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Egypt unearths 8 mummies in 3,500-year-old tombs

By Sarah Sirgany and Eric Levenson CNN

CAIRO (CNN) -- Egyptian officials unearthed eight mummies, 10 colorful sarcophagi and numerous figurines in 3,500-year-old tombs, the Ministry of Antiquities announced Tuesday.

An Egyptian archaeological mission found the tombs in the Draa Abul Nagaa necropolis near Luxor in southern Egypt. The main T-shaped tomb belonged to a city judge named Userhat and is typical of New Kingdom noblemen tombs, the ministry said in a statement.

The mission removed 450 cubic meters of debris, revealing the entrance of the main tomb and the two joint tombs.

Excavation work is in full swing "to reveal the secrets of these two tombs," the ministry added.

The inner chamber of the main tomb houses a collection of sarcophagi from the 21st Dynasty and mummies wrapped in linen, according to the ministry. The sarcophagi are in good condition, it added.

The archaeologists also discovered ushabti funerary figurines made of faience, terra cotta and wood as well as a collection of clay pots, the ministry said.

In another room, the mission found "a collection of ushabti figurines, wooden masks and a handle of a sarcophagus lid was unearthed," the statement said.

CNN's Sarah Sirgany reported from Cairo, while Eric Levenson wrote from New York.

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