More intact wooden coffins unearthed in Egypt's Saqqara necropolis - Ancient Egypt - Heritage

More intact wooden coffins unearthed in Egypt's Saqqara necropolis - Ancient Egypt - Heritage”

The wooden sarcophagi are ornately painted and covered in hieroglyphs, and were found stacked in two burial shafts, the ministry said in a statement.

Egypt's antiquities ministry announced on Sunday the discovery of 14 coffins in the Saqqara area that had lain buried for 2,500 years.

In the meantime, budding Egyptologists have rejoiced at the discovery online - although they are pleading with the authorities not to open the sarcophagi this year, given how harrowing it has already been on a global scale so far.

Footage shared by the ministry showed colorful sarcophagi decorated with ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics, as well as other artifacts the ministry said were found in the two wells.

Saqqara is the site of the colossal rectangular-based Step Pyramid of Djoser.

It is unclear exactly how many more sarcophagi might be discovered in the well but the ministry said it hoped to reveal more "secrets" at a future press conference.

Egypt uses archaeological discoveries as a means to promote tourism, a sector which has been directly affected by travel restrictions put in place in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

More news: Belarus opposition leader urges European Union to be 'brave' on sanctions

This discovery brings the total number of newly unearthed coffins to 27, after 13 were discovered in similar condition earlier this month in a neighbouring burial shaft.

Last year, archaeologists found a cache at Saqqara that included hundreds of mummified animals, birds and crocodiles, as well as two mummified lion cubs.

The vast Saqqara necropolis is located around 16km south of the famed Giza pyramids.

Now on the edge of a growing Cairo, the Great Pyramids, Egypt's top tourist destination, are the sole survivor of the seven wonders of the ancient world and the plateau is a Unesco World Heritage site.

In October 2019, archaeologists unearthed 30 ancient wooden coffins with inscriptions and paintings in the southern city of Luxor.

Egypt is also planning to unveil its centrepiece project of the Grand Egyptian Museum in the coming months.

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