Archaeologists in Egypt announced Saturday that they have discovered at least 100 ancient wooden coffins and 40 gilded statues in a large burial ground south of Cairo.
The discovery also included 20 wooden boxes of the god Horus, more statues, amulets, and 4 golden masks, according to, according to Egypt’s Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities.
The decorated sarcophagi, some of which contained mummies, and statues were buried more than 2,500 years ago in the “tomb of noblemen,” in which the sacred necropolis of cats, animals and birds was found. The items date back to the Ptolemaic dynasty that ruled Egypt from around 320 B.C. to about 30 B.C. and the Late Period from 664 B.C. to 332 B.C., Tourism and Antiquities Minister Khaled el-Anany said at a press conference Saturday.
© AHMED HASAN, AFP via Getty Images A picture shows wooden sarcophagi 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) (Photo by AHMED HASAN/AFP via Getty Images) ORG XMIT: 0 ORIG FILE ID: AFP_8V833B.jpg
A coffin was opened during the press conference and the mummy inside was scanned with an x-ray. The examination revealed that the mummy was a man who was in good health before he died between the age of 40 and 45, according to Mostafa Waziry, secretary general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities.
Egyptian archaeologists found other “shafts full of coffins, well-gilded, well-painted, well-decorated,” Waziri told reporters.
El-Anany said more discoveries from the area will be revealed in the next few weeks. He said the artifacts would be moved to the Grand Egyptian Museum, the National Museum of Egyptian Civilization, the Egyptian Museum of Tahrir and the Museum of the New Administrative Capital.
Since September, antiquities authorities revealed at least 140 sealed sarcophagi, with mummies inside most of them, in the same area of Saqqara.
Saqqara, which also has a number of ancient monasteries and the largest animal necropolises, is part of the necropolis at Egypt’s first capital Memphis which includes the Giza Pyramids. The ruins of Memphis were designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1970s.
Courtesy: USA Today