Archaeologists uncover 4,500-year-old tombs in Egypt

Archaeologists uncover 4,500-year-old tombs in ancient Egyptian cemetery
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Archaeologists have uncovered a haul of artefacts, including limestone statues and mummified bodies, at a 4,500-year-old burial site near the Giza plateau.
Limestone statues and wooden tombs were found at the ancient site [AFP]

Archaeologists in Egypt have discovered an ancient cemetery near the Giza plateau near Cairo, the country's ministry of antiquities has said.

The 4,500-year-old burial ground reportedly contains painted wooden tombs and limestone statues, among other finds. 

Authorities said that the oldest discovered at the site is a limestone tomb dating back to Egypt's fifth dynasty.

One of the oldest tombs holds the remains of two individuals named "Behnui-Ka and "Nwi". According to inscriptions in the tomb, Behnui-Ka was a priest described as the "purifier of kings".

The tomb of Benhui-Ka also contains a limestone statue of himself, his wife and his son.

Egyptian authorities say the cemetary was re-used around 2,600 years ago. 

Authorities in Egypt hope new archaeological finds will help revive the country's struggling tourism industry, which has suffered due to the turmoil that followed the toppling of former dictator Hosni Mubarak in 2011.

According to official data, Egypt received 8.3 million visitors in 2017, a figure dwarfed by the 2010 pre-revolution figure of 14.7 million.