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Egypt discovers new necropolis with as many as 30 intact mummies near the city of Minya

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Cairo, May 14, 2017: Egypt’s antiquities ministry said that it has found a necropolis with as many as 30 intact mummies near the city of Minya, the first such find in the area, the media reported.

The discovery was made in the village of Tuna al-Gabal, a vast archaeological site on the edge of the western desert. The area hosts necropolises mainly for animals and birds, The Telegraph reported on Saturday.

The ministry said they belonged to the Late Period, which spanned almost 300 years up to Alexander the Great’s conquest of Egypt in 332 B.C.

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But a spokeswoman said they could also date from the Ptolemaic Dynasty, founded by Alexander the Great’s general Ptolemy.

Archeologists believe that it is the first time to unearth a burial tomb with that number of mummies for ordinary people and in catacombs style.

Inside the catacomb, Khaled Anani, Egypt’s Minister of Antiquities referred to the gaps inside the catacombs saying “The more we drill the more we find”.

Four wells of eight metres deep were unearthed, which lead to catacombs where mummies of men, women and children are laid in good shape, reports The Telegraph.

In one chamber inside the tunnels, human bones and skulls are piled. Most of the mummies were laid in lines in both of its sides.

While some them were left in plain stone and wooden sarcophagi, others were piled on top of each other.

“The excavation did not end yet, it’s in the beginning” Anani said, adding that archaeologists expected to find many more.

The site is close to an ancient animal cemetery. (IANS)

 

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Water-Borne Illness Increases Sharply in Iraq

Iraq's individual provinces have been fighting for water, amid a general shortage.

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Water crisis
A girl drinks water in the street outside her tent at a camp for internally displaced people in western Baghdad, Iraq. VOA

Iraqi health officials say that a health crisis stemming from water pollution and a shortage of clean drinking water has worsened in recent days, as hospitals in the southern port city of Basra treat more than 1,000 cases of intestinal infections on a daily basis. The problem was exacerbated several months ago when Turkey cut back on water distributed to the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers.

A crowd of young men took to the streets on in the southern port city of Basra Tuesday, demanding the central government and Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi increase the quantity of clean drinking water allotted to their province, otherwise it’ll lead to a health crisis. Abadi vowed to increase spending on infrastructure for the province during a visit to Basra in July.

A young man, whose friend was killed during a rally several weeks ago, broke down and sobbed over the protesters’ inability to force Iraqi leaders to improve the condition of public services in Basra, especially the region’s worn-out water infrastructure and insufficient quantities of drinking water allotted by the central government.

Some health officials in Basra warn that a cholera outbreak is possible due to water pollution and water-borne parasites that have made thousands of people sick in recent days. The director general of the Basra Health department, Riad Abdul Amir, told Al Hurra TV the situation continues to worsen.

He says more than 17,500 cases of intestinal ailments, resulting from contaminated drinking water, have been treated by Basra hospitals during the past two weeks, alone.

 

egypt. health crisis
The water network in Basra hasn’t been updated in at least 30 years. Pixabay

 

Abdul Amir says the problem stems from insufficient fresh water supplies coming into the city via canals and water pipes from the north.

“Salty water [which has infiltrated the water network],” he asserts, “is known to reduce the efficacy of chlorine used to treat and kill bacteria in drinking water,” he said.

Safaa Kazem, a docotor who has been treating dozens of cases of intestinal problems and diarrhea in Basra’s Sadr Teaching Hospital each day, says water from the city’s supply is not safe to drink.

She says the degree of water sterilization is minimal and that Basra’s water is very salty and has an extremely high level of microbes in it, along with a high degree of chemical pollution.

Basra Governor Assad al Edani told Al Hurra TV that his province has been suffering from numerous infrastructure problems for a long time.

He says the water network in Basra hasn’t been updated in at least 30 years and the old pipes often break, mixing drinking water with sewage.

water, health crisis
The degree of water sterilization is minimal. VOA

Edani says “not enough fresh water is arriving via the region’s only canal from Thi Qar province to the north.” He thinks a “strong current of fresh water will flush out salty water seeping into the water network from the sea.”

Also Read: Iraq Lifts Ban On International Flights to Kurdish Airports

Edani adds that the population of Basra has “more than doubled since the water network was last updated in the early 1990s.”

Iraq’s individual provinces have been fighting for water, amid a general shortage, since Turkey in early June severely curtailed the number of cubic meters of water it funnels into both the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. (VOA)