For decades, Egypt was home to one of the greatest and mightiest empires in the world. There is no denying that the ancient Egyptian empire has left a huge mark both on history and culture. A mark that certainly demands and deserves the utmost respect. The empire also left treasures only archaeologists can have the power to uncover. Thus, they now have unveiled one of the greatest archaeological discoveries of our modern time. They have discovered 59 sealed sarcophagi mummies in the ancient necropolis of Saqqara, outside Cairo.
Experts stated that the mummified remains date back almost 2,500 years. Furthermore, they believe that they will find more within the next months in the area.
Saqqara has always been known for being one of the world’s richest archaeological sites. The UN even established the area as a Heritage site back in the 1970s. Thus, archeologists have been working there for quite some time, hoping to uncover their ancestors’ history. Moreover, not only is Saqqara Part of the necropolis of Egypt’s ancient city of Memphis, but it is also a host to the 5,000-year-old Step pyramid.
A Huge Discovery
The archeologist has found the remains in an almost perfect condition. Though they were mummified for almost three millennia, the mummy appears to be as if it was mummified yesterday. Many of the remains also managed to retain their original ornate colors despite the long passage of time. Thus, their perfect condition, along with their time period, sealed this discovery as one of the most significant archaeological discoveries in decades.
“This discovery will go all over the world because it is the most important discovery that has happened in Egypt in 2020,” Zahi Hawass, the renowned Egyptologist and former Egyptian minister for antiquities affairs, told Arab News on Saturday.
“That moment, I cannot explain to you, it is the passion when you discover a mummy for the first time that was sealed for thousands of years. I always say that you never know what the sand of Egypt may hide.”
The site’s discoveries
Since 2018, archaeologists have been working on this site tediously. Therefore, their efforts have come to fruition when they not only uncovered the mummies, but they also made some other remarkable finds.
They found, along with the ancient limestone and wooden coffins, a huge cat cemetery that also dates back to the time of pharaohs. Moreover, they discovered a rare collection of mummified scarab beetles. Furthermore, they also uncovered a bronze statue of the god Nefertam as well as a wooden obelisk decorated with hieroglyphs.
“We thought there were only animal mummies, like cats, crocodiles, snakes, and lions,” Dr. Mostafa Waziri, secretary-general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities of Egypt, told Arab News.
Therefore, the team was both surprised and delighted when they uncovered the first one of the closed coffins from an 11-meter-deep burial shaft. “I found a big mountain of debris and, in my heart, I felt something and said ‘this is the place that they should start digging,’” Waziri stated while recalling his first impressions of the site back in 2018.
Al Jazeera. (2020, October 3). Egypt unveils 59 ancient coffins in major archaeological finds. Middle East | Al Jazeera. https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/10/3/egypt-unveils-59-ancient-coffins-in-major-archaeological-discoverConnelly, E. A. J. (2020, October 6). Dozens of 2,500-year-old coffins unveiled in Egypt. New York Post. https://nypost.com/2020/10/04/dozens-of-ancient-coffins-unveiled-in-egypt/Egyptian archaeologists unveil discovery of 59 sealed sarcophagi. (2020, October 4). Arab News. https://www.arabnews.com/node/1743621/middle-eastReuters. (2020, October 6). Egypt Unveils 59 Ancient Coffins in a Major Archaeological Discovery. The Wire Science. https://science.thewire.in/the-sciences/egypt-unveils-59-ancient-coffins-in-a-major-archaeological-discovery/Staff, R. (2020, October 3). Egypt unveils 59 ancient coffins in major archaeological discovery. U.S. https://www.reuters.com/article/egypt-archaeology-sarcophagi/egypt-unveils-59-ancient-coffins-in-major-archaeological-discovery-idUSL8N2GU0ET