THE top fragment of a sarcophagus at the site where 33 ancient tombs were found in Egypt’s southern city of Aswan.—AFP
THE top fragment of a sarcophagus at the site where 33 ancient tombs were found in Egypt’s southern city of Aswan.—AFP

CAIRO: A new discovery of 33 ancient tombs in Egypt’s southern city of Aswan could reveal “new information on diseases” prevalent at the time, the tourism and antiquities ministry said on Monday.

The tombs date back to the Ancient Egyptian Late Period and the Greco-Roman Periods, which collectively lasted from the seventh century BC until around the fourth century AD.

The burials were found by a joint Egyptian-Italian archaeological mission.

Ayman Ashmawy, who heads the Supreme Council of Antiquities’ Egyptian Antiquities Division, said studies of the mummies “indicate that 30 to 40 per cent of those buried died in their youth, as newborns or as adolescents”.

Patrizia Piacentini, professor of Egyptology and archaeology at the University of Milan, headed the Italian side of the mission. She said preliminary studies on the remains showed that “some suffered from infectious diseases, while others had bone disorders”. The remains of several adult women showed signs of pelvic bone trauma.

Published in Dawn, June 25th, 2024

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