'Most important discovery in years'

 

Egyptian archaeologists have unearthed a collection of "intact and sealed" ancient coffins containing mummies dating back thousands of years.

The Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities hailed the find as its "largest and most important discovery in years", with 30 wooden coffins featuring engravings and hieroglyphics being discovered inside an ancient necropolis in the southern Egyptian city of Luxor.

Some of the discovered coffins stacked on top of one another.
Some of the discovered coffins stacked on top of one another.

"It is the first large human coffin cache ever discovered since the end of the 19th century," the Egyptian Antiquities Minister Khaled El-Enany said at an unveiling ceremony over the weekend, according to Reuters.

Egyptian Minister of Antiquities Khaled el-Anany (centre) at a ceremony on Saturday announcing details of the ancient coffins.
Egyptian Minister of Antiquities Khaled el-Anany (centre) at a ceremony on Saturday announcing details of the ancient coffins.

The well-preserved coffins still contained complete inscriptions and colouring despite being judged at around 3000 years old.

The excavation team leader Mostafa Waziri said the coffins were for male and female priests and children and dated back to 10th century BC and the 22nd Pharaonic dynasty.

The coffins are set to be restored and displayed at the Grand Egyptian Museum, which opens near the Pyramids of Giza next year.

Ancient Egyptian artefacts and history are a key part of the country's tourism sector, which it's hoping to rebuild close to a decade after the 2011 uprising against former long-serving president Hosni Mubarak.


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