A very well preserved Coptic tombstone has been discovered during excavations in Luxor. The tombstone was discovered on the eastern side of the Sphinxes Avenue, under Al-Mathan Bridge.

The item, measuring 98x38cm is carved on limestone and bears a cross and Coptic texts. Specialists are not yet sure who was the deceased and what is the tombstone’s exact dating.

The announcement of the discovery was made by Mostafa Waziri, Secretary General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities.

The area where the item was discovered is going under works to become an open-air museum. The Sphinxes Avenue was the location for the procession of the Festival of Opet, with priests, royalty and the pious walking from Karnak Temple to Luxor Temple. It was built duirng the reign of Pharaoh Nectanebo, in the place of an earlier one constructed in the 18th Dynasty. It was 2,700 metres long and many of the sphinxes which decorated the sides of it have now been restored.

The discovery of the tombstone follows that of a wooden head discovered in the same area about a week ago, which is thought to have belonged to 6th Dynasty queen Ankhnespepy II.