Egypt Discovers 14 Ancient Wooden Coffins

Egypt’s Ministry of Antiquities has discovered 14 coffins in the Saqqara area that had lain buried for 2,500 years.

The recent discovery comes weeks after the ministry discovered 13 wooden sarcophagi in the same burial spot.

In an announcement at the weekend, the antiquities ministry said the new tombs were found two days ago during an archaeological dig.

“Initial studies indicate that these coffins are completely closed and haven’t been opened since they were buried,” Egypt’s antiquities ministry said in a statement on Saturday.

Antiquities Minister, Khaled el-Enany, described the find as one of the “biggest and most important” discoveries in recent years, and the largest find of ancient sarcophagi since the 19th century

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The vast Saqqara necropolis, about 30km south of Cairo, is an ancient burial ground that served as the necropolis for Memphis, the capital of ancient Egypt, for more than two millennia. It is also a Unesco World Heritage site.

Saqqara is the site of the colossal rectangular-based Step Pyramid of Djoser.

Photographs of the well-preserved wooden coffins show ornate and intricate paintings, with maroon and blue lines, as well as hieroglyphic pictorials.

Excavation work is continuing at the site as experts attempt to establish more details on the origins of the coffins.

The ministry said it hoped to reveal “more secrets” at a press conference in the coming days.

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New finds are a regular occurrence in Egypt, whose ancient culture dates back several millennia.

In November, a large cache of mummified animals discovered in 2018 by archaeologists near the Step Pyramid of Saqqara were displayed to the public for the first time.

The discovery included mummified cats, crocodiles, cobras and birds.

In 2019, Egyptian authorities unveiled a number of coffins discovered in the Asasif Necropolis, Luxor, which includes tombs dating back to the 22nd dynasty, from the 10th century BC.

The coffins contained the mummified remains of men, women and children.


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