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Tomb in Egypt: Sarcophagi have been buried for 2,500 years, found in Saqqara



Some of the coffins found at an ancient tomb in an Egyptian necropolis near Cairo, September 9, 2020.

image copyrightEPA

caption of the imageThirteen coffins were originally discovered earlier this month, but 14 more have been found

A total of 27 sarcophagi, buried more than 2,500 years ago, have been discovered by archaeologists in an ancient Egyptian necropolis.

They were found in a newly discovered well in a sacred place in Saqqara, south of the capital Cairo.

Thirteen coffins were discovered earlier this month, but 14 more followed, officials said.

The discovery is now considered by experts to be one of the largest of its kind.

Published images show color-painted well-preserved wooden coffins and other smaller artifacts.

Saqqara has been an active cemetery for more than 3,000 years and has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

image copyrightEPA
caption of the imageOne of the well-preserved coffins from the burial complex in the necropolis in Saqqara

“Initial investigations show that these coffins have been completely closed and have not been opened since they were buried,” an Egyptian ministry said in a statement on Saturday.

“More secrets”

The statement added that Egyptian Antiquities Minister Khaled al-Anani had initially postponed announcing the find until he was able to visit the site on his own, thanking staff for working in difficult conditions at a depth of 11 meters (36 feet).

image copyrightEPA

caption of the imageWorkers had to access the deep well through the shaft

Excavations are continuing at the site as experts try to establish more details about the origin of the coffins.

image copyrightEPA
caption of the imageExperts say the coffins have not been opened since they were buried

The ministry said it hoped to reveal “more secrets” at a press conference in the coming days.

image copyrightEgyptian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities

caption of the imageSome of the coffins were decorated with colorful ornate patterns

Other artifacts found around the wooden coffins also look well-crafted and colorfully decorated.

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image copyrightEgyptian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities

caption of the imageOne of the smaller artifacts found with the coffins in Saqqara, Egypt

In November, a large cache of mummified animals, discovered in 2018 by archaeologists near the Pyramid of Steps in Saqqara, was shown to the public for the first time.

The discovery includes mummified cats, crocodiles, cobras and birds.

media captionWatch footage of the mummified big cats on display

Saqqara, located about 30 km (18 miles) south of Cairo, is an ancient burial ground that served as the necropolis of Memphis, the capital of ancient Egypt, for more than two millennia.

In recent years, Egypt has stepped up its promotion of its archeological finds in an attempt to revive its vital but remarkable tourism industry.

Related topics

  • Archeology

  • Egypt

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