Archaeologists uncover 20 ancient coffins - GulfToday

Archaeologists uncover 20 ancient coffins


Ancient coloured coffins are seen in Luxor on Tuesday. Associated Press

Egypt’s Antiquities Ministry said archeologists have uncovered at least 20 ancient wooden coffins in the southern city of Luxor.

A brief statement from the ministry said on Tuesday said  archeologists found the coffins in the Asasif Necropolis.

The necropolis, located in the ancient town of West Thebes, includes tombs dating back to the Middle, New Kingdom and the Late Periods (1994 B.C. to 332 B.C.).

Photos from the ministry showed coloured coffins with inscriptions and paintings. The ministry described it as one of the “biggest and most important” discoveries in recent years.

The ministry said it will release further details at a news conference on Saturday.

Egypt has sought publicity for its archaeological discoveries in the hopes of reviving its tourism sector, which was badly hit by the turmoil following the 2011 uprising.

Egypt’s economy is expected to grow 5.9% in the year ending in June, the International Monetary Fund said on Tuesday — unchanged from its April forecast but below the government’s target of 6% to 7%.

Analysts have hailed Egypt for tough economic reforms tied to a three-year, $12 billion loan programme with the IMF agreed in late 2016, which has been disbursed in full.

The reforms included devaluing the currency by about half, cutting energy subsidies and introducing a value-added tax.

In its World Economic Outlook, the Fund brought down its 2019/2020 forecast for consumer price inflation to 10% from 12.3% six months ago.

Egypt said its economy grew by 5.6% in the 2018/19 year, slightly above the IMF’s estimate of 5.5%, unchanged from April.

The World Bank forecast on Thursday that Egypt’s economy would grow by 5.8% this fiscal year and estimated it grew 5.6% in 2018/2019, matching the government’s figure.

The IMF forecast Egypt’s current account deficit would widen to 2.8% of GDP this fiscal year from its 1.7% estimate in April. It also widened its estimate for last year’s current account deficit to 3.1% from 2.4%.

The IMF improved its expectations for unemployment in Egypt, predicting it would fall to 7.9% this fiscal year, down from its estimate of 8.3% six months ago. It also estimated unemployment in 2018/19 at 8.6%, below its April expectation of 9.6%.


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