More ancient coffins to be discovered, say Egyptian authorities
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Cape Town – There are more sealed coffins to be found at the vast ancient burial ground of Saqqara, Egypt, authorities say.
The number of sealed coffins found at the archaeological dig has grown from 13 to 59 in just one month and there are more to come, said the Egyptian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities.
The archaeological mission headed by Dr Mostafa Waziri, Secretary-General of the Supreme Council of Archaeology, in the Saqqara region has detected deep wells for burial, with a large number of human coffins that have been sealed for more than 2 500 years.
In addition to the discovery of the coffins, 28 statues of the god Soker and a large number of mascots and sculptures were found, while three burial wells at different depths of between 10m and 12m were uncovered, revealing the 59 closed colourful wooden coffins lined on top of each other.
According to the Minister of Tourism and Antiquities Dr Khaled Al-Anani, all the coffins were well preserved and still maintain their original colours. Initial studies showed that they date back to the 26th dynasty and belong to a group of priests and senior men and other important figures.
In addition to the coffins, one of the most interesting statues discovered is a nearly 35cm bronze statue of the god Nefertem, who is shown wearing a headdress shaped like a lotus blossom, reported Live Science.com.
The ministry said that the coffins will be taken to the Grand Egyptian Museum, which is currently under construction and will house the world’s largest antiquities collection belonging to a single culture’s heritage, writes Egypt Independent.
Saqqara is one of the Egyptian archaeological areas on Unesco’s World Heritage list.
According to the ministry, an unknown number of additional coffins may still lie buried there at the site, near the 4,700-year-old pyramid of Djoser, writes news broadcaster Al Jazeera.
African News Agency (ANA)