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Posted on Tuesday, April 28 - 2009

" Copyright Yahoo! NewsArchaeologists have unearthed a cache of pharaonic-era mummies in brightly painted wooden coffins near Egypt's little-known Lahun pyramid, the site head said on Sunday. The mummies were the first to be found in the sand-covered desert rock surrounding the mud-bric..."

An Egyptian worker brushes dust off a wooden coffin containing a linen-wrapped mummy covered in cartonnage near the Illahun Pyramid in Faiyum, 130 km (80 miles) southwest of Cairo.

Copyright Yahoo! News

Archaeologists have unearthed a cache of pharaonic-era mummies in brightly painted wooden coffins near Egypt's little-known Lahun pyramid, the site head said on Sunday. The mummies were the first to be found in the sand-covered desert rock surrounding the mud-brick Lahun pyramid, believed to be built by the 12th dynasty pharaoh Senusret II, who ruled 4,000 years ago. The team expects to announce more finds soon.The site was first excavated more than a centuryago. "The tombs were cut on the rock itself, and they vary in architectural designs," said archaeologist Abdul Rahman Al-Ayedi, head of excavations at the site.

"Most of the mummies we discovered were with these bright and beautiful colors."At the site, bare skulls from some of the mummies sit on a hillside while workers gently brush away sand from coffins below the earth that bear images of their occupants, some painted in striking hues of green, red and white. Ayedi said the dozens of tombs dotting the site near Fayoum, 60 km (35 miles) south of Cairo, could give insight into the development of Egyptian funerary architecture and traditions from the Middle Pharaonic Kingdom all the way to the Roman era. Some of the tombs were built on top of graves from earlier eras, and Ayedisaid archaeologists had found dozens of mummies, including around 30 that were well-preserved. Some were inscribed with prayers intended to help the deceased.

Site may date to earlier era Ayedi said Egypt would soon announce an additional significant find near the Lahun pyramid, once covered by slabs of white limestone, showing the site could date back to an earlier era thousands of years before previously thought. "The prevailing idea was that this site has been established by Senusret II, the fourth king of the 12th dynasty. But in light of our discovery, I think we are going to change this theory, and soon we will announce another discovery," he told reporters. He said teams had made a discovery dating to before the 12th dynasty, but gave no details on what it was andsaid an official announce......


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