Egypt Unveils Biggest Ancient Coffin In Over A Century

Egypt Unveils Biggest Ancient Coffin In Over A Century

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Egypt on Saturday unveiled the details of 30 ancient wooden coffins with mummies inside discovered in the southern city of Luxor in the biggest find of its kind in more than a century.

A team of Egyptian archaeologists discovered a “distinctive group of 30 coloured wooden coffins for men, women and children” in a cache at Al-Asasif cemetery on Luxor’s west bank, the Ministry of Antiquities said in a statement on Saturday.

“It is the first large human coffin cache ever discovered since the end of the 19th century,” the Egyptian Antiquities Minister Khaled El-Enany was quoted as saying during a ceremony in Luxor.

The intricately carved and painted coffins, three thousand years old, were closed with mummies inside and were in “a good condition of preservation, colours and complete inscriptions,” the statement added.

They were for male and female priests and children, said Mostafa Waziri, the excavation team leader, dating back to the 10th century BC under the rule of the 22nd Pharaonic dynasty, according to Reuters report.

The coffins will undergo restoration before being moved to a showroom at the Grand Egyptian Museum, due to open next year next to the Giza pyramids, the ministry said.

The discovery is the latest in a series of major finds of ancient relics that Egypt hopes will revive its tourism sector, which has been badly hit by political instability since the 2011 uprising that toppled Hosni Mubarak.

Earlier this month, Egypt unveiled two archaeological discoveries in Luxor including an industrial zone at the city’s West Valley, also known as the Valley of the Monkeys.

Tourists photograph sarcophagi displayed in front of Hatshepsut Temple in Egypt’s valley of the Kings in Luxor on October 19, 2019. – Egypt revealed today a rare trove of 30 ancient wooden coffins that have been well-preserved over millennia in the archaeologically rich Valley of the Kings in Luxor.
The antiquities ministry officially unveiled the discovery made at Asasif, a necropolis on the west bank of the Nile River, at a press conference against the backdrop of the Hatshepsut Temple. (Photo by Khaled DESOUKI / AFP)

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