On Saturday, dozens of sarcophagi dating back 2,500 years were found in the vast Saqqara necropolis in Egypt.
59 sarcophagi of Egyptian priests and scribes from the 26th Dynasty were discovered in Augustus at a site south of Cairo. They are buried in three columns from 30 to 40 feet, along with 28 statues of the ancient Egyptian god Siker, one of the most important funerary deities. Reuters reported.
Mostafa Al-Waziri, Secretary General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities in Egypt, said the coffins were in excellent condition thanks to the protective sealing that kept them from chemical reactions over the centuries. Preliminary studies indicate that decorated sarcophagi were made for priests, high officials, and elites from the Late Pharaonic Period (664-525 BC).
She opened one of them in front of the reporters to reveal the mummy inside, The Associated Press reported.
The Egyptian archaeological expedition behind the discovery began excavations in 2018. Previous discoveries included a cache of stuffed animals and a well-preserved tomb of a royal priest from the Fifth Dynasty called “Wahtye”.
The Saqqara Plateau includes no fewer than 11 pyramids, including the Step Pyramid, along with hundreds of tombs of ancient officials and other sites ranging from the First Dynasty (2920 BC – 2770 BC) to the Coptic era (395-642).
The mission will continue to open the coffins and study their contents before finally showing them in the Grand Egyptian Museum, which is expected to open next year.