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Ancient Egyptian tomb found

CAIRO, Egypt -- Egyptian archaeologists have discovered a 2,500-year-old limestone tomb in a densely populated area of apartment blocks in Cairo.

"This is an amazing discovery because...between the houses of downtown Cairo in an area called Ain Shams...(we) have found this tomb," said Zahi Hawass, antiquities chief for the Giza Pyramids area, told Reuters on Sunday.

Inscriptions indicated the owner of the tomb might have worked with the royal palace, and Hawass said the tomb might have been for a family.

He added that authorities discovered the tomb, dated to the 26th Dynasty between 525 and 664 B.C., after the owner of the land applied for a building permit.

"The antiquities department inspectors came and they started digging and they found...this tomb," he said.

"It is about three metres underneath the ground. It is one tomb consisting of three burial chambers connected with a vault."

Hawass said sewage from the neighbourhood had damaged scenes in one of the burial chambers.

The other two had not yet been opened.

"We are now in the process of excavating the sand from inside and taking it out, and after that we will try to find out what's inside the other two burial chambers," Hawass said.

Earlier this month, archaeologists discovered the oldest known tomb of a pharaonic surgeon, dating back more than 4,000 years, buried in desert sands near Cairo.


• Egypt

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