Egypt says another trove of ancient coffins found in Saqqara
Another cache of ancient coffins has been unearthed in the vast necropolis in South Cairo by Egyptian archaeologists, officials said on Monday.
In a statement, the Ministry of tourism and antiquity announced that archaeologists had found the collection of colourful sealed sarcophagi buried in the necropolis of Saqqara over 2,500 years ago.
More than 80 coffins is discovered, according to Mostafa Waziri, General Secretary of the Supreme Council of Antiquities.
Archaeologists also found colourful, gilded wooden statues, the ministry said. Details of the new discovery will be announced in a news conference at the famed Step Pyramid of Djoser, it said.
Egypt has sought to publicize its archaeological finds in an effort to revive its key tourism sector, which was badly hit by the turmoil that followed the 2011 uprising.
The sector was also dealt a further blow this year by the coronavirus pandemic.
Prime Minister Mustafa Madbouly and Tourism and Antiquities Minister Khalid el-Anany toured the area and inspected the new discovery, which came just over two weeks after the ministry revealed 59 sealed sarcophagi, with mummies inside most of them, in the same area of Saqqara.
The Saqqara site is part of the necropolis at Egypt’s ancient capital of Memphis that includes the famed Giza Pyramids, as well as smaller pyramids at Abu Sir, Dahshur and Abu Ruwaysh.
The ruins of Memphis have designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in the 1970s.
The plateau hosts at least 11 pyramids, including the Step Pyramid, along with hundreds of tombs of ancient officials and other sites that range from the 1st Dynasty (2920-2770 B.C.) to the Coptic period (395-642).