A little more than a month ago, I wrote an article on the 13 ancient Egyptian coffins that were unearthed in the desert necropolis of Saqqara, located south of Cairo, Egypt (the article can be read here). The colorful coffins that date back more than 2,500 years (between 664 and 525 BC) were completely sealed and untouched.
After their initial discovery of the 13 coffins inside of a burial shaft that was 36 feet deep, experts continued digging and found two other shafts (32 feet and 39 feet deep) that contained several more coffins that were in good condition and still held their original colors.
The Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities revealed that more than 80 coffins have been discovered. Additionally, they found colorful, gilded wooden statues. The 28 statuettes were of the god Ptah-Soker and a carved bronze one depicting the god Nefertum which measured a foot tall and had precious stones embedded in it along with the name Priest Badi-Amun who owned it. In addition to those, several ushabti figurines and amulets were also found.
Earlier this month, on October 3rd, archaeologists opened one of the coffins as several people watched with excitement. The coffin revealed a mummy that was wrapped in ornate burial linen. Amazingly, the inscriptions and colorful designs were still present on the cloth after approximately 2,600 years.
It is believed that those who were buried in the coffins were top officials and other important members in Egypt during that time as well as priests from the 26th Dynasty. According to Egypt’s Minister of Antiquities and Tourism, Dr. Khaled El-Enany, the coffins will be brought to the Grand Egyptian Museum in order for the public to view them. Several pictures of the coffins can be seen here.
The Saqqara site where the coffins were located is part of the necropolis at the ancient Egyptian capital of Memphis that includes the Giza Pyramids and smaller pyramids at Abu Sir, Dahshur, and Abu Ruwaysh. There are at least eleven pyramids located in the plateau that includes the Step Pyramid as well as hundreds of ancient tombs that date back between the 1st Dynasty from 2920 to 2770 BC and the Coptic Period from the years 395 to 642.