Egypt unearths 59 ancient coffins burried more than 2,600 years ago

Cairo: Egyptian authorities have unveiled a collection of 59 intact and sealed 26th Dynasty coffins, which were recently unearthed by an archaeological mission at the Saqqara Necropolis.

On Saturday, the collection was unveiled in the presence of 60 ambassadors and international media representatives, the Al Ahram online newspaper said in a report.

While 40 anthropoid painted coffins were placed in a large tent, the rest were on display inside tombs.

Minister of Tourism and Antiquities Khaled El-Enaby said an Egyptian mission started re-excavating the site two months ago and succeeded to uncover a burial shaft 11 metres deep where there were more than 13 anthropoid intact and sealed coffins.

More excavations revealed two more shafts, 10 and 12 metres deep, filled with a large number of intact and sealed coffins.

The mission succeeded to unearth 59 coffins thus far.

All the unearthed coffins are in a very good conservation condition and still bear their original colours.

“My colleagues in the Supreme Council of Antiquities discovered burial shafts filled with wooden, sealed and intact coffins. I am really impressed that Covid-19 did not stop them from digging to unveil more mystery and secrets about our great civilisation,” Al Ahram quoted El-Enany as saying.

He added the coffins will be transferred to the Grand Egyptian Museum.

Mostafa Waziri, the secretary-general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities said preliminary studies showed the coffins belong to 26th Dynasty priests, top officials, and elites.

There are mummies in the majority of the coffins.

A collection of 28 statuettes of ‘Ptah-Soker’, the main god of Saqqara Necropolis, were found along with a 35 cm tall bronze statuette of god Nefertum, inlaid with precious stones.

On its base is written the name of its owner, Priest Badi-Amun.

Collections of amulets and ‘ushabti’ figurine were also unearthed.

(With inputs from IANS)

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