Excavation work in Egypt’s Nile Delta region has unearthed 110 ancient tombs containing the remains of adults and children, pottery, and funerary equipment.
The finds span from the Predynastic Period (c. 3300 BC) to the rule of the Hyksos civilisation (1782-1570 BC).
The tombs were unearthed during an excavation headed by Dr Sayed Al-Talhawi at the Kom al-Khaljan site in Daqahliya province, northern Egypt.
According to Egypt’s Ministry of Antiquities, 68 of the 110 tombs date back to the Predynastic civilisation of Bhutto 1 and Bhutto 2 in Lower Egypt, which lasted from c. 6000-3300 BC.
Dr Ayman Ashmawi, head of the Egyptian antiquities sector at the Supreme Council of Antiquities, said that the 68 burials are oval-shaped, and carved into a sandy layer. The deceased were interred on their left side, in a squatting position, with their heads facing westward. A Bhutto 2 period pot containing the remains of an infant was also found.
Archaeologists discovered a further five oval-shaped tombs carved into the sandy layer, dating to the Naqada III Period (c. 3200-3000 BC) – a cultural phase during the political unification of Upper and Lower Egypt.
Dr Ayman Ashmawi said that the sides, roof, and bottom of two of the tombs were covered in a layer of clay. An array of funerary furniture, including cylindrical and triangular vessels, and a kohl plate decorated with geometric designs, was recovered from the pits.
The excavation also unearthed 37 tombs dating to the Second Intermediate Period (c. 1782-1570 BC), when the Hyksos, a people who originated in Asia, controlled northern Egypt.
Dr Nadia Khader, head of the Central Department of the Maritime Face of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, reported that 31 of these burials are rectangular in shape with a depth ranging between 20cm and 85cm. These individuals were interred in an extended position, with their head facing upwards.
An infant buried in a large pot was also discovered, as were two brick tombs, and a wealth of funerary goods including silver rings deposited in a small black vase.
Among the significant finds were a collection of ovens, stoves, earrings, and amulets set with semi-precious stones.
Dr Mustafa Waziri, Secretary General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, added that the discovery is an important historical and archaeological addition to the site.