Over Two Dozen Sealed Coffins Buried for 2,500 Years Unearthed From Egyptian Tomb

September 24, 2020 Updated: September 24, 2020

Egyptian archeologists have unearthed more than two dozen ancient coffins in a vast necropolis south of Cairo, an official said on Sept. 21.

The sarcophagi have remained unopened since they were buried more than 2,500 years ago near the famed Step Pyramid of Djoser in Saqqara, said Neveine el-Arif, a spokeswoman for the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities.

She said 13 coffins were found earlier this month in a newly discovered 11-meter-deep (36-foot) well, and that 14 more were found last week in another well.

Epoch Times Photo
The picture shows one of more than two dozen ancient coffins unearthed near the famed Step Pyramid of Djoser in Saqqara, south of Cairo, Egypt. (Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities via AP)

Footage shared by the ministry showed colorful sarcophagi decorated with ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics (the writing system used in Ancient Egypt), as well as other artifacts the ministry said were found in the two wells.

The Saqqara plateau hosted at least 11 pyramids, including the Step Pyramid, along with hundreds of tombs of ancient officials, ranging from the 1st Dynasty (2920 B.C. to 2770 B.C.) to the Coptic period (395 to 642).

Archeologists were still working to determine the origins of the coffins, El-Arif said, adding that more details and “secrets” would likely be announced next month.

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Mostafa Waziri, secretary-general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, with an artifact found along with more than two dozen ancient coffins unearthed near the famed Step Pyramid of Djoser in Saqqara, south of Cairo, Egypt. (Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities via AP)

In recent years, Egypt has heavily promoted new archeological finds to international media and diplomats in an effort to revive its key tourism sector by attracting more tourists to the country.

El-Arif said further excavations were underway in the necropolis, and more coffins were expected to be found.

Last year, archeologists found a cache at Saqqara that included hundreds of mummified animals, birds, and crocodiles, as well as two mummified lion cubs.

The Saqqara plateau is part of the necropolis of Egypt’s ancient city of Memphis, which also includes Abu Sir, Dahshur, and Abu Ruwaysh and the famed Giza Pyramids. The ruins of Memphis were designed a UNESCO World Heritage site in the 1970s.

Epoch Times Photo
This photo shows some of the antiquities, which included more than two dozen ancient coffins and other artifacts that were unearthed near the famed Step Pyramid of Djoser in Saqqara, south of Cairo, Egypt. The Tourism and Antiquities Ministry has said initial studies show that the newly found coffins had not been opened since they were buried more than 2,500 years ago. (Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities via AP)

In October 2019, archeologists unearthed 30 ancient wooden coffins with inscriptions and paintings in the southern city of Luxor.

The Luxor coffins were moved to be showcased at the Grand Egyptian Museum, which Egypt is building near the Giza Pyramids.

Egypt’s key tourism sector has suffered from years of political turmoil, and recently, the sector was dealt a further blow this year by the global coronavirus pandemic.

By Samy Magdy