Archaeologists Uncover 27 Coffins Buried For 2,500 Years In Egypt

by : Emily Brown on : 21 Sep 2020 08:16
Archaeologists Uncover 27 Coffins Buried For 2,500 Years In EgyptEgyptian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities

Archaeologists have uncovered a total of 27 sarcophagi buried deep in a well in Egypt, marking one of the biggest discoveries of its kind. 

For the past few weeks, archaeologists have been working at a sacred site in Saqqara, south of the capital, Cairo, where they found a burial shaft in a tomb complex home to thousands of coffins.


Earlier this month, Egypt’s Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities revealed researchers had found 13 sealed coffins in the shaft, but their continued efforts have uncovered more than a dozen other sarcophagi.

Coffins found in EgyptMinistry of Tourism and Antiquities/Facebook

Saqqara is believed to have previously served as the necropolis for Memphis, which was once the capital of ancient Egypt. It was an active burial ground for more than 3,000 years and is also home to the colossal, rectangular-based Step Pyramid of Djoser. The area is now a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The newly discovered coffins are believed to have been placed in the ground 2,500 years ago, though images shared by the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities show they have been incredibly well preserved.


Intricate paintings are still visible on the wood surface of the coffins, and other artefacts in the well further demonstrate good craftsmanship and colourful decoration.

In a statement on Saturday, September 19, Egypt’s antiquities ministry said all of the coffins found are completely closed, with initial studies suggesting they ‘haven’t been opened since they were buried.’

The burial shaft was found 11 metres (36 feet) below the ground, and after uncovering the initial 13 coffins it wasn’t long before archaeologists found the other 14. The statement added that Egypt’s Antiquities Minister Khaled al-Anani delayed announcing the find until he could visit the site himself.


The discovery was described as one of the ‘biggest and most important’ in recent years, and the largest find of ancient sarcophagi since the 19th century, Middle East Eye reports.

The minister thanked staff for working in difficult conditions down the well, where excavation work is still taking place as experts attempt to establish more details on the origins of the coffins.

Coffin found in EgyptMinistry of Tourism and Antiquities/Facebook

Archaeologists believe the 27 coffins are not the only ones in the shaft, with others ‘likely to be found’ in the sides of the well.


The ministry said it hoped to reveal ‘more secrets’ about the discovery and the history of the coffins at a press conference in the coming days.

Officials in Egypt have sought to promote archaeological discoveries across the country in a bid to entice tourists back to the area following the coronavirus pandemic.

If you have a story you want to tell, send it to UNILAD via [email protected]

Most Read StoriesMost Read


Trump Needs To Pay $570,000 Debt To El Paso Before He Tours Border, Judge Says

Emily Brown

Emily Brown first began delivering important news stories aged just 13, when she launched her career with a paper round. She graduated with a BA Hons in English Language in the Media from Lancaster University, and went on to become a freelance writer and blogger. Emily contributed to The Sunday Times Travel Magazine and Student Problems before becoming a journalist at UNILAD, where she works on breaking news as well as longer form features.

Topics: News, Archaeology, Egypt, Now, Saqqara


Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities/Facebook and 1 other
  1. Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities/Facebook


  2. Middle East Eye

    Egypt discovers 14 ancient coffins at Saqqara