Ten things you should know about the latest Saqqara necropolis discoveries in Egypt
Ahram Online , Sunday 15 Nov 2020
The unearthing of 100 intact coffins from the 26th Dynasty is the latest in a series of recent discoveries in the Saqqara area


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.



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2. Some 40 wooden statues dedicated to the Saqqara goddess Ptah Soker, along with golden funerary masks, were also discovered.



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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.



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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.



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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.



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6. The Egyptian archeological mission its work in the area in February 2018 .



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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.



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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.



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9. World-famous Egyptologist Zahi Hawass will announce a new discovery soon in Saqqara, according to Egyptian officials.



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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.



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