Archaeologists uncover Egyptian tombs dating back 4,500 years

The cemetery houses burial shafts and tombs of top officials. Credit: AP

Egypt's Antiquities Ministry says archaeologists have uncovered part of an ancient cemetery near the country's famed pyramids on the Giza plateau just outside Cairo.

Mostafa Waziri, secretary general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, said the cemetery houses burial shafts and tombs of top officials and a fine limestone statue from the Old Kingdom's Fifth Dynasty (2465-2323 B.C.).

Two of the finds uncovered in the burial site at Giza. Credit: AP

Ashraf Mohi, the head of the Giza Plateau archaeological site, said scientists were aware that the cemetery had been reused extensively in the Late Period (664-332 B.C.).

Archaeologists found painted and decorated wooden anthropoid coffins, and wooden and clay funerary masks from that period.

The burial site and cemetery had been reused over the centuries. Credit: AP

Egypt has touted a series of archaeological finds recently, hoping such discoveries will spur tourism, which suffered a major setback during the unrest that followed the 2011 uprising.