Archaeology news: ‘Major discoveries’ announced of ‘more than 50’ Egyptian sarcophagi

Egypt: Explorers find ‘strange door’ under Great Pyramid of Giza

The incredible haul of Egyptian antiquities includes an ancient funerary temple. The tourism and antiquities ministry said the “major discoveries” made by a team of archaeologists in a site south of Cairo.

And also included among the finds are believed to be more than 50 sarcophagi.

Initial estimates reveal the wooden sarcophagi date back to the New Kingdom.

Theses funeral receptacles were found in 52 burial shafts up to 40ft (12m) deep, the ministry said in a statement.

The archaeological recovery was led by world-renowned Egyptologist Zahi Hawass.

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The Egypt archaeology expert was quoted as saying the “funerary temple of Queen Naert, the wife of King Teti” discovered at the site.

And three entire warehouses build from bricks are also thought to have been found.

Saqqara is home to more than a dozen pyramids, ancient monasteries, and animal burial sites.

The area is a vast necropolis of the ancient Egyptian capital of Memphis, widely-known as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Egypt announced in November last year the discovery of more than 100 intact sarcophagi, in the largest-such find of 2020.

The sealed wooden coffins, unveiled alongside statues of ancient deities, have been dated back to more than 2,500 years ago.

The sarcophagi are said to have belonged to important officials of the Late Period and the Ptolemaic period of ancient Egypt.

At the time of the first discovery, Antiquities and Tourism Minister Khaled al-Anani cryptically forecast, “Saqqara has yet to reveal all of its contents.”

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In the statement released this weekend, Egyptologist Mr Hawass explained this latest discovery could illuminate even further the history of Saqqara during the New Kingdom.

The period reached its apogee between the 16th century BC and the 11th century BC.

The discovery was made near the pyramid where King Teti, the first pharaoh of the Sixth Dynasty of the Old Kingdom, was laid to rest.

There has been a flurry of excavations in recent years in Saqqara.

This is also home to the step pyramid of Djoser, one of the earliest built in ancient Egypt.

Egypt hopes archaeological discoveries will encourage tourism to return to the area.

This sector has suffered several setbacks, from 2011’s ‘Arab Spring’ uprising to the curet coronavirus pandemic sweeping the world.

Later this year, and after several delays, authorities hope to inaugurate a new museum, the Grand Egyptian Museum at the Giza plateau, home to the world-famous Giza pyramids.

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