Researchers have spotted over 50 mummified mice, cats and, falcons as they unearthed a perfectly well-preserved ancient tomb from the early Ptolemaic period in the town of Sohag, situated in a desert about  390 km south of Cairo and dubbed by authorities as “one of the most historically rich places in Egypt”.

Along with the animal and bird mummies there could be seen those of a woman, aged between 35 and 50, and a boy of 12-14 years of age, placed outside the shallow burial place dating back to the period before the Roman conquest in 30 BC.

He referred to the over 2,000-year-old artefact as “a beautiful and colourful tomb”, noting that the chamber is made up of a central lobby, and a burial room with two stone coffins.

Wazari went on to specify that the tomb, which is believed to have been built for a senior official named Tutu and his wife and is one of several discovered in the area last autumn, when authorities found smugglers digging illicitly for historic artefacts.

The tomb’s walls notably feature images of funeral processions and of the owner labouring in the fields, along with hieroglyphic inscriptions of his kinship genealogy.  A number of other artistic images depict scenes of Tutu “giving and receiving gifts before different gods and goddesses”.

“We see the same thing for his wife, Ta-Shirit-Iziz, with the difference that (we see) verses from a book, the book of the afterlife”, Wazari added.