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17 New Mummies Discovered In Ancient Egyptian Tomb [PHOTOS]

Egyptian archeologists discovered 17 new mummies in the central part of the country in one of the largest finds in recent history, the government announced Saturday.

The massive discovery came after Cairo University students reportedly found the site using radar in 2016. The mummies were found within a necropolis, which included mummified animals, tombs, and a funeral site. The necropolis was buried approximately 24 feet underground.

Egyptian officials believe the mummies are predominantly priests and former government officials who were important enough to receive such elaborate burials. The bodies are reportedly 1,500 years old, dating to the time of the Roman empire’s control over portions of Egypt.

There may be many more mummies to come, as officials believe up to 32 total may located within the tomb. “The more we drill the more we find,” Egypt’s Minister of Antiquities Khaled Anani told reporters Saturday. He continued, “The excavation did not end yet, it’s in the beginning.”

“It’s as if it’s a message from our ancestors who are lending us a hand to help bring tourists back,” he declared. Egypt’s economy has taken a major hit since the 2011 Arab spring uprising, significantly reducing tourism revenue. Tourism accounted for nearly 12 percent of Egypt’s economy in 2015 and even more in the preceding years.

“News of antiquities are the things that attract the world to Egypt,” Anani continued.

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