials and tomb builders at the time.