Tuna Al-Gabal archaeological site, near Upper Egypt's El-Minya, buzzed Saturday with journalists who flocked in to catch a glimpse of a newly discovered cachette of mummies, dating from the Late Period.
Mohamed Hamza, director of excavations for Cairo University said the discovery was "important and unprecedented because it's the first human necropolis" to be found in the area.
Pointing to the edges of the necropolis where legs and feet of other mummies could be seen, the minister said that the find "will be much bigger", as work is now in only a preliminary stage.
The Touna el-Gabal site dates back to the Greco-Roman period between the third century BC and third century AD. Archaeologists also uncovered a golden sheet, two papyri covered in an ancient Egyptian script called Demotic, and several limestone and clay sarcophagi as well as several mummified animals.
"Antiquities are the soft power that distinguishes Egypt", said Khaled al-Anani.
"Antiquities are the soft power that distinguishes Egypt", Enany said.
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Millions of tourists visited Egypt every year to see its Giza Pyramids - the only surviving monument of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World - and its ancient pharaonic temples and relics.
Mummies lying in catacombs following their discovery in the Tuna el-Gabal district.
"2017 has been a historic year for archaeological discoveries".
The 18th dynasty tomb, discovered in the Draa Abul Nagaa necropolis near the famed Valley of the Kings, belonged to a nobleman named Userhat who worked as the city judge.
Animal and bird coffins were also found according to the ministry, but as of yet the mummies have not been dated.