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Thursday, January 21, 2021

Egypt Uncloaks 59 Ancient Coffins Buried More Than 2500 Years Ago

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We all know that Egypt is the land of ancient ruins where most of the history was found the pyramids, the sphinx all are the gift of Egypt to the world. But the recent findings at Cairo has made the world jump off its chairs with 59 new coffins unveiled from underneath Cairo.

The extraordinary found happened in the south of Cairo in the burial ground of Saqqara, the necropolis of ancient Egypt, also a UNESCO world heritage site. Egyptian antiquities officials had announced the findings of a new batch last month when the archaeologists found a new container buried deep down in 36 feet well. Mostafa Waziri, the secretary-general of the supreme council of antiquities said that they were very happy about the recent findings. Whereas Khalid el-Anany said that at least 59 sealed sarcophagi, with mummies inside most of them were found in those three well and have stayed in there for more than 2500 years now.

He added that an additional number of unknown coffins may remain buried at the site of the 4700-year-old pyramid to which he claimed as it was not a discovery but a beginning of the discovery. He spoke at a news conference at the famed Step Pyramid of Djoser in Saqqara where the coffins were found with opening one of the sarcophagi to reveal the mummy inside in front of the reporters. This news had been the first positive thing that happened to Egypt since the pandemic began in march leading all the museums and archaeological sites forced to shut down to follow safety protocols. 

Saqqara also spelled Sakkara or Saccara in English, which is a vast, ancient burial ground in Egypt, which also serves as the necropolis for the ancient Egyptian capital, Memphis. These include the famous Giza pyramids and also smaller pyramids Abu Sir, Dahshur, and Abu Ruwaysh. The ruins of Memphis were declared as a UNESCO world heritage site in 1970s.

Apart from the coffins dozens of statues were also found including a figure made out of bronze depicting Nefertem, an ancient god of a lotus blossom. Preliminary studies also indicated that the sarcophagi belonged to the priests, statesman, and prominent figures in the ancient Egypt history of the 26th dynasty. 

El-Anany said that all of the sarcophagi will be taken to the soon to be opened Grand Egypt Museum or GEM on the Giza plateau. The Saqqara coffins are to join the hall opposite the other 32 coffins which were discovered in October in the southern city of Luxor. The other coffins consist of priests and prominent figures mainly from the 22nd dynasty.  

The grand opening of the museum is all set for 2021 as it has already been delayed several times before and now with the pandemic, it is just a little extra harsh on Egypt to witness the event. The museum will be a host to thousands of artifacts, spanning multiple eras of Egypt’s history, from the pre-dynastic to the Greco-Roman period. Also, The grand staircase behind will house 87 statues of pharaohs and Egyptian gods. Besides, the world’s largest archaeological museum will have 28 shops, ten restaurants, a conference center, and a cinema which makes the opening of the museum completely worth the wait. 

Most of the artifacts are being planned to move from the old museum. The greatest attraction of the museum, the Tutankhamun collection is all set to be lost to GEM. 

Egypt has just crossed fingers in the hope to attract tourists with more and more archaeological findings in the recent years and now with the grand Egypt museum, which suffered a great blow since the 2011 Arab Spring uprisings in 2011 and now to add to the suffering the coronavirus pandemic. 

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