A series of Egyptian tombs dating back about 2,000 years, to the time when the Romans controlled Egypt, have been discovered at Bir esh-Shaghala in the Dakhla Oasis in Egypt, the Egyptian antiquities ministry announced. Five of the tombs were discovered recently, while eight others were found within the past six excavation seasons.
Some of the tombs were constructed using vaulted roofs.
Located in Egypt's western desert, about 217 miles (350 kilometers) to the west of Luxor, the Dakhla Oasis holds a vast amount of archaeological remains that date from prehistoric to modern times. During the time that the Romans controlled Egypt, a number of settlements flourished in the oasis.
A view inside the entranceway of one of the larger tombs.
A number of large jars were found in the newly discovered tombs. They may have held wine or olive oil as goods for the afterlife, but chemical tests of the jars' contents would need to be done to prove this.
Masks gilded with gold and worn by Egyptian mummies were found in some of the tombs. A fine example of one such mask is shown here.
A piece of pottery with ancient Egyptian writing on it. The text has not yet been deciphered.
Five of the tombs were discovered very recently, while eight others were found in the oasis within the last six excavation seasons. Some of the tomb remains are massive in size.
A view from inside a vaulted roof tomb. The hole was likely created by tomb robbers at some point in time.
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Owen Jarus is a regular contributor to Live Science who writes about archaeology and humans' past. He has also written for The Independent (UK), The Canadian Press (CP) and The Associated Press (AP), among others. Owen has a bachelor of arts degree from the University of Toronto and a journalism degree from Ryerson University.