Egypt opens two ancient tombs for visitors in Luxor after restoration
Mortuary Temple of Queen Hatshepsut designed by Senemutat in Deir el Bahri near Luxor, Egypt. /VCG Photo

Mortuary Temple of Queen Hatshepsut designed by Senemutat in Deir el Bahri near Luxor, Egypt. /VCG Photo

The Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities announced on Sunday the opening of two ancient Egyptian tombs for visitors after their restoration on the Nile River's west bank of Upper Egypt's monument-rich province of Luxor.

Located on a hill at Draa Abu el-Naga necropolis, the two adjacent tombs date back to the 19th and 20th Dynasties of the New Kingdom of ancient Egypt, some 3,500 years ago.

The project, which took about three years, was carried out by a joint mission from the ministry's Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA) and the American Research Center in Egypt.

Egyptian Antiquities Minister Khaled al-Anany said that the opening of the two tombs is part of the ministry's "clear vision" to open more tourist attractions in Egypt.

SCA chief Mostafa Waziri explained that the first tomb, Theban Tomb 159, of the 19th Dynasty belonged to Raya, the fourth prophet of ancient Egyptian god Amun and his wife Mutemwia, while the 20th Dynasty's Theban Tomb 286 belonged to Niay, the "Scribe of the Table" of offerings to ancient gods.

"The two tombs are nearly 3,500 years old and they are in a very good condition of preservation after those couple of years of working, conservation, fixing of colors and removing of soot. Now we have them as a new tourist attraction added to the site of Draa Abu el-Naga," SCA chief said.

The cave-like tombs have Pharaonic drawings and engravings on the walls and the ceilings, with some missing parts due to erosion, but the work that has been done, such as the installation of wooden floors and the treatment of damaged parts of the walls, is expected to preserve them against any future damage.

Navigational infrastructure was also built in the site including a long stairway and pathway leading to the tombs on the hill.

Source(s): Xinhua News Agency