Amazing

Egypt uncovers tomb treasure trove buried for 2,500 years

Experts have uncovered some 100 sarcophagi at an ancient necropolis south of the Egyptian capital Cairo. The country’s tourism minister described the find as a “treasure.”

Archaeologists in Egypt have uncovered a treasure trove of some 100 intact sarcophagi dating back more than 2,500 years, the government said on Saturday.

Officials said the discovery of the sealed wooden coffins in the Saqqara necropolis south of Cairo was the largest such find this year.

Experts who worked on the excavation said they belonged to top officials of the Late Period and the Ptolemaic period of ancient Egypt.

Journalists gather around an ancient sarcophagus more than 2500 years old, discovered in a vast necropolis and Mostafa Waziri, the secretary-general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, center, in Saqqara, Giza, Egypt, Saturday, Nov. 14, 2020. Egyptian antiquities officials on Saturday announced the discovery of at least 100 ancient coffins, some with mummies inside, and around 40 gilded statues south of Cairo. (AP Photo/Nariman El-Mofty)
A picture shows wooden sarcophagi during the unveiling of an ancient treasure trove of more than a 100 intact sarcophagi, at the Saqqara necropolis 30 kms south of the Egyptian capital Cairo, on November 14, 2020. – Egypt announced the discovery of an ancient treasure trove of more than a 100 intact sarcophagi, the largest such find this year. The sealed wooden coffins, unveiled on site amid fanfare, belonged to top officials of the Late Period and the Ptolemaic period of ancient Egypt. They were found in three burial shafts at depths of 12 metres (40 feet) in the sweeping Saqqara necropolis south of Cairo. (Photo by Ahmed HASAN / AFP)

Archaeologists in the area found 59 other well-preserved and sealed wooden coffins just over one month ago.

A picture taken on October 3, 2020 shows sarcophaguses, excavated by the Egyptian archaeological mission which discovered a deep burial well with more than 59 human coffins closed for more than 2,500 years, displayed during a press conference at the Saqqara necropolis, 30 kms south of the Egyptian capital Cairo. – They were unearthed south of Cairo in the sprawling burial ground of Saqqara, the necropolis of the ancient Egyptian capital of Memphis, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Their exteriors are covered in intricate designs in vibrant colours as well as hieroglyphic pictorials. (Photo by Khaled DESOUKI / AFP)
An archaeologist cleans a statue during the unveiling of an ancient treasure trove of more than a 100 intact sarcophagi, at the Saqqara necropolis 30 kms south of the Egyptian capital Cairo, on November 14, 2020. – Egypt announced the discovery of an ancient treasure trove of more than a 100 intact sarcophagi, the largest such find this year. The sealed wooden coffins, unveiled on site amid fanfare, belonged to top officials of the Late Period and the Ptolemaic period of ancient Egypt. They were found in three burial shafts at depths of 12 metres (40 feet) in the sweeping Saqqara necropolis south of Cairo. (Photo by Ahmed HASAN / AFP)

One coffin revealed a mummy wrapped in a burial shroud adorned with brightly colored hieroglyphic pictorials.

Saqqara was an active burial ground for more than 3,000 years and is a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site.

“Saqqara has yet to reveal all of its contents. It is a treasure,” Antiquities and Tourism Minister Khaled al-Anany said at the unveiling ceremony.

“Excavations are still underway. Whenever we empty a burial shaft of sarcophagi, we find an entrance to another.”

More than 40 statues of ancient deities and funerary masks were also discovered, he said.

Another two wooden statues were found in the tomb belonging to an ancient judge of the 6th dynasty, according to Mostafa Waziri, secretary general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities.

A picture shows a funerary mask on display during the unveiling of an ancient treasure trove of more than a 100 intact sarcophagi, at the Saqqara necropolis 30 kms south of the Egyptian capital Cairo, on November 14, 2020. – Egypt announced the discovery of an ancient treasure trove of more than a 100 intact sarcophagi, the largest such find this year. The sealed wooden coffins, unveiled on site amid fanfare, belonged to top officials of the Late Period and the Ptolemaic period of ancient Egypt. They were found in three burial shafts at depths of 12 metres (40 feet) in the sweeping Saqqara necropolis south of Cairo. (Photo by Ahmed HASAN / AFP)

Archaeologists also hope to find an ancient workshop for manufacturing wooden coffins for mummies soon, he said.

They will be displayed in several museums across Egypt including the yet-to-be-opened Grand Egyptian Museum at the Giza plateau.

Ministers hope such discovery will help boost tourism, which has been badly hit by the global coronavirus pandemic and the aftermath of a 2011 uprising that toppled dictator Hosni Mubarak. Source 1, Source 2, Source 3

Read more: Ancient Egypt holds priceless treasures yet to be discovered

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