"Such big number of discovered mummies revealed that there will be a large necropolis behind the shafts", the minister added.
It said in a statement that the cachette housed 17 non-royal mummies.
Egyptian archaeologists have discovered 17 mummies in catacombs in Minya province, south of Cairo, the antiquities ministry announced on Saturday.
The discovery was made in the village of Tuna el-Gabal, a vast archaeological site on the edge of the western desert.
The ministry said they belonged to the Late Period, which spanned nearly 300 years up to Alexander the Great's conquest of Egypt in 332 BC.
Animal and bird coffins were also found according to the ministry, but as of yet the mummies have not been dated. Given the subject matter - you know, just, like, a casual necropolis containing human remains and the first of its kind to be uncovered in the area - he just couldn't help himself to the one-liner that was practically offered up to him on a scarab-encrusted platter.
Chairman of Cairo University, Gaber Nassar, said "we will continue to fund the antiquities discoveries in Touna el-Gabal district, and turn it into an important center at the tourist map of Egypt".
Archaeologists across the country have excavated a slew of relics in recent months.
He said the papyri would be transferred to the Grand Egyptian Museum for restoration.
The 18th dynasty tomb, discovered in the Draa Abul Nagaa necropolis near the famed Valley of the Kings, belonged to a nobleman named Userhat who worked as the city judge. However, in 2011, there was an uprising that caused the country to fall into years of unrest, and the tourists stopped coming out of fear for their own safety.