Egypt finds treasure trove of over 100 sarcophagi at Saqqara

Egypt finds treasure trove of over 100 sarcophagi at Saqqara

Egypt introduced Saturday the invention of an historic treasure trove of greater than a 100 intact sarcophagi, courting again greater than 2,500 years in the past, the biggest such discover this yr.

Egypt finds treasure trove of over 100 sarcophagi at Saqqara
Credit score: Ahmed Hasan/AFP

The sealed wood coffins, unveiled on web site amid a lot fanfare, belonged to high officers of the Late Interval and the Ptolemaic interval of historic Egypt.

They had been present in three burial shafts at depths of 12 metres (40 toes) within the sweeping Saqqara necropolis south of Cairo.

Egypt finds treasure trove of over 100 sarcophagi at Saqqara
Credit score: Ahmed Hasan/AFP

Egypt finds treasure trove of over 100 sarcophagi at Saqqara
Credit score: Ahmed Hasan/AFP

Archaeologists opened one coffin to disclose a mummy wrapped in a burial shroud adorned with brightly colored hieroglyphic pictorials.

Saqqara, residence to greater than a dozen pyramids, historic monasteries, and animals burial websites, is an unlimited necropolis of the traditional Egyptian capital of Memphis, a UNESCO World Heritage Web site.

Egypt finds treasure trove of over 100 sarcophagi at Saqqara
Credit score: Mohamed Abd El Ghany/Reuters

Egypt finds treasure trove of over 100 sarcophagi at Saqqara
Credit score: Khaled Desouki/AFP

“Saqqara has but to disclose all of its contents. It’s a treasure,” Antiquities and Tourism Minister Khaled al-Anani mentioned on the unveiling ceremony.

“Excavations are nonetheless underway. Each time we empty a burial shaft of sarcophagi, we discover an entrance to a different.”

Egypt finds treasure trove of over 100 sarcophagi at Saqqara
Credit score: Ahmed Hasan/AFP

Egypt finds treasure trove of over 100 sarcophagi at Saqqara
Credit score: Ahmed Hasan/AFP

The newest discover got here simply over a month after archaeologists within the space discovered 59 different well-preserved and sealed wood coffins, additionally courting again greater than 2,500 years in the past.

Greater than 40 statues of historic deities and funerary masks had been additionally found, the minister mentioned.

Egypt finds treasure trove of over 100 sarcophagi at Saqqara
Credit score: Egypt. Ministry of Antiquities

Egypt finds treasure trove of over 100 sarcophagi at Saqqara
Credit score: Egypt. Ministry of Antiquities

One other two wood statues had been discovered within the tomb belonging to an historic decide of the sixth dynasty, in response to Mostafa Waziri, secretary normal of Egypt’s Supreme Council of Antiquities.

It was not instantly clear if the statues depicted any of the decide’s relations however one statue is believed to depict a person, by the title Heteb Ka, who was “honored by the king”, Waziri mentioned.

Egypt finds treasure trove of over 100 sarcophagi at Saqqara
Credit score: Egypt. Ministry of Antiquities

Egypt finds treasure trove of over 100 sarcophagi at Saqqara
Credit score: Egypt. Ministry of Antiquities

“The fantastic thing about the statue … is seen within the intricacy of its eyebrows, moustache, and eyelashes. It’s completely stunning and fantastic,” he added.

The sarcophagi might be distributed amongst a number of museums in Egypt together with the yet-to-opened Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM) on the Giza plateau.

Egypt finds treasure trove of over 100 sarcophagi at Saqqara
Credit score: Egypt. Ministry of Antiquities

Egypt finds treasure trove of over 100 sarcophagi at Saqqara
Credit score: Ahmed Hasan/AFP

Located close to the famed Giza pyramids, GEM is deliberate to be inaugurated in 2021 after a number of delays.

Anani attributed the flurry of discoveries in Saqqara to in depth excavation works lately.

Egypt finds treasure trove of over 100 sarcophagi at Saqqara
Credit score: Egypt. Ministry of Antiquities

Egypt finds treasure trove of over 100 sarcophagi at Saqqara
Credit score: Egypt. Ministry of Antiquities

One other discovery within the huge Saqqara necropolis is anticipated to be introduced in December or early 2021.

Archaeologists additionally hope to seek out an historic workshop for manufacturing wood coffins for mummies.

Egypt finds treasure trove of over 100 sarcophagi at Saqqara
Credit score: Nariman El-Mofty/AP

Egypt finds treasure trove of over 100 sarcophagi at Saqqara
Credit score: Ahmed Hasan/AFP

Waziri defined that historic Egyptians used to purchase their coffins at this workshop.

“We anticipate it to be someplace near the coffin’s burial shafts,” Waziri mentioned.

Egypt hopes archaeological discoveries will spur tourism, a sector which has suffered a number of shocks ever since a 2011 rebellion up till immediately’s coronavirus pandemic.

Authors: Sally Kandil & Menna Zaki | Supply: AFP [November 14, 2020]

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