(CNN) – Like the legendary curse of the mummy, ancient Egypt refuses to stay buried in the past. Every so often it comes back to life — in the 1920s with the discovery of King Tut’s tomb; in the 1970s with the global tour of those golden masks; and most recently with a flurry of astonishing discoveries using 21st-century archaeological techniques.
During the past year alone, Egypt’s Ministry of Antiquities has announced the amazing discovery of:
• 4,400-year-old tomb at the Saqqara archaeological site
• Eight mummies from the Ptolemaic Dynasty (323-30 BC) — many of them encased in vividly painted coffins — at the Dahshur necropolis near Giza
• Stone sphinx at Kom Ombo, a riverside temple near Aswan dedicated to the crocodile god Sobek
• Surprisingly sophisticated 4,500-year-old ramp network at the Hatnub alabaster quarry in the Eastern Desert that may help solve ongoing questions about how the ancient Egyptians built the pyramids
• 3,200-year-old hunk of sheep and goat cheese in a tomb at Saqqara, the first-ever evidence that cheese was part of the ancient Egyptian diet
• World’s oldest tattoos — a bull, a sheep and S-shaped patterns — on a pair of 5,000-year-old male and female mummies in a Nile Valley tomb between Luxor and Aswan
• Well-preserved female mummy — and around 1,000 ushabti statues representing servants who would attend to the deceased in the afterlife — in 17th Dynasty tomb near the Valley of Kings.