Egypt Is Opening a 3,500-Year-Old Tomb to Promote Tourism

For the first time, archaeologists are opening up two small, previously unexplored tombs in the Nile city of Luxor. These tombs were discovered in the 1990s, but kept sealed until recently.

Now, the Egyptian government wants to showcase items from these tombs—one of which hasn’t been fully excavated—such as a mummy that is believed to be an ancient Egyptian official, ornate wall paintings, and statues. The tombs lie in the Draa Abul Naga necropolis, an area well-known for its temples and burial grounds.

An Egyptian harvest scene

The BBC reports:

The identity of the mummified body is not known but the ministry says there are two possibilities.

It could be a person named Djehuty Mes, whose name is engraved on one of the walls, or it could be a scribe called Maati whose name—and the name of his wife, Mehi—are written on funerary cones, officials said.

The other tomb was only recently “uncovered” and has not yet been fully excavated, the ministry said.

Since Egypt’s 2011 uprising, the country has struggled to keep its tourism industry as lively as it once was. The governments hope that efforts to display these private tombs will attract more visitors and revive interest in the region.