A cemetery more than 2,000 years old containing over 40 mummies and a necklace with a "message from the afterlife" has been found in Egypt.
The ancient burial ground, found in Minya, south of Cairo, is expected to take five years to fully excavate, as it contains more than 40 sarcophagi, jewelry, pottery and a gold mask, according to the BBC.
Antiquities Minister Khaled al-Enany noted that the artifacts date to as early as 300 B.C.
"This is only the beginning of a new discovery," he said in comments obtained by the BBC. "We are very soon going to add a new archaeological attraction to Middle Egypt."
Mostafa Waziri, who is leading the archaeological mission, noted that eight tombs have already been found, but expects more to be unearthed as the dig goes on. He added that many of the tombs and artifacts belonged to priests of the ancient Egyptian god Thoth.
Waziri said the dig uncovered four mummies with well-preserved jars, containing lids that appear to look like the faces of the four sons of the god Horus.
"They still contain the mummified inner organs of the deceased. The jars are decorated with hieroglyphic texts showing the name and titles of their owner," Mr. Waziri said.
In addition, there was a necklace charm that read "Happy New Year" in hieroglyphics, something Waziri described as a "wonderful coincidence" and "a message sent to us from the afterlife."