Sarcophagus dedicated to sky god among latest ancient Egypt trove

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Egypt’s antiquities ministry on Thursday unveiled the tombs of ancient high priests and a sarcophagus dedicated to the sky god Horus at an archaeological site in Minya governorate.

The mission found 16 tombs containing 20 sarcophagi, some engraved with hieroglyphics, at the Al-Ghoreifa site, about 300 kilometers (186 miles) south of Cairo.

The shared tombs were dedicated to high priests of the god Djehuty and senior officials, from the Late Period around 3,000 years ago, the ministry said.

They were from the 15th nome, an ancient Egyptian territorial division ruled over by a provincial governor.

One of the stone sarcophagi was dedicated to the god Horus, the son of Isis and Osiris, and features a depiction of the goddess Nut spreading her wings.

The ministry also unveiled 10,000 blue and green ushabti (funerary figurines), 700 amulets – including some made of pure gold – bearing scarab shapes, and one bearing the figure of a winged cobra.

Painted limestone canopic jars, which the ancient Egyptians used to store the entrails of their mummified dead, were also unearthed.

Egypt has in recent years sought to promote archaeological discoveries across the country in a bid to revive tourism, which took a hit from the turmoil that followed its 2011 uprising.