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Photos: Two ancient Egyptian tombs were just opened in Luxor

epaselect epa06378795 Egyptians archaeologists work on restoring a mummy at a recently found tomb and re-discovery of an older one, at Draa Abul Naga necropolis on Luxor?s west bank, 700km south of Cairo, Egypt, 09 December 2017. Egypt's Ministry of Antiquities announced the discovery of a tomb from the New Kingdom that belongs to the old Egyptian deity Amun's Goldsmith, Amenemhat (tomb number Kampp 390) and a burial shaft housing the mummy of a lady and her two children. The newly discovered tomb includes an entrance located in the courtyard of another Middle Kingdom tomb number Kampp 150. EPA-EFE/KHALED ELFIQI
EPA-EFE/Khaled Elfiqie
Egypt is hopeful that the newly opened tombs and the items in them, like this mummy, will bring the tourists flocking back.
By Marc Bain
Published Last updated This article is more than 2 years old.

Egypt is hoping to give tourists a new reason to come visit.

For the first time, the country has opened up two small tombs, believed to be about 3,500 years old, in the Nile city of Luxor. Archaeologists displayed artifacts from one of the tombs, including a mummy who was most likely an ancient Egyptian official, wooden funerary masks, small statues, and elaborate wall paintings.

The tombs are in the Draa Abul Naga necropolis, which is known for its temples and burial grounds. They were discovered in the 1990s, according to the BBC, but kept sealed until recently. One has not even been fully excavated yet.

The Egyptian government announced today (Dec. 9) that it finally opened them in order to promote tourism. For decades the country was a top destination for travelers visiting North Africa. But since its 2011 uprising, the country has struggled with terrorist attacks and political turmoil that have kept tourists away from its ancient sites. It has launched different programs in an effort to revive its tourism industry, which it believes could soon return to pre-2011 levels.

“It’s truly an exceptional day,” Egypt’s antiquities minister, Khaled al-Anani, said at an event. “The 18th-dynasty private tombs were already known. But it’s the first time to enter inside the two tombs.”

Here’s a look at some of the items the country hopes will draw foreigners back to its shores.

EPA-EFE/Khaled Elfiqi
An Egyptian archaeologist works on restoring masks found in the tomb.
EPA-EFE/Khaled Elfiqi
A guard poses beside an elaborately decorated wall.
EPA-EFE/Khaled Elfiqi
Skulls and bones of ancient Egyptians.
EPA-EFE/Khaled Elfiqi
Archaeologists work on a wooden sarcophagus cover.
EPA-EFE/Khaled Elfiqi
Painted masks on display.
EPA-EFE/Khaled Elfiqi
Miniature statues found in the tombs.
EPA-EFE/Khaled Elfiqi
A statue of a queen displayed in the newly opened tomb.

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