The Egyptian archaeological mission working in the collection of Gerza in Fayoum uncovered a huge funerary building from the Ptolemaic and Roman eras, in addition to several models of Fayoum portraits, during the tenth excavation season of the mission this month.
Dr. Mostafa Waziri, Secretary General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, explained that what was discovered at the site illustrates the diversity and difference in the accuracy and quality of the embalming process during the Ptolemaic and Roman eras, which indicates the economic level of the deceased, starting from high-quality embalming to simple burials, 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 records made of papyrus written on it inscriptions in the Demotic and Greek script indicating the social, economic and religious conditions of the inhabitants of the region during that period.
Dr. Adel Okasha, head of the Central Department of Egyptian Antiquities in Central Egypt, indicated that the discovered building is a huge building built in the style of funerary houses, with a floor made of colored lime mortar and decorated with interchangeable tiles. It is preceded from the southern side by a column shed, inside which were found the remains of four columns. The building also leads to a narrow street of its own.
He added that with the multiplicity and diversity of artifacts that were revealed and recorded by the Egyptian mission, the portraits of mummies, or what is known as Fayoum portraits, are among the most important archaeological discoveries that were found during the current season, as the discovered models are the first models that have been found since the last discovery. Portraits were found by the English archaeologist Flinders Petrie more than 115 years ago.
For his part, Dr. Basem Jihad, the supervisor of the central training unit and head of the mission, said that the mission also succeeded in uncovering several coffins of different styles, some of them in the human form and others in the Greek form with a gabled roof.
He pointed out that the Egyptian archaeological mission began excavation work at the Gerza site in 2016, during which time it succeeded in uncovering many fixed and movable archaeological finds, which represent the main features of this distinguished site, which were described in many tombs that reflect both the architectural development since The third century BC until the end of the third century AD, as well as the mixing in architecture and artifacts between the ancient Egyptian and Greek civilizations. Among these models are 6 monumental mud-brick tombs that represent mass graves in the Catacomb style.