MORE than 800 tombs have been discovered at an Ancient Egyptian burial site, it has been revealed.
“What we have at this site is one of the largest corpuses of Middle Kingdom tombs”
The site, near Al Ayyat, on the edge of the Sahara Desert had previously been left alone for about 4,000 years, until now.
Egyptologists believe it is one of the largest necropolis (city of the dead) dating back to the Middle Kingdom period of Egyptian history.
Inside the crypts there is enough space that experts believe it could have held thousands of corpses.
It is theorised that many were reused over generations and that members of the same family separated by hundreds of years could have been interred there.
Sarah Parcak, a University of Alabama at Birmingham professor, said: “What we have at this site is one of the largest corpuses of Middle Kingdom tombs in the entire country of Egypt.”
The period has become known for its impressive art and culture, which have now become symbolic for the civilisation.
But, little is known about tombs in the area is the majority of excavations being carried out were royal burial sites.
Kathryn Bard, an archaeologist at Boston University, said: “From this area, there aren’t very many tombs that are known, except for the royal tombs there.
“That’s why this cemetery is important.”
The discovery comes after a controversial theory claimed the Great Sphinx is 800,000 years old.
Most historians, however, believe the structure is about 4,500 years old.