Egypt has still not given up on discovering coffins and its secrets. This Saturday, they put up a show which included dozens of coffins belonging to priests and clerks from the 26th dynasty. That is nearly 2,500 years ago! Archaeologists have also said that few tens more were found in the vast Saqqara necropolis just days ago.
59 of these coffins were discovered in August. They were discovered at the UNESCO world heritage site south of Cairo. They were buried in three 10-12 meter shafts (that is three different shafts of 10-12 meter each) along with 28 statues of the ancient Egyptian God Seker, one of the most important funerary deities.
The Egyptian Archaeological Mission
The mission behind this discovery is known as the Egyptian archaeological mission. This mission has been active since the year 2018. It has previously discovered a cache of mummified animals. It also unveiled a well-preserved tomb of a fifth dynasty. Of a royal priest called ‘Wahtye‘ in the area.
Mostafa al-Waziri, who is the secretary-general of Egypt’s Supreme Council of Antiquities also had a few words to say. He explained the team had uncovered the three shafts where the coffins were laid in “perfect condition” due to a protective seal that preserved them from chemical reactions. This just explains how well ahead of their time were the Egyptians.
However, even after all of these discoveries, the mission has no plans of stopping anytime soon. They will continue to open the coffins and studying their contents. All of this will happen before their eventual display at the Grand Egyptian Museum. The museum expected to open next year.
Now that it is a piece of well-known news that the discovery of coffins is the biggest event to happens since the outbreak of COVID 19, in Egypt. The outbreak led to the closure of museums and archaeological sites for some three months since late March, not only in Egypt but all around the world.
However, it doesn’t end there. Dozens of statues were found in the area. The statutes include a bronze figurine depicting Nefertem, an ancient god of the lotus blossom.
Sarcophagi likely belonged to priests, senior statesman and prominent figures in the ancient Egyptian society. Of the 26th dynasty is what the preliminary studies indicated. This statement was given by none other than Al-Anani.
Where Are The Coffins?
The coffins have now been taken to the Grand Egyptian Museum on the Giza Plateau, which is soon-to-be-opened. The coffins are set to be placed opposite a hall hosting 32 other sealed sarcophagi for priests from the 22nd dynasty. The other sarcophagi’s were found last year in the southern city of Luxor.
The grand opening of the museum has been delayed several times, and now is set to be opened in the year 2021. The museum is set to host thousands of artefacts which will be spanning multiple eras of Egypt’s history. They will span from the pre-dynastic to the Greco-Roman period.
Egypt hopes a flurry of archaeological finds in recent years and the new museum will boost its vital tourism sector. Their tourism sector has suffered multiple shocks since 2011. This was due to the Arab Spring uprisings, and the most recent the coronavirus pandemic.