Sun 15 November 2020:
Egyptian antiquities officials on Saturday announced the discovery of at least 100 ancient coffins, some with mummies inside, and around 40 gilded statues in a vast Pharaonic necropolis south of Cairo.
Colourful, sealed sarcophagi and statues that were buried more than 2,500 years ago were displayed on Saturday in a makeshift exhibit at the feet of the famed Step Pyramid of Djoser at Saqqara.
Tourism and Antiquities Minister Khaled El-Anany told a news conference that the discovered items date back to the Ptolemaic dynasty that ruled Egypt for some 300 years – from around 320 BC to about 30 BC, and the Late Period (664-332 BC).
The Saqqara site is part of the necropolis at Egypt’s ancient capital of Memphis that includes the famed Giza Pyramids, as well as smaller pyramids at Abu Sir, Dahshur and Abu Ruwaysh. The ruins of Memphis were designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in the 1970s.
“Saqqara has yet to reveal all of its contents. It is a treasure,” El-Anany said. “Excavations are still under way. Whenever we empty a burial shaft of sarcophagi, we find an entrance to another.”
The discovery at the famed necropolis is the latest in a series of archaeological finds in Egypt. Since September, antiquities authorities revealed at least 140 sealed sarcophagi, with mummies inside most of them, in the same area of Saqqara.
The Saqqara site is part of the necropolis at Egypt’s ancient capital of Memphis that includes the famed Giza Pyramids, as well as smaller pyramids at Abu Sir, Dahshur and Abu Ruwaysh. The ruins of Memphis were designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1970s.
Egyptian archaeologists found other “shafts full of coffins, well-gilded, well-painted, well-decorated,” Mostafa Waziri, secretary-general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, told reporters on Saturday.
A giant trove of ancient coffins and #mummies dated back to 2500 years ago has been discovered at the vast Egyptian burial site of #Saqqara. It is said to be the largest archaeological discovery of the year in #Egypt. pic.twitter.com/72PgCiE8Zg
— Frontline (@Frontlinestory) November 15, 2020
Egypt frequently touts its archaeological discoveries in hopes of spurring a vital tourism industry that has been reeling from the political turmoil following the 2011 popular uprising that overthrew longtime ruler Hosni Mubarak. The sector was also dealt a further blow this year by the coronavirus pandemic.
FOLLOW INDEPENDENT PRESS:
TWITTER (CLICK HERE)
FACEBOOK (CLICK HERE)
Think your friends would be interested? Share this story!