The Egyptian Archaeological Mission, working at the Gerza Collection in Faiyum, managed to unearth a huge burial structure from the Ptolemaic and Roman era during the mission’s tenth excavation season this month.
Dr. Mostafa Waziri, General Secretary of the High Council of Antiquities, explained that what was found at the site illustrates the diversity and difference in accuracy and quality of the embalming process during the Ptolemaic and Roman eras, indicating the economic level of the deceased, ranging from quality embalming to simple graves, noting that the find also on a rare terracotta statue of the goddess Isis Aphrodite in one of the burials inside a wooden coffin, in addition to a group of papyrus inscriptions written on it in Demotic and Greek script, indicating the social, economic and religious conditions of the inhabitants of the region at that time period.
Dr. Adel Okasha, head of the Central Department of Egyptian Antiquities in Central Egypt, pointed out that the discovered building is a huge building built in the style of burial houses, with a floor made of colored lime mortar and decorated with interchangeable tiles. On the south side, it is preceded by a column barn, inside of which the remains of four columns were found, as well as an exit to its own narrow street.
He added that given the many and varied artifacts that have been unearthed and recorded by the Egyptian mission, the mummy portraits, or what are known as the Fayoum portraits, are among the most important archaeological discoveries that have been discovered during the current season. The discovered models are the first models that have been found since the last discovery. Portraits found by the English archaeologist Flinders Petrie over 115 years ago.
For its part, Dr. Basem Jihad, head of the central training unit and head of the mission, said the mission also found a number of coffins of different styles, some in human form and others in Greek style. form with a gable roof.
He noted that the Egyptian Archaeological Mission began excavations at the Gerza site in 2016, during which time they managed to discover many stationary and moving archaeological finds, reflecting the main features of this outstanding site, which were presented in many tombs, reflecting both the architectural development from the third century BC to the end of the third century AD, as well as a mixture of architecture and artifacts between ancient Egyptian and Greek civilizations. Among these models are 6 huge mud-brick tombs, which are mass graves in the catacomb style.
It is noteworthy that the village of Gerza, which in the Greek era was known as the village of Philadelphia, was founded in the third century BC as a central village as part of an agricultural reclamation project implemented by King Ptolemy II (Philadelphia) in the Faiyum region. , with the aim of providing sources of food for the Egyptian kingdom, as well as a village that included Egyptians and Greeks, which is reflected in cultural production.