Archaeologists in Egypt have uncovered over 50 wooden coffins and mummies which date back to over 3,000 years in an ancient temple near Cairo.
The new treasures were found at the Saqqara necropolis, south of Cairo, which makes up part of the necropolis at Memphis, the ancient capital of Egypt.
With cooperation between the Antiquities Ministry and the Zahi Hawass Centre at the Bibliotheca Alexandrina, archaeologists uncovered 22 burial wells which contain 54 coffins that date back to the New Kingdom, which ruled Egypt between about 1570 BC and 1069 BC.
Most of the coffins displayed scenes of Gods that were worshipped at the time, with the discovery marking the first-time coffins dating back 3,000 years have been found in the Saqqara region.
The new discovery has helped archaeologists determine that the Saqqara area must have been used for burial purposes during both the New Kingdom as well as the Late Period.
Egypt’s former antiquities minister Zahi Hawass, revealed that experts also found a four-metre-long papyrus which included texts from the Book of the Dead; a compilation of ancient spells aimed at directing the dead through ancient Egypt’s underworld.
Located at depths of 40 feet, the burial wells also contained games from ancient times, of which one is similar to modern chess, as well as statues of Anubis and wooden funerary masks.
While commenting on the finds, Hawass said the discoveries will ‘rewrite the history of Saqqara and the New Kingdom’.
In the process of work close to the Pyramid of Teti, archaeologists also unearthed the temple of Queen Neit, wife of King Teti, who was the first king of the Sixth Dynasty that ruled Egypt from 2323 BC until 2150 BC.
A statement released on Facebook read “…These discoveries will rewrite the history of this region, especially during the 18th and 19th dynasties of the New Kingdom, during which King Teti was worshiped, and the citizens at that time were buried around his pyramid.
The mission confirmed that the entrance to the Saqqara region in the New Kingdom was through this area.
The mission discovered the funerary ancient temple of Queen [Neit], the wife of King Teti, part of which was already uncovered in the years prior.”
Three mud-brick warehouses, thought to have stored temple provisions, offerings and tools for the queen’s tomb, were found attached to Queen Neit’s temple.
While reaffirming Saqqara as an important tourist and cultural destination, Hawass described the find as the most important archaeological discovery this year. Hawass told reporters that 70% of the new
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