Egyptian archeologists have discovered a Pharaonic village and cemetery once used by officials tasked with building royal tombs.

The Antiquities Ministry said Wednesday that the find in the ancient city of Abydos dates back to the Early Dynastic Period, more than 4,500 years ago.

Hani Aboul-Azm, a ministry official, says around 15 large tombs have been found at the site, some 250 miles (390 kilometers) south of Cairo.