A coffin, part of a recent discovery from the Saqqara necropolis, is seen south of Cairo, Egypt January 17, 2021.

Hanaa Habib, Reuters

Egypt unveils 3,000-year-old coffins in latest archaeological discovery

By Reuters | Posted - Jan. 17, 2021 at 10:35 a.m.


5 photos

CAIRO (Reuters) — Egypt has unveiled a significant new archaeological discovery at the Saqqara necropolis south of Cairo, including 54 wooden coffins, many of which can be traced back 3,000 years to the New Kingdom period.

The funerary temple of Queen Neit was also discovered near the pyramid of her husband, King Teti of Egypt's 6th dynasty which dates back 4,200 years, said famed archaeologist Zahi Hawass, who headed the archaeological mission.

The coffins, or sarcophagi, include the first dating back to the New Kingdom to be found at Saqqara, a UNESCO world heritage site that is home to the Step Pyramid, the tourism and antiquities ministry said in a statement. Carved in human form and painted in bright colors, many of them are still intact.

Ancient games, statues, and masks were also found.

"All these discoveries will rewrite the history of Saqqara and the New Kingdom," said Hawass.

Officials are keen to show off newly discovered artifacts as they try to revive visitor numbers after the tourism industry received a painful blow during the coronavirus pandemic. The number of tourists visiting the country dropped to 3.5 million last year from 13.1 million in 2019.

(Reporting by Sayed Shaesha, writing by Nadeen Ebrahim and Nafisa Eltahir; Editing by Kirsten Donovan)

© Copyright Thomson Reuters 2021

Photos

Reuters

    SIGN UP FOR THE KSL.COM NEWSLETTER

    Catch up on the top news and features from KSL.com, sent weekly.
    By subscribing, you acknowledge and agree to KSL.com's Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

    KSL Weather Forecast