Ancient Egyptian mummies and statues more than 3,500 years old unearthed in Luxor

Brendan Cole

An Egyptian archaeological mission near Luxor has unearthed several mummies and hundreds of funerary statues more than three millennia old.

The relics came from a tomb that had been built for a nobleman called Userhat who was a judge during the New Kingdom period of between 1,500 BC to 1,000 BC.

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Head of the archaeological mission, Mostafa Waziri, said the tomb was built at a time when tomb robbing was prevalent and that another chamber was found containing the statues.

The tomb has an open court leading into a hall, a corridor and an inner chamber, with one room containing figurines, wooden masks and the handle of a sarcophagus lid.

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Waziri said the statues which depict kings from different dynasties were found in another chamber and the inhabitants of the tomb have died from an as yet unknown disease, the AFP reported.

It is the latest high profile discovery of antiquities in Egypt which is expected to boost the country's tourism sector recently hit by terrorism and extremism.

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Earlier this year, archaeologists discovered 12 ancient Egyptian cemeteries near Aswan.

Meanwhile in March, an eight-metre statue thought to be King Psammetich 1, who ruled from 664 to 610 BC, was unearthed in a Cairo slum.

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