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February 9, 2009

30 Mummies found in Egypt

RELIGION - Egyptian archaeologists have discovered 30 mummies inside a 4,600-year-old tomb, in the latest round of excavations at the vast necropolis of Saqqara 20 kilometres south of Cairo.

Egypt's chief archeologist, Zahi Hawas, says the new tomb was found Sunday at the bottom of an 11 metre deep well. Eight of the mummies were in sarcophagi and the rest had been placed in niches in the wall. Hawas described it as a "storeroom for mummies."

Assistant Abdel Hakim Karar says the use of such niches was rare during that period of time.

Excavations have been ongoing at Saqqara for 150 years, uncovering a vast cemetery dating mostly from the Old Kingdom, but including sites as recent as the Roman era.

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