Twenty tombs, over 2500 years old and from the Late Period, have been unearthed in Damietta, Egypt.
Some of the tombs were encased in mudbrick linings, while others were simply put in a dirt pit. Early dating of the tombs suggests that they belonged to the 26th dynasty, ranging between 664-525 BCE. The 26th Egyptian dynasty belonged to the Saite Period, which in turn marked the beginning of the Late Period of early Egyptian history.
Apart from the tombs, some gold fragments that once adorned the tombs – depicting Egyptian deities like Isis and Horus – were also discovered. Other objects found included funerary amulets, a headrest, and canopic jars representing the four sons of Horus. Many other statues representing Egyptian deities were also found.
Ayman Ashmawy (head of the antiquities council, Egypt) explained: “The architectural design of the tombs and items of pottery found inside them, had provided a good indication of their age”. Meanwhile, Mostafa Waziri (Secretary-General, Supreme Council of Antiquities, Egypt) applauded the discovery, saying: “It is a very important scientific and archaeological discovery as it will rewrite the history of Damietta.”
The discovery was made by archaeologists who were working at the Tell Ed-Deir. The Tell Ed-Deir is an archaeological site located in the Bekaa Valley in Lebanon. The site was first discovered in 2018, which led archaeologists to discover cylindrical mud brick coffins dating back to the Roman era. Subsequently, in 2019, Byzantine-era coins and ushabti statues from the 26th dynasty were also discovered.