[VIDEO] Egypt reveals 59 ancient coffins in major archaeological find near Saqqara pyramids

Opening one of the decorated sarcophagi before the media on Saturday, the team disclosed mummified remains wrapped in burial cloth, which bore hieroglyphic inscriptions in bright colors.

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(Khaled DESOUKI / AFP)

Archaeologists in Egypt have publicized the discovery of 59 well-preserved and secured wooden coffins that were buried more than 2,500 years ago.

Opening one of the decorated sarcophagi before the media on Saturday, the team disclosed mummified remains wrapped in burial cloth, which bore hieroglyphic inscriptions in bright colors.

(Khaled DESOUKI / AFP)

The dramatic find was discovered south of Cairo in Saqqara’s sprawling burial ground, the necropolis of the historic Egyptian capital of Memphis, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

“We are pleased about this discovery,” said Mostafa Waziri, secretary-general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities.

(AP/Mahmoud Khaled)

Since the first 13 coffins’ discovery was revealed almost three weeks ago, more has been demonstrated in shafts at drops of up to 12 meters (40 feet).

An unknown number of other coffins may still lie buried there, Tourism & Antiquities Minister Khaled al-Anani hinted at the site, near the 4,700-year-old pyramid of Djoser.

(AP/Mahmoud Khaled)

The coffins, secured more than 2,500 years ago, date back to the Late Period of ancient Egypt, from about the seventh century BC, the minister added.

“I’ve witnessed the opening of one of the coffins; the mummy seems as if it was mummified yesterday,” al-Anani said.

(AP/Mahmoud Khaled)

In recent years, excavations in Saqqara have unearthed troves of artifacts and mummified snakes, birds, scarab beetles, and other animals.

The coffins’ discovery is the first big announcement since the outbreak of COVID-19 in Egypt, which led to the shutdown of museums and archaeological sites for approximately three months since late March.

Dozens of statues were also discovered in the area, including a bronze figurine depicting Nefertem, an ancient deity of the lotus blossom.

Preliminary studies revealed the sarcophagi likely belonged to priests, senior politicians, and essential figures in the ancient Egyptian civilization of the 26th dynasty, Al-Anani revealed.

All the coffins will be transported to the soon-to-be-opened Grand Egyptian Museum on the Giza Plateau, he added.

(AP/Mahmoud Khaled)

They would be placed adjacent to a hall hosting 32 other sealed sarcophagi for priests from the 22nd dynasty, located last year in Luxor city.

The Grand Egyptian Museum’s opening, which has been delayed various times, is planned for 2021.

The museum will host thousands of artifacts, spanning multiple eras of Egypt’s history, from the pre-dynastic to the Greco-Roman age.

(AP/Mahmoud Khaled)

Egypt hopes a flurry of archaeological discoveries in recent months.

The museum will boost its tourism sector, which has suffered various shocks since the 2011 Arab Spring uprisings, most recently the coronavirus pandemic.

Egypt reveals 59 ancient coffins found near Saqqara pyramids

Egypt reveals 59 ancient coffins found near Saqqara pyramids

Posted by Treasures of ancient Egypt on Sunday, October 4, 2020

What are your views on this? Share with us in the comments below.

  • So wonderful these coffins are preserved feel like visiting them.
    But COVID19. is a big problem to travel these days


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