An Egyptian archaeological mission working at the Saqqara Necropolis outside Cairo has unearthed another batch of sealed and intact coffins inside three burial shafts. The newly uncovered shafts include dozens of anthropoid painted coffins which probably contain mummies.
The site of the new discovery is adjacent to that where a collection of 59 intact and sealed coffins was found last year.
Mustafa Waziri, secretary-general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA), said that the number of coffins could be more than 80. The burials also include a funerary collection including statues of goddesses made of painted wood with gilded parts. Full details have yet to be announced, and there will be a press conference within the coming weeks.
On Monday, Prime Minister Mustafa Madbouli and Minister of Tourism and Antiquities Khaled El-Enany visited the site and entered one of the deep shafts to inspect the discovery and the coffins.
In early October, Egypt announced the discovery of a collection of 59 intact and sealed anthropoid coffins found buried inside three burial shafts of 10 to 12 metres in depth. While experts say that the collection dates to 2,500 years ago, the coffins were very well preserved and still retained their original colours.
*A version of this article appears in print in the 22 October, 2020 edition of Al-Ahram Weekly