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Egypt unveils age-old mysteries

Chirag Arora 16th November 2020

Cairo: The Egyptian Ministry of Tourism and Antiques has recently unveiled a hundred new sarcophagi discovered in the Saqqara necropolis of Giza. They were displayed on Saturday in a makeshift exhibit at the feet of the famed Step Pyramid of Djoser at Saqqara. The coffins are believed to be from the Ptolemy era, which lasted for 275 years, from 305 BC to 30 BC.

The new Sarcophagi found in Saqqara in Egypt (Source: Hasan Ahmad)

According to the Tourism and Antiquities Minister Khaled al-Anany, various other artefacts were found buried with sarcophagi, like funerary masks and statues. All of them are preserved in excellent condition.

"The works have not stopped yet at this site. Our missions will continue excavations, we might announce more discoveries from this site before the end of the year," Anany revealed, according to The Times of India. The ministry has stated that these sarcophagi will help in understanding the funerary practices of the past times.

The coffins were found in three burial shafts at a depth of 12 m in the Saqqara necropolis. According to the research, they belonged to the top officials and nobility during the Ptolemaic period. The authorities have stated the artefacts will be distributed among at least three different Cairo museums, including the Great Egyptian Museum near the Giza pyramids.

This discovery is the latest in the series of archaeological finds this year at the tombs in the Saqqara necropolis since September 140 sarcophagi have been located near the same area.

Egypt is known for advertising their archaeological finds to give a much-needed push to the country's tourism industry after the political turmoil in 2011 due to the uprising that overthrew long time ruler Hosni Mubarak. The tourism sector received another blow this year due to the pandemic.

(Sources: News 24, TOI, The Hindu)

Edited by: Sarvani Chavali, Tanya Jain, Anjali Dinesh

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