Sunday, 09 May, 2021


Egypt discovers 100 intact sarcophagi in largest find of 2020

Egypt unveils ancient coffins statues found in Saqqara Egypt unveils ancient coffins, statues found in Saqqara
Bennie Garza | 15 November, 2020, 09:23

Egyptian antiquities officials have announced the discovery of nearly 100 ancient coffins - some with mummies inside them - and around 40 golden statues in south Cairo. They were found in three burial shafts at depths of 12 metres (40 feet) in the sweeping Saqqara necropolis south of Cairo.

Egypt announced Saturday the discovery of an ancient treasure trove of more than a 100 intact sarcophagi, dating back more than 2,500 years ago, the largest such find this year.

Archaeologists discovered other "shafts full of coffins, well-gilded, well-painted, well-decorated", said Mostafa Waziri, secretary general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities.

The Saqqara site where the items were found is part of the necropolis at Egypt's ancient capital of Memphis, which were designated a Unesco World Heritage site in the 1970s.

They were found in a vast necropolis south of Cairo, and have now been opened for the first time since they were buried 2,500 years ago, after being unveiled on site.

Archaeologists opened one coffin to reveal a mummy wrapped in a burial shroud adorned with brightly colored hieroglyphic pictorials.

"It is a great discovery in 2020, but it is not the last one", said khaled El-Enany, the minister of tourism and antiquities.

Anani noted how archaeologists had found more than 40 statues of ancient Egyptian deities and funerary masks.

"Excavations are still underway".

"That is what we were expecting; the coffins were well-sealed, no chemical reaction, no air inside, nothing, that is why it is all in ideal condition of preservation", the secretary-general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, Mostafa Waziry, explained in the film. "It is absolutely attractive and wonderful", he added.

He disclosed that the collection will be put on show at the country's main art galleries, including the Grand Egyptian Museum being built next to the Giza pyramids.

They also carried out x-rays to visualise the structures of the ancient mummy, in turn showing how the body had been preserved.

Waziri explained that ancient Egyptians used to buy their coffins at this workshop.

This approach to announcing archaeological discoveries is required to rebuild the damaged tourism industry that all but collapsed after the 2011 popular uprising that toppled longtime autocrat Hosni Mubarak.

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