Ancient Egyptian burial ground discovery among largest providing insight into the Middle Kingdom

Sarah Parcak co-led expedition that discovers more than 800 ancient burial tombs in one field season.

lisht streamInscribed Middle Kingdom block from the tomb of Intef, Lisht, Egypt, photo by Sarah ParcakOne of the largest sites of Middle Kingdom tombs in all of Egypt that dates back 4,000 years has been discovered in a single field season expedition co-led by Sarah Parcak, Ph.D., archaeology professor at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. The joint expedition between UAB and the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities revealed more than 800 Egyptian tombs at Lisht, an ancient burial ground.

“We were able to gain insight into ancient Egyptian life from the tombs based on artifacts we found,” said Parcak, a professor in the UAB College of Arts and Sciences. “The Middle Kingdoms artifacts were looted, much like other sites we have seen. However, we learned more about the underground network of tombs that connect individuals to the afterlife.”

The Lisht ancient burial ground is part of excavations documenting tombs and collecting images and GPS coordinates to assemble a database for the region. National Geographic partially funds the work led by Parcak for this database, which answers questions about ancient Egyptian life.

Parcak will be presented the 2018 Lowell Thomas award at a dinner in October at The Museum of Science in Boston, Massachusetts. The award recognizes Parcak’s groundbreaking discoveries as an Egyptologist, such as the Lisht ancient burial ground and others.