Archaeologists discover ancient mummies south of Cairo

CAIRO (AP) — Egypt says archaeologists have discovered eight limestone sarcophagi with mummies inside about 25 miles (40 kilometers) south of the capital Cairo.

The Antiquities Ministry said the mummies dating to the Late Period (664-332 B.C.) are covered with a layer of painted material called cartonnage in the form of a human.

The ministry said late Tuesday that the mummies were found in an area of King Amenemhat II’s pyramid in the Dahshur royal necropolis. The necropolis was the burial site for courtiers and high-ranking officials.

The area is home to what is considered to be some of the earliest pyramids, including Sneferu’s Bent Pyramid and the Red Pyramid.

Egypt hopes such discoveries will spur tourism, which is partially driven by antiquities sightseeing that was hit hard by political turmoil following the 2011 uprising.

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