Twenty Late-Period tombs have been unearthed by archaeologists working at Tel El-Deir in Damietta, Egypt.
Preliminary dating of the tombs, found amid an ancient cemetery, suggests they are from the 26th Dynasty, dating between 664 and 525 BCE. Also know as the Saite Period, this time marked the beginning of the Late Period in Ancient Egypt.
Some of the burials are encased with a mudbrick lining, while others are simple dirt pits.
“The architectural design of the tombs and items of pottery found inside them, had provided a good indication of their age,” explained Ayman Ashmawy, head of the council’s Egyptian antiquities sector.
A collection of gold fragments—depicting the deities Isis, Bastet, and Horus—that once covered the burials were unearthed at the site.
Additionally, funerary amulets in various shapes and sizes, as well as a headrest, were found. A number of canopic jars representing the four sons of Horus were identified, as well as a collection of statues representing the deities Isis, Neftis, and Djehuti.
“It is a very important scientific and archaeological discovery as it will rewrite the history of Damietta,” said Mostafa Waziri, Egypt’s secretary general of the supreme council of antiquities.
Previous excavations conducted in 2018 discovered a Roman stone sarcophagus, along with more than 700 amulets depicting Isis, Horus, and Taweret. In 2019, Byzantine-era coins and a group of ushabti statues from the 26th Dynasty were unearthed.