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Archaeologists discover two ancient tombs in Egypt

Archaeologists in Egypt have discovered two ancient tombs in the southern city of Luxor.

The country's Antiquities Ministry said that one tomb has five entrances leading to a rectangular hall, and contains painted wooden funerary masks, clay vessels and a mummy wrapped in linen.

The other has a six-metre burial shaft leading to four side chambers, and contained fragments of wooden coffins and other artefacts.

Wall inscriptions suggest the tombs date to the 18th dynasty, pharaohs who ruled some 3,500 years ago.

Those buried in the tombs have yet to be identified.

The tombs, located on the west bank of the River Nile in a cemetery for noblemen and top officials, are the latest discovery in the city famed for its temples and tombs spanning different dynasties of ancient Egyptian history.

"It's truly an exceptional day," antiquities minister Khaled al-Anani said. "The 18th dynasty private tombs were already known. But it's the first time to enter inside the two tombs."

Mr al-Anani said the discoveries are part of the ministry's efforts to promote Egypt's vital tourism industry, partially driven by antiquities sightseeing, that was hit hard by extremist attacks and political turmoil following the 2011 uprising.

The Antiquities Ministry has made a string of discoveries since the beginning of 2017 in several provinces across Egypt - including the tomb of a royal goldsmith in the same area and belonging to the same dynasty, whose work was dedicated to the ancient Egyptian god Amun.

AP

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