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Egypt reveals discovery of 250 coffins, 150 statues

Egyptian officials disclosed a massive new archaeological find in the Saqqara necropolis, south of Cairo, which included 250 sealed coffins containing mummies, 150 bronze statues of ancient gods and goddesses, and other artefacts.

Mostafa Waziri, Secretary-General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, told reporters on Monday that an archaeological team working in the Bubastian Cemetery region uncovered a bronze statue cachette in the site that goes back to the Late Period of ancient Egypt. ‘The cache included 150 different-size bronze statues of gods and goddesses like Anubis, Amunmeen, Osiris, Isis, Nefertum, Bastet, Hathor, and several bronze pots’, Waziri said.

The mission has also discovered 250 intact coloured wooden coffins that date back to 500 B.C. inside several burial wells comprising well-preserved mummies as well as a group of golden-face wooden statues, painted wooden boxes, and amulets, he added.

The crew discovered a papyrus with lines from the Book of the Dead while excavating one of the wells. The Book of the Dead is an ancient Egyptian funeral literature that was used from the beginning of the New Kingdom (about 1550 B.C.) to roughly 50 B.C. It was written on papyrus. It comprises a variety of magical spells written by various priests over a period of nearly 1,000 years to aid a deceased person’s trip through the Duat, or underworld, and into the afterlife. Combs, eyeliners, containers, bracelets, earrings, and seed necklaces were among the vanity items discovered.

The find was uncovered during the site’s fourth excavation, which began in April this year. According to Waziri, in September, the Egyptian delegation will begin the fifth excavation phase. Saqqara, about 31 kilometres from Cairo, has ancient Egyptian royal burial sites and serves as the necropolis for Memphis, Egypt’s ancient metropolis.

It is well known for the Pyramid of Djoser, the world’s oldest complete stone structure complex, which was constructed during the Third Dynasty (2686 B.C.).

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