Antiquities Minister Khaled el-Enany told reporters near the desert archaeological site that the discovery was "the first human necropolis found in central Egypt with so many mummies".
The discovery of the non-royal mummies is considered unprecedented because it is the first such find in the area, officials said at the site.
El-Kholi said the mummies were found in burial shafts along with a collection of eight limestone sarcophagi, two of which were carved in clay.
Newly discovered mummies are shown in their catacomb in the Touna el-Gabal district of the Minya province, in central Egypt, on Saturday.
That's likely why he saw this breaking news item about 17 mummies being unearthed in the Egyptian village of Tuna al-Gabal pop up and seized on the opportunity to crack a goofy-ass joke.
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The mummies have not yet been dated but are believed to date to Egypt's Greco-Roman period, a roughly 600-year span that followed the country's conquest by Alexander the Great in 332 BC, according to Mohamed Hamza, a Cairo University archaeology dean in charge of the excavations.
"We found catacombs containing a number of mummies", said Salah al-Kholi, a Cairo University Egyptology professor.
Egyptian authorities hope that new discoveries will improve the tourism image of the country and revive interest among travelers to avoid visiting Egypt after the 2011 uprising.
In March, pharaoh statues, dating back 3,700 years, were discovered in a muddy pit in a suburb of Cairo. No 2016 figure is yet available.