Members of an excavation team work near the remains of an ancient sarcophagus base at the site of an ancient pyramid in Saqqara in the southern outskirts of modern Cairo on June 5, 2008.
The Egyptian Supreme Council of Antiquities on Sunday, May 23, 2010, shows a painted wooden sarcophagus discovered in Lahoun, near Fayoum, some 70 miles (100 kilometers) south of Cairo, in Egypt.
The Supreme Council of Antiquities says archeologists have unearthed 57 ancient Egyptian tombs, most of them containing a painted wooden sarcophagus with a mummy inside, with the oldest tombs dating back to around 2750 B.C. and twelve of the tombs belonging to the 18th dynasty which ruled Egypt during the second millennium B.C. (AP Photo/Supreme Council of Antiquities)
CAIRO — Archeologists have unearthed 57 ancient Egyptian tombs, most of them containing a painted wooden sarcophagus with a mummy inside.
The Supreme Council of Antiquities says the oldest tombs date back to around 2750 B.C. Twelve of the tombs belong the 18th dynasty which ruled Egypt during the second millennium B.C.
It says the discovery throws new light on Egypt's ancient religions.
Council chief Zahi Hawass says the mummies are covered in linen decorated with religious texts from the Book of the Dead and scenes featuring ancient Egyptian deities.
The council said in a statement Sunday the findings were unearthed at Lahoun, in Fayoum, some 70 miles (100 kilometers) south of Cairo.
Last year, some 53 stone tombs dating back to various ancient periods were found in the area.
The Associated Press: 57 ancient tombs with mummies unearthed in Egypt