57 tombs with mummies found in Egypt

Archaeologists say discovery throws new light on religion

Image: Painted wooden sarcophagus

Supreme Council of Antiquities / AP

This painted wooden sarcophagus was discovered in Lahoun, south of Cairo.

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updated 12:48 p.m. ET, Sun., May 23, 2010

CAIRO – Archaeologists have unearthed 57 ancient Egyptian tombs, most of which hold an ornately painted wooden sarcophagus with a mummy inside, Egypt’s Supreme Council of Antiquities said Sunday.

The oldest tombs date back to around 2750 B.C., during the period of Egypt’s first and second dynasties, the council said in a statement. Twelve of the tombs belong the 18th Dynasty, which ruled Egypt during the second millennium B.C. The 18th Dynasty includes such well-known pharaohs as Tutankhamun, Akhenaten and Queen Hatshepsut.

The discovery throws new light on Egypt’s ancient religions, the council said.

57 tombs with mummies found in Egypt – Science- msnbc.com