Assouan (Egypte): New Kingdom tombs discovered

Four rock-hewn New Kingdom tombs uncovered in Aswan may change the history of Elephantine Island

Nevine El-Aref  / Photos: Nevine El-Aref

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East Aswan inhabitants have accidentally stumbled upon what is believed to be a set of rock-hewn tombs on Elephantine Island, which displays a wide range of monuments from the prehistoric period to the Greco-Roman era.

Minister of Antiquities Mohamed Ibrahim told Ahram Online on Monday that early studies on the tombs' wall paintings reveal that they are dated to the New Kingdom era, which makes a very important discovery that may change the history of Elephantine Island.

Ali El-Asfar, head of the Ancient Egyptian Antiquities section, explains that the first tomb belongs to a top official in Elephantine named User who was a prince of Elephantine during the New Kingdom. 

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User’s tomb is well decorated with scenes depicting him in different positions with his family and deities. Among the distinguished wall paintings is a scene featuring the deceased wearing leopard fur along with five priests before an offering table, El-Asfar said.

Head of Aswan monuments Nasr Salama said that the second tomb belongs to Ba-Nefer, supervisor of the gods' priests of Elephantine. His tomb is also engraved with scenes depicting him in different positions with his family and deities. 

The third tomb belongs to the holder of the stamps of upper Egypt and Elephantine ruler Amenhotep, while the fourth one belongs to Elephantine ruler User Wadjat.

Salama told Ahram Online that the tomb of Amenhotep has a distinguished façade decorated with hieroglyphic texts without any scenes. Its inner walls are decorated with scenes depicting the deceased with his wife, the purification priest and the field scribe.

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Ibrahim said that these tombs are under restoration in order to open them to tourists.

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