The 2,500-year-old body was bound with linen stuck together with plaster in a brightly-coloured wooden sarcophagus. It was buried near a temple from the era of fourth-millennium warrior king Thutmose III and is thought to belong to the nobleman Amenrenef, who was “a servant of the royal household,” the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities said on Sunday.
The find was in a tomb probably dating from between 1075-664 BC, on the west bank of the Nile river near Luxor, long one of Egypt’s biggest tourist attractions because of the wealth of tombs and temples built by ancient pharaohs nearby.
The mummy was adorned with “many colourful decorations recalling religious symbols from ancient Egypt, such as the goddesses Isis and Nephtys displaying their wings, and the four sons of Horus,” Myriam Seco Alvarez, head of the Spanish excavation team, said in a statement.
The mummification process, in which the body is embalmed and wrapped and its organs are removed in order to preserve it, was thought to be important for the deceased on their journey in the afterlife. It is thought to date back as far as 4500 BC.
While the remains of ancient Egypt fascinate the world, Egypt's tourism industry has suffered greatly in the wake of the political instability and waves of violence that have plagued the country since autocrat Hosni Mubarak was overthrown in 2011.
AFP contributed to this report
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