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Last Updated: Thursday March 03 2005 17:36 GMT

Perfect mummy discovered in Egypt

The Egyptian mummy was discovered by accident
A mummy in near-perfect condition has been found hidden behind a secret door by a group of archaeologists in Egypt.

The Australian team was exploring a much older tomb, when they stumbled across the door concealed by a statue. They found the mummy and three coffins.

It's thought the mummy, which has been described as one of the best mummies ever preserved, is 2,500 years old.

"I believe this discovery can enrich us about two important periods in our history," one archaeologist said.

Expert Zahi Hawass said the mummy and coffins would tell them important information about the Old Kingdom, which dates back 4,200 years, and the 26th Dynasty, which goes back 2,500 years.

The mummy in its coffin
The mummy is covered with turquoise blue beads, which have usually deteriorated with age, and is wrapped in black cloth.

Experts don't know who the mummy is yet, but they think it belongs to a middle class official of the time.

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