updated 12/7/2004 3:59:43 PM ET 2004-12-07T20:59:43

Excavators discovered 20 gilded mummies in the Bahariya Oasis in western Egypt, the government's council of antiquities said Tuesday.

The find brings the total number of gilded mummies recovered in the 2,000-year-old cemetery to 234. The site, known as the Valley of the Golden Mummies, was discovered in 1996.

Zahi Hawass, head of antiquities council, said excavators also discovered the tomb of Badiherkhib, the grandson of former Bahariya Gov. Jed-Khunsu. Jed-Khunsu's tomb already has been found.

Fifty bronze coins were found with the mummies, the statement said. Survivors were believed to leave the money for the deceased to pay for the trip to the afterlife.

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