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Wednesday, 25 November 2020

Ten things you should know about the latest Saqqara necropolis discoveries in Egypt

The unearthing of 100 intact coffins from the 26th Dynasty is the latest in a series of recent discoveries in the Saqqara area

Ahram Online , Sunday 15 Nov 2020
sarcophagi
People look at ancient sarcophagi on display, discovered in a vast necropolis in Saqqara, Giza, Egypt, Saturday, Nov. 14, 2020. Egyptian antiquities officials on Saturday announced the discovery of at least 100 ancient coffins, some with mummies inside, and around 40 gilded statues south of Cairo. AP
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Egypt's Ministry of Antiquities and Tourism shared with the world Saturday the biggest archaeological discovery in 2020.
 
Here are 10 things you should know about the discoveries making headlines worldwide:
 
1. A collection of 100 intact coloured coffins from the 26th Dynasty was unearthed in the Saqqara necropolis. The coffins had not see the light of day for nearly 2,500 years, buried in three shafts 12 metres deep.
 
wooden sarcophagi
A picture shows wooden sarcophagi unearthed while in the background King Djsor funerary complex. (Photo by AFP)
 
2. Some 40 wooden statues dedicated to the Saqqara goddess Ptah Soker, along with golden funerary masks, were also discovered.
 
archaeologist
An Egyptian archaeologist cleans a statue of "Ptah Soker" in the event at Saqqara on Saturday (Photo by AFP)
 
3. Saqqara necropolis had been an ancient burial site since the Old Kingdom to the Roman era in Egypt, for royalty, dignitaries and common people. The Saqqara necropolis, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, hosts several archeological sites, including the Djoser Step Pyramid and funerary complex. 
 
wooden sarcophagi
A picture shows wooden sarcophagi and in the background Djoser stepped pyramid AFP
 
4. Most of the coffins are from the 26th Dynasty, which is considered by historians and archeologists as the last native dynasty to rule Egypt before the Persian conquest in 525 BC. Coffins from the Ptolemaic era were also unearthed.
 
 wooden sarcophagus
A wooden sarcophagus shown in the Egyptian ministry of antiquities and tourism's presser on the unearthing of an ancient Egyptian trove of sarcophagi in Saqqara (AP)
 
5. The huge discovery was made by the Egyptian archeological mission in Saqqara, following other important discoveries in Saqqara, including the November 2018 discovery of the Old Kingdom Wahyte tomb collection from the 5th Dynasty, which was featured in the Netflix hit documentary "Secrets of the Tombs of Saqqara," and October 2020's discovery of 59 26th Dynasty painted coffins and mummies.
 
Archaeologists
Archaeologists inspect a mummy, wrapped in a burial shroud adorned with brightly coloured hieroglyphic pictorials, 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. AFP
 
6. The Egyptian archeological mission its work in the area in February 2018 .
 
Sarcophagi
caption Sarcophagi unearthed in Egypt on Saturday at Saqqara (Photo:AFP)
 
7. The new unearthed coffins will distributed between the Cairo Museum in Tahrir Square, the Grand Egyptian Museum, which to be inaugurated next year, and the National Museum of Egyptian Civilisation.
 
necropolis
People look at ancient sarcophagi discovered in a vast necropolis in Saqqara, Giza, Egypt, Saturday, Nov. 14, 2020. Egyptian antiquities officials on Saturday announced the discovery of at least 100 ancient coffins, some with mummies inside, and around 40 gilded statues south of Cairo. (Photo:AP)
 
8. It is not the end for the Saqqara necropolis, as according to Egyptian archeologists what has been unearthed in the area is only one percent of what exists.
 
sarcophagi
A picture shows statues and funerary masks 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. –"AFP"
 
9. World-famous Egyptologist Zahi Hawass will announce a new discovery soon in Saqqara, according to Egyptian officials.
 
wooden sarcophagus
picture shows a wooden sarcophagus 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. "AFP"
 
10. During the event Saturday, Egyptian archeologists conducted a CT scan on one of the mummies, discerning it was a-175 cm tall man who died in his 40s. According to the scan, he did not suffer from any apparent disease. According to historians, life expectancy in ancient Egypt was around 40 years on average.
 
Archaeologists x-ray
Archaeologists x-ray a mummy, wrapped in a burial shroud adorned with brightly coloured hieroglyphic pictorials "AFP"
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