Egypt has unearthed a more than 7,000-year-old city and cemetery dating back to its First Dynasty in the southern province of Sohag, its Antiquities Ministry said. This points to the fact the city was probably inhabited by senior officials who were responsible for building the cemeteries of the royal family in Abydos city.
UNSPECIFIED - FEBRUARY 22: Temple of Seti I, 1306-1290 bC, Abydos, Egypt Egyptian civilisation, New Kingdom, Dynasty XIX.
This recent finding could help aid in Egypt's troubling tourism industry, which has suffered a series of setbacks following the 2011 global incident whereby autocrat Hosni Mubarak was toppled, The Guardian reports. Its discovery may yield new insights into Abydos, one of the oldest cities in ancient Egypt, the ministry said in a statement on Wednesday.
"So, this appears to be the town, the capital at the very beginning of Egyptian history".
The discovery was made 400 metres from the temple of Seti I, dated about 1300BC, when Abydos was a bustling pilgrimage hub, burial place of the first kings and centre of the cult of Osiris, god of the underworld.
BBC Middle East analyst Alan Johnston says that the discovery of the ancient cemetery is important for modern archaeology as well as for Egypt's tourism.
Meanwhile, Central Administration of Upper Egypt Antiquities, Hany Aboul Azm, said that they have now discovered 15 ancient graves, which are made of mudbrick and are huge, signifying that these burial sites belong to people with influence and high social status in the community.
On top of that, the bombing of a Russian plane that carried 224 people from a Red Sea resort in October 2015 had only add more fuel into the already amplified problem.
Since then, a drop of 9.8 million in 2011 has been incurred. The first quarter of 2016 saw only 1.2 million visitors to the country, compared to the 2.2 million a year before.