Egypt on Saturday announced the discovery in the southern city of Luxor of a pharaonic tomb belonging to a royal goldsmith who lived more than 3,500 years ago during the reign of the 18th dynasty.
The tomb, located on the west bank of the river Nile in a cemetery for noblemen and top officials, is a relatively modest discovery, but one that authorities has announced with a great deal of fanfare in a bid to boost the country’s slowly recovering tourism industry.
“We want tomorrow’s newspapers to speak about Egypt and make people want to come to Egypt,” Antiquities Minister Khaled el-Anani told reporters.
El-Anani said the tomb was not in good condition, but it contains a statue of the goldsmith and his wife as well as a funerary mask. He said a shaft inside the tomb contained pottery as well as mummies and coffins belonging to ancient Egyptian people who lived during the 21st and 22nd dynasties.
The minister identified the goldsmith as Amunhat.
The tomb was discovered by Egyptian archeologists, something that a senior official at the Antiquities Ministry hailed as evidence of their growing professionalism and expertise.
“We used to escort foreign archeologists as observers, but that’s now in the past. We are the leaders now,” said Mustafa Waziri, Luxor’s chief archaeologist.