Archaeologists in Egypt have unearthed another colossal collection of rare artifacts from the Saqqara Necropolis, a thriving site near Cairo that likely still hides mysteries. It was the latest in a long line of discoveries in the area. On Monday, archaeologists revealed a stock of ornately decorated coffins or coffins, still sealed with the mummy of their owners, along with a number of bronze statues. Saqqara, the huge necropolis of the ancient Egyptian capital Memphis – a UNESCO World Heritage Site – has more than a dozen pyramids, animal burial places and ancient Coptic Christian monasteries.
One of the 150 bronze statues uncovered in the latest find is Imhotep, the ancient Egyptian architect who revolutionized architecture. The Step Pyramid of Djoser, one of the first pyramids in ancient Egypt, was built by Imhotep in the third millennium BC. He went on to become the god of medicine.
The findings also included statues of the gods Anubis, Amun, Min, Osiris, Isis, Nefertum, Bestet and Hathor, according to Egypt’s Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities.
“In one of the wooden coffins we found for the first time a complete and sealed papyrus,” said Mostafa Waziri, Secretary-General of Egypt’s Supreme Council of Antiquities. The document was immediately moved to a museum for further research. Waziri believes that it can be compared to the one discovered 100 years ago which talks about the Book of Gates and the Book of the Dead. Both are funerary texts from ancient Egypt.
Since 2018, archaeologists have been working on the site, and there is still a lot of work to be done there.
Waziri also revealed the goal of the archaeological mission – to locate the tomb of Imhotep. 250 wooden sarcophagi with mummies inside, dating from the Late Period, around the 5th century B.C., were also discovered by the team, according to Waziri.
The coffins will be moved to the Grand Egyptian Museum, which is expected to open later this year near the Pyramids of Giza in Cairo after many delays.
The Egyptian government hopes that the wave of recent archaeological discoveries will help revive the country’s tourism industry, providing much-needed foreign exchange and new jobs.
New discoveries in the Saqqara tombs rewrite the history of ancient Egypt. In recent years, archaeologists have discovered ancient artifacts across the country, providing new insight into the dynasties that controlled ancient Egypt.