Journalists gather around an ancient sarcophagus more than 2500 years old in Saqqara, Giza, Egypt, on Saturday. AP
Gulf Today Report
Egypt announced on Saturday the discovery of more than a 100 ancient coffins, some with mummies inside in a vast Pharaonic necropolis south of Cairo.
Egyptian antiquities officials said that around 40 gilded statues sealed with wooden coffins 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.
Archaeologists opened a coffin with a well-preserved mummy wrapped in cloth inside. They also carried out X‐raying visualizing the structures of the ancient mummy, showing how the body had been preserved.
Last month the discovery was announced in an international press conference.
Colourful, sealed sarcophagi and statues those were buried more than 2,500 years ago were displayed in a makeshift exhibit at the feet of the famed Step Pyramid of Djoser at Saqqara.
Ancient sarcophagi are on display in Saqqara, Giza, Egypt, on Saturday. Nariman El-Mofty/AP
Egypt’s Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities announced in October that the biggest archaeological discovery in 2020 in the Saqqara Necropolis.
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.
An ancient sarcophagus that buried more than 2500 years ago, is on display in Saqqara, Giza, Egypt. AP
The huge find came just over a month after archaeologists in the area found 59 other well-preserved and sealed wooden coffins dating back more than 2,500 years ago.
"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."
They will be distributed among several museums in Egypt including the yet-to-opened Grand Egyptian Museum at the Giza plateau.
Archaeologists in Egypt said on Saturday that they had found 59 well-preserved and sealed wooden coffins over recent weeks that were buried more than 2,500 years ago.
Egypt held a gala parade on Saturday celebrating the transport of 22 of its prized royal mummies from central Cairo to their new resting place in a massive new museum further south in the capital.
Egypt’s Antiquities Ministry said archeologists have uncovered at least 20 ancient wooden coffins in the southern city of Luxor.
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