13 May, 2017
These 17 mummies are defined as non-royal, and the cemetery was described to be the first one in central Egypt which possessed so many mummies, Kohli elucidated at a conference which was held near the archaeological site - Touna el-Gabal - which is located in a desert.
Stone and clay sarcophagi, inscriptions and animal coffins as well as papyrus pieces written in the ancient Demotic language were also discovered in the 3-kilometre-long site.
The tomb in 2016 detected by the radar group of students of Cairo University.
The necropolis dates back to the pharaonic Late Kingdom and Greco-Roman periods, he said, adding that the find is still in a preliminary stage, and more mummies are expected to be discovered in the area.
Egyptian authorities hope that new discoveries will improve the tourism image of the country and revive interest among travelers to avoid visiting Egypt after the 2011 uprising. "It's as if it's a message from our ancestors who are lending us a hand to help bring tourists back", al-Enany said.
Egyptian Antiquities Minister Khaled el-Enany speaks to the media on Saturday in front of mummies following their discovery in catacombs in the Touna el-Gabal district of the Minya province, central Egypt.
Archaeologists across the country have excavated a slew of relics in recent months.
In April, the ministry invited reporters to the southern city of Luxor to unveil eight mummies discovered in a 3,500-year-old tomb belonging to a nobleman.
The tourism sector, a crucial source of hard currency, has struggled to regain ground amid a growing number of militant attacks, including two Islamic State church bombings last month.