Egypt's Antiquities Ministry has announced the discovery of an ancient necropolis near the Nile Valley city of Minya, south of Cairo.
The ministry said Saturday that the large cemetery is located north of Tuna al-Gabal area, a vast archaeological site on the edge of the western desert. It includes several burial shafts and hosts more than 1,000 statues and some 40 sarcophagi as well as other artifacts.
Antiquities Minister Khaled al-Anani said the necropolis is host to members of different families and is believed to date back to the pharaonic Late Period and the Ptolemaic era.
"We will need at least five years to work on the necropolis," he said. "This is only the beginning of a new discovery."
Excavation work in the area started late 2017.