This time we get the latest news from Egypt. During a press conference the Minister of Antiquities, Khaled El-Enany and the Secretary General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, Mostafa Waziry, revealed to the whole world the discoveries that took place on the banks of the Nile a few days ago.
Funerary masks, gilded statues, amulets, boxes for canopic jars (containers for storing the viscera of the dead) are the precious objects found by the team of Egyptian archaeologists. More than 100 polychrome coffins from Ancient Egypt have been brought to light and are perfectly preserved and sealed, this is a real treasure found in the three 12-metre-deep shafts. According to the analyses carried out, the coffins, some of which covered with gold leaves and owned by high state officials, date back to 2.500 years ago and therefore they belong to one of the Ptolemaic era dynasties (around 332-323 BC).
The findings took place in Saqqara, about 15 kilometres south of the pyramids of Giza, the same site where other 60 coffins were discovered a month ago. Saqqara is an ancient Memphite necropolis which includes a funerary site with a large number of tombs and mastabas and in which the pyramid of Djoser stands out. It represents a large sacred area belonging to the Ptolemaic-Roman period and dedicated to the worship of Bastet, the cat goddess (protector of home, women and childbirths). In 1979 it was designated as part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site.
For the moment, only one of these coffins has been opened and inside the incredible discovery of an intact mummy, still completely wrapped in linen bandages, has left everyone speechless. The archaeologists performed an X-Ray on the mummy without affecting its condition and the analysis showed its perfect preservation.
Khaled El-Enany declared with great pride that “Excavations are still underway. Whenever we empty a burial shaft of sarcophagi, we find an entrance to another”. So, the whole world is ready to receive more good news. Three different museums in Cairo: the brand-new GEM (Great Egyptian Museum) which should open in 2021, the National Museum of Egyptian Civilization and the museum in Tahrir square will house the recent discoveries.
Now Egypt hopes that the new archaeological finds can be a source of attraction to help the Egyptian tourism to cheer up after being severely tested by the pandemic.