The number of sealed coffins found at an archaeological dig in the vast ancient burial ground of Saqqara, Egypt, has grown to 59. Photo: Egyptian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities/Facebook
The number of sealed coffins found at an archaeological dig in the vast ancient burial ground of Saqqara, Egypt, has grown to 59. Photo: Egyptian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities/Facebook

WATCH: Massive museum to capture splendour of ancient Egypt

By Chad Williams Time of article published Oct 19, 2020

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The Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM) under construction is set to become the world’s largest archaeological museum dedicated to a single civilisation when it opens in 2021.

The GEM, which is located west of Cairo against the backdrop of the pyramids of Giza, was meant to open this year, but due to the Covid-19 pandemic the opening date was pushed back by Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi.

According to local media, the completed construction works at the GEM has reached 97 percent.

The installation of 55 pieces on the Great Staircase has been completed. The staircase will house approximately 72 of the most important and largest Egyptian monuments of the kings of Egypt, writes Egypt Today.

Meanwhile, the state is working on linking the plateau pyramids, which span an area of 3,500 acres (about 1,400 hectares), with the GEM, which spans an area of 120 acres (about 50ha), and the Shooting Club at some 120 acres.

Egypt Today reports that the whole area of 3,750 acres (about 1,500ha) will act like an open museum linked to a closed one, making the GEM the first museum of this size in the world, and the world’s largest antiquities collection belonging to a single culture’s heritage.

The GEM will showcase 5,000 relics from Tutankhamun’s collection as well, including 2,000 artefacts that will be displayed for the first time.

“The Grand Egyptian Museum is a gift from Egypt to the whole world,” The Guardian quoted Minister of Tourism and Antiquities Khaled el-Enany as saying.

According to The Guardian, officials hope that the GEM will attract five million visitors every year, helping to boost tourism and, in turn, the country’s finances.

Meanwhile, the number of sealed coffins found at the archaeological dig at the vast ancient burial ground of Saqqara has grown from 13 to 59 in just one month and there are more to come, said the Egyptian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities recently.

In addition to the discovery of the coffins, 28 statues of the god Soker and a large number of mascots and sculptures were found.

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, all of which will be on display at the GEM.

African News Agency (ANA); Editing by Yaron Blecher

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