Egypt Unveils Further 100 Ancient Coffins Buried More Than 2,500 Years Ago
100 ancient coffins were revealed in Egypt this weekend, some with mummies inside. They are the largest discovery this year in the vast burial ground of the Saqqara necropolis.
On November 14th, Egyptian antiquities officials said the finely-painted coffins are of a higher quality than previous finds at the site, suggesting they belonged to higher-ranking families.
Last month, archaeologists faced backlash when they opened 59 coffins discovered at the same site in August. Archaeologists were particularly intrigued by studies that suggested the coffins hadn’t been opened since they were buried.
However, many felt unsealing of the coffins to be deeply disrespectful to the deceased and to the religious beliefs they once held in life, Reuters reports.
Despite this, archaeologists have since opened one of the coffins from Egypt’s latest find and carried out X-rays on the ancient mummy inside in order to understand how the body had been preserved.
Alongside the coffins, which were found ‘sealed and well-preserved’, archaeologists also discovered 40 gilded statues. The tourism and antiquities minister, Khaled el-Anany, said that the items date as far back as about 320BC.
Mostafa Wazri, the secretary-general of the supreme council of antiquities, said the coffins and the associated mummies and artefacts will go on display at the Grand Egyptian Museum near the Giza pyramids, which is expected to open in 2021.
For now, they have been put on display in a makeshift exhibit by the Step Pyramid of Djoser in the Saqqara.
Wazri said another discovery at the Saqqara would also be revealed later this year, adding other ‘shafts full of coffins, well-gilded, well-painted, well-decorated’ were also found.
The Saqqara is believed to have previously served as the necropolis for Memphis, the former capital of ancient Egypt. The ruins of Memphis were designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in the 1970s.
If you have a story you want to tell, send it to UNILAD via [email protected]
Most Read StoriesMost Read