Category Archives: EGYPT

Egypt finds 59 ancient coffins buried more than 2,600 years ago

Egypt finds 59 ancient coffins buried more than 2,600 years ago

The Egyptian Minister of Tourism and Antiquities said on Saturday, dozens of ancient coffins were discovered by archaeologists in a large Necropolis south of Cairo.

Khalid el-Anany, Egypt’s tourism and antiquities minister, right, and Mostafa Waziri, secretary-general of the country’s Supreme Council of Antiquities, left, stand over a sarcophagus at the Saqqara archaeological site, 30 kilometres (19 miles) south of Cairo, Egypt on Saturday, Oct. 3, 2020. El-Anany says at least 59 sealed sarcophagi with mummies inside were found in three wells at the vast necropolis, believed to have been buried there more than 2,600 years ago.

Khalid el-Anany said that 59 sealed sarcophagi, most of them mummies, have been discovered to have buried more than 2,600 years ago in three wells.

“I consider this is the beginning of a big discovery,” el-Anany said, adding that there is an unknown number of coffins that have yet to be unearthed in the same area.

He spoke at a news conference at the famed Step Pyramid of Djoser in Saqqara where the coffins were found.

The sarcophagi have been displayed and one of them was opened before reporters to show the mummy inside. Several foreign diplomats attended the announcement ceremony.

A sarcophagus that is around 2500 years old is shown at the Saqqara archaeological site, 30 kilometres (19 miles) south of Cairo, Egypt, Saturday, Oct. 3, 2020.

The Saqqara plateau hosts at least 11 pyramids, including the Step Pyramid, along with hundreds of tombs of ancient officials and other sites that range from the 1st Dynasty (2920 B.C.-2770 B.C.) to the Coptic period (395-642).

Mostafa Waziri, secretary-general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, said initial studies show that the decorated coffins were made for priests, top officials and elites from the Pharaonic Late Period (664-525 B.C.).

He said archaeologists also found a total of 28 statuettes of Ptah-Soker the main god of the Saqqara necropolis, and a beautifully carved 35 cm tall bronze statuette of god Nefertum, inlaid with precious stones. The name of its owner, Priest Badi-Amun, is written on its base, he said.

Egyptian antiquities officials had announced the discovery of the first batch coffins last month when archaeologists found 13 of the containers in a newly discovered 11 meter-deep (36 feet) well.

One of the discovered tombs at the Saqqara archaeological site is shown, 30 kilometers (19 miles) south of Cairo, Egypt, Saturday, Oct. 3, 2020.

The Saqqara site is part of the necropolis of Egypt’s ancient capital of Memphis that includes the famed Giza Pyramids, as well as smaller pyramids at Abu Sir, Dahshur and Abu Ruwaysh. The ruins of Memphis have designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in the 1970s.

El-Anany said the Saqqara coffins would join 30 ancient wooden coffins that were discovered in October in the southern city of Luxor and will be showcased at the new Grand Egyptian Museum, which Egypt is building near the Giza Pyramids.

The Saqqara discovery is the latest in a series of archaeological finds that Egypt has sought to publicize in an effort to revive its key tourism sector, which was badly hit by the turmoil that followed the 2011 uprising. The sector was also dealt a further blow this year by the global coronavirus pandemic.

An Ancient Egyptian Village Just Found in The Nile Delta Predates The Pyramids by 2,500 Years

An Ancient Egyptian Village Just Found in The Nile Delta Predates The Pyramids by 2,500 Years

An extremely rare treasure has been found by Egyptian archaeologists in the delta of the Nile: remnants of an ancient settlement dated back to around 5,000 BC. It’s one of the oldest ever discovered in the region, predating the pyramids at Giza by 2,500 years.

This undated photo released by the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities shows one of the oldest villages ever found in the Nile Delta, with remains dating back to before the pharaohs in Tell el-Samara, about 140 kilometres (87 miles) north of Cairo, Egypt. Chief archaeologist Frederic Gio says his team found silos containing animal bones and food, indicating human habitation as early as 5,000 B.C.

According to the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquity, the Neolithic site, at the fertile, Tell el-Samara, about 140 kilometres (87 miles) north of Cairo, is around 7,000 years old.

The joint French-Egyptian excavation team found several storage silos, containing organic matter — animal bones and plant residues — that allowed them to date the site. They also found pottery and stone tools, indicating a stable community.

These discoveries open up an opportunity to identify and learn more about the prehistoric communities that occupied the Nile Delta thousands of years before the legendary King Menes united upper and lower Egypt, founding the first Pharaonic dynasty.

“Analyzing the biological material that has been discovered will present us with a clearer view of the first communities that settled in the Delta and the origins of agriculture and farming in Egypt,” said Nadia Khedr of the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities.

The researchers believe that the farming practices in the village could have been heavily reliant on rain. This could help shed some light on the development of irrigation-based farming later practised in the Nile Delta for thousands of years.

In another recent discovery, archaeologists revealed that the ancient Egyptians were deliberately mummifying their dead much earlier than thought.

The team found evidence of early mummification up to 5,600 years old — also before the time of the Pharaohs.

While there was no mention of mummification found at the Tell el-Samara site, it is potentially an invaluable resource for learning more about the early settlement of ancient Egypt.

Excavations at the site will be completed in the next season, followed by a full analysis of the discoveries.

Sarcophagus of 26th-Dynasty Priest Found in Upper Egypt

Sarcophagus of 26th-Dynasty Priest Found in Upper Egypt

Ahram Online reports that a sarcophagus dated to the 26th Dynasty (688–525 B.C.) and a collection of ushabti statuettes were found in a 16-foot-deep shaft at the archaeological site of Al-Ghoreifa, which is located in Upper Egypt.

An Egyptian archaeological mission has unveiled a new collection of amulets and scarabs found inside a coffin unearthed in January in the Minya Governorate’s Al-Ghoreifa area, near the Tuna el-Gebel necropolis.

The mission determined that the sarcophagus, which dates back to Egypt’s 26th dynasty, belongs to the Ancient Egyptian God Thoth’s (Djehuty in Egyptian) High Priest, according to a statement released by the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities.

Thoth was the Egyptian god of writing, magic, wisdom, and the moon. His followers primarily resided in the ancient city of Hermopolis, located near the modern town of Al Ashmunin.

The Secretary-General of Egypt’s Supreme Council for Antiquities, Mostafa Waziri, said that the mission discovered in its third season hundreds of relics, including heart-shaped scarabs, winged scarabs, and amulets representing different deities.

On September 21, the mission unearthed from a burial well a limestone coffin decorated with images of the four children of Horus, as well as a collection of Ushabti statues made of vines. The mission began in the area in 2018 and has since unearthed dozens of tombs and antiquities.

Sarcophagus of 26th-Dynasty Priest Found in Upper Egypt

Divers Uncover Ancient Temple Submerged Within The ‘Egyptian Atlantis’

Divers Uncover Ancient Temple Submerged Within The ‘Egyptian Atlantis’

The remnants of the ancient submarine temple were found in the ancient sunken town of Heracleion, off the north coast of Egypt, identified as the Atlantic of Egypt.

About 1,200 years ago the town sank into the sea but after it was discovered 2,000 marine archaeologists have been probing to uncover new parts of the settlements.

In the most recent discovery, Egyptian and European divers uncovered the ruin of a temple along with several boats holding treasures like bronze coins and jewellery.

The ruins of an ancient underwater temple have been discovered in the ancient sunken city Heracleion, off Egypt’s north coast, described as Egypt’s Atlantis. Granite columns and a Greek temple were found during recent dives and studies to the lost city of Heracleion (pictured)

Using a sophisticated scanning device, they revealed a new part of the city’s main temple, which has been completely destroyed. Remains of a smaller Greek temple, complete with ancient columns was found along with pottery from the third and fourth centuries B.C.E.

The bronze coins were from the reign of King Ptolemy II (283 to 246 BCE).  Archaeologists also stretched their map of Canopus—another sunken settlement close to Heracleion. 

They found the remains of several buildings, expanding the city by about two-thirds of a mile along with gold and bronze coins as well as jewellery including rings and earrings.

Recovered coins and jewellery.

The team believe the artefacts date from the Ptolemaic dynasty (305 to 30 B.C.E) to the time of the Byzantine Empire, which began in 330 C.E.  Researchers also investigated some of the many ancient ships known to exist at the site. 

They found treasures including crockery, coins and jewellery in one now fully-excavated vessel. The team believe the wreck dates from the fourth century B.C. 

The city of Heracleion, home of the temple where Cleopatra was inaugurated, was one of the most important trade centres in the Mediterranean area before it disappeared into what is now the Bay of Aboukir. 

But 12 years ago, underwater archaeologist Dr Franck Goddio was searching the Egyptian coastline for French warships from the 18th century battle of the Nile, but instead stumbled across the treasures of the lost city. 

Real-life Atlantis: The sunken city of Heracleion, brought to life by the research team investigating the site 150ft under the sea where it now lays, including the main temple of Amun-Gerb, centre-right

After removing layers of sand and mud, divers discovered evidence of extraordinary wealth, painting a picture of what life was like in Heracleion, believed to have been at the centre of Mediterranean trade more than 1,000 years ago.

Although it was mentioned in classical texts, Heracleion lay undisturbed beneath the waters of Abu Qir Bay until it was mapped in 2000. Researchers spent four years charting the city, known as Thonis in Egypt, according to the lead researcher Franck Goddio.

After more than a decade of excavation, researchers were able to create a map depicting life in the ancient trade hub. 

The research team, led by Dr Goddio have yet to establish what caused the city to go down, but the main theory is that the unstable sediments Heracleion was built on collapsed, and in combination with a rising sea-levels, may have caused the entire area to drop 12 feet straight into the water.

‘We are just at the beginning of our research,’ Dr Goddio told the Telegraph in 2013.

’We will probably have to continue working for the next 200 years.’

After 3,300 Years, king tuts Coffin Leaves His Tomb for the First Time Ever

After 3,300 Years, king tuts Coffin Leaves His Tomb for the First Time Ever

The outermost coffin that once held the body of King Tutankhamun had never left the 3,300-year-old tomb since the time he was first laid to rest. Even after archaeologist Howard Carter discovered the tomb in 1922, the wooden coffin remained in the Valley of the Kings — until now.

The golden outer coffin of Tutankhamun has been removed from its sterilization tent before it undergoes a painstaking eight-month restoration process. 

The gilded sarcophagus of the ancient Egyptian Pharaoh now lies in the restoration laboratory of the Grand Egyptian Museum in Giza, which lies on the outskirts of Cairo, Egypt.  

Restoration of the outer coffin will take at least eight months, Antiquities Minister Khaled el-Anany said.

Pictures reveal the intricate reliefs on the foot of the golden sarcophagus which were carved into the outer wood covering of the coffin. 

Inside the box-like structure of the sarcophagus were three coffins to house the body of the king.  The innermost coffin is made of solid gold, while the middle coffin is made with gilded wood, inlaid with multi-colored glass. The outer coffin is made from wood with a gold covering and stretches to 7.3 feet long.

This is the first time the outer coffin of ‘King Tut’ has been removed from the 3,300-year-old tomb since it was discovered in 1922 by British archaeologist Howard Carter. 

Tutankhamun, known as the ‘Golden Pharaoh’, was an 18th dynasty king who ruled from the age of eight to 19. He died in 1324BC and is best known for being the first royal tomb to be discovered almost entirely intact. 

He was buried in the Valley of the Kings and discovered by British archaeologist Howard Carter in 1922. His tomb was filled with royal treasures, including a dagger made from a meteorite.

His tomb contained three coffins nestled within one another. Shortly after it was discovered both the inner and middle caskets were transferred to the Egyptian Museum in Cairo, while the outer gilded coffin was left behind.

In July, the casket was removed in tight security operation and fumigated for seven days.  Restoration will now continue using non-invasive equipment to repair cracks to the golden layers and fix weakened areas

A woman looks at the golden sarcophagus belonging to Tut, who died at the age of 19.

After mechanical and chemical engineering has taken place, any layers of plaster that have broken away will be replaced in their original location.

Once the work has been completed, the coffin will be on display in the Grand Egyptian Museum – the first time the three caskets have been displayed together since their discovery. 

Some of the stunning artifacts are going on display at the Saatchi Museum in London in November to raise funds for a new Egyptian museum, giving members of the public opportunity to see them before they are stowed away forever. 

The linen-wrapped mummy of King Tutankhamun displayed in his climate-controlled glass case in the underground tomb KV62.

Ancient Egyptian Coffin Contains Oldest Known “Map” Of The Underworld

Ancient Egyptian Coffin Contains Oldest Known “Map” Of The Underworld

Even those who know little of ancient Egypt’s mysteries have heard of the infamous Book of the Dead. And now, researchers have found a similar text that not only predates that one, but may also be the oldest illustrated book ever uncovered.

According to The New York Times, Egyptologists found parts of an illustrated “book” that served as a guide to reaching Rostau — the Underworld ruled by Osiris, the Egyptian god of death.

The incredible discovery, published in the Journal of Egyptian Archaeology, happened at the village Dayr al-Barsha (or Deir el-Bersha) where the cliff-side necropolis of the region’s governors who ruled during Egypt’s the Middle Kingdom was laid to rest inside elaborately decorated tombs.

Fragments from a Book of Two Ways discovered on the coffin of a woman named Ankh inside the necropolis of Deir el-Bersha.

It was guided by archaeologist Harco Willems from the Belgium’s University of Leuven, a team of researchers investigated one of the five burial shafts located inside the tomb complex of Ahanakht.

Twenty feet down inside the burial shaft, the team found the remains of a sarcophagus that appeared to be completely undisturbed despite the previous presence of grave robbers and other archaeologists at the site.

Judging by the remains and the setup of the sarcophagus, it belonged to an elite woman named Ankh who was related to an elite government official. Her cedar coffin had deteriorated due to being overrun by fungi but upon closer inspection, the crumbling casket revealed something unexpected.

Inside the sarcophagus were remarkable etchings explicitly quoting from the Book Of Two Ways, which is made up of hieroglyphs and illustrations describing Ankh’s wayward journey into the afterlife.

“These ‘coffin texts’ tend to situate the deceased in the world of the gods,” Willems said. “Sometimes they are combined with drawings. At Deir el-Bersha, one frequently encounters Books of Two Ways.”

Markings on the floor of a coffin showing the “two ways” of the ancient Egyptian afterlife referred to in the Book of Two Ways.

“The ancient Egyptians were obsessed with life in all its forms,” explained Rita Lucarelli, an Egyptology curator at the University of California, Berkeley. “Death for them was a new life.”

Now, researchers have yet again uncovered evidence that ancient Egypt’s elaborate death customs sometimes included providing the dead with these “coffin texts” so that they could make their way to the underworld. Remarkably, each person had their own version of the text that was customized based on their status and wealth.

Ankh’s guide texts incorporated incantations to help her ward off the demons she encountered on her journey. The arduous trip to reach Rostau, the markings proclaimed, would be plagued by obstacles of fire, demons, and spirits that she would have to overcome.

“This one begins with a text encircled by a red line designated as ‘ring of fire,’” Willems said. “The text is about the sun god passing this protective fiery ring to reach Osiris.”

Judgement scene from the Book Of The Dead, the corpus of Egyptian funerary texts that the Book Of Two Ways predates.
Judgment scene from the Book Of The Dead, the corpus of Egyptian funerary texts that the Book Of Two Ways predates.

Researchers estimated the age of Ankh’s sarcophagus texts based on inscriptions and other relics found nearby that referred to the reign of Pharaoh Mentuhotep II, who ruled until 2010 B.C.E. That means the original manual from which these texts were copied would be at least 4,000 years old, likely making it the world’s oldest illustrated book ever found.

The team furthermore found two dozen extant texts of the Book Of Two Ways maps inside the burial shaft. Most etchings have been difficult to make out but the scientists believe the depictions likely illustrate rituals to bring deceased gods or dead humans back to life, symbolizing rebirth in Egyptian culture.

Perhaps further study will only help unravel more of the mysteries stirred up by this fascinating find.

2,500-Year-Old Bronze Statue Found at Saqqara

2,500-Year-Old Bronze Statue Found at Saqqara

Mostafa Waziri of the Supreme Council of Antiquities announced the discovery of several statues, including a 14-inch-tall bronze figure of the god Nefertum, lying beside intact, painted wooden coffins in a deep burial shaft in the Saqqara necropolis, according to an Ahram Online report. 

God Nefertum statue is inlaid with valuable precious stones red agate, turquoise, and lapis lazuli.  It is 35 centimeters tall and the name of its owner Badi Amunis engraved on its base. Badi Amun is from the 26th Dynasty.

The mission uncovered as well a number of intact wooden coffins. Waziri said that the newly discovered bronze statue of the god Nefertum was found lying beside the 26th Dynasty coffins.

A carved statue of the god Nefertum was unearthed in Saqqara necropolis on Thursday, alongside a group of intact wooden coffins which the antiquities ministry has said it will reveal more details about on Saturday.

The secretary-general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities said that the Nefertum statue is one of several statues that the mission discovered while performing the excavation work inside an 11 meter-deep burial shaft.

Egypt’s Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities revealed that it will announce more details about Saqqara’s discoveries on Saturday.

On September 6, Egypt’s Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities announced that more than 13 intact and sealed coffins were discovered in Saqqara, which is considered a massive discovery. The discovered coffins were found inside an 11-meter deep shaft, where three sealed niches were also found. 

“An indescribable feeling every time we witness a new archaeological discovery, especially when it is an 11-meter-deep shaft encompassing a number of sealed pharaonic human coffins.

A wonderful feeling that we are revealing a new secret of our great civilization… Stay tuned for the announcement of a new discovery in Saqqara! A big thank you to all my colleagues in the ministry for their efforts and dedication,” Minister of Tourism and Antiquities Khaled al-Anany said on September 6. 

Waziri announced that the names of the coffin owners have not yet been discovered, but will be revealed in the upcoming days as the excavation work continues. 

The first studies revealed that the newly uncovered coffins are sealed and have not been opened since they were buried in the shaft and that most probably they were found in the same location. 

On September 18, a group of 14 intact wooden coffins was discovered four days ago in a burial shaft. The newly uncovered burial shaft was found next to the shaft that was revealed last week and housed 13 coffins in Saqqara Necropolis.

The total number of intact coffins in the area has now reached 27; the coffins are 2,500 years old and still keep some of their original colours. The discovery was made by the Egyptian archaeological mission headed by Waziri.

It is worth mentioning that the Saqqara discovery houses the largest number of coffins in one burial since the discovery of the Al-Asasif cachette.

On April 18, the Egyptian Ministry of Tourism & Antiquities announced via the internet a new archaeological discovery in Saqqara Necropolis. 

Minister of Tourism and Antiquities Khaled el-Anani uploaded a set of photos of him with excavation workers in Saqqara on his official account on Instagram. 

The discovery was a burial well leading to a room containing a large collection of statues, pottery, and Ushabtis, in addition to a sarcophagus.  This well was located next to the Wahty Tomb, which was discovered in November 2019 in the sacred cemetery of animals. 

The statement of the Ministry of Tourism & Antiquities confirmed that work began in this promising region in April 2018, indicating that work is still underway. 

The discovery was located at the site of the necropolis of sacred animals and birds in Saqqara, in which, during the past 2 years, many archaeological discoveries were made by the personnel of the Supreme Council of Antiquities.

Archeologists in Egypt find 59 ancient coffins

Archeologists in Egypt find 59 ancient coffins

The Egyptian Minister of Tourism and Antiquity said on Saturday that archaeologists discovered dozens of ancient coffins in a vast necropolis in the South of Cairo.

Khalid el-Anany said at least 59 sealed sarcophagi, with mummies inside most of them, were found that had been buried in three wells more than 2,600 years ago.

“I consider this is the beginning of a big discovery,” el-Anany said, adding that there is an unknown number of coffins that have yet to be unearthed in the same area.

He spoke at a news conference at the famed Step Pyramid of Djoser in Saqqara where the coffins were found. The sarcophagi have been displayed and one of them was opened before reporters to show the mummy inside. Several foreign diplomats attended the announcement ceremony.

The Saqqara plateau hosts at least 11 pyramids, including the Step Pyramid, along with hundreds of tombs of ancient officials and other sites that range from the 1st Dynasty (2920 B.C.-2770 B.C.) to the Coptic period (395-642).

Mostafa Waziri, secretary-general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, said initial studies show that the decorated coffins were made for priests, top officials, and elites from the Pharaonic Late Period (664-525 B.C.).

Khalid el-Anany, Egypt’s tourism and antiquities minister, right, and Mostafa Waziri, secretary-general of the country’s Supreme Council of Antiquities, left, stand over a sarcophagus at the Saqqara archaeological site, 30 kilometers (19 miles) south of Cairo, Egypt on Saturday, Oct. 3, 2020. El-Anany says at least 59 sealed sarcophagi with mummies inside were found in three wells at the vast necropolis, believed to have been buried there more than 2,600 years ago.

He said archaeologists also found a total of 28 statuettes of Ptah-Soker the main god of the Saqqara necropolis, and a beautifully carved 35 cm tall bronze statuette of god Nefertum, inlaid with precious stones.

The name of its owner, Priest Badi-Amun, is written on its base, he said.

Egyptian antiquities officials had announced the discovery of the first batch coffins last month when archaeologists found 13 of the containers in a newly discovered 11 meter-deep (36 feet) well.

The Saqqara site is part of the necropolis of Egypt’s ancient capital of Memphis that includes the famed Giza Pyramids, as well as smaller pyramids at Abu Sir, Dahshur, and Abu Ruwaysh. The ruins of Memphis have designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in the 1970s.

El-Anany said the Saqqara coffins would join 30 ancient wooden coffins that were discovered in October in the southern city of Luxor and will be showcased at the new Grand Egyptian Museum, which Egypt is building near the Giza Pyramids.

The Saqqara discovery is the latest in a series of archeological finds that Egypt has sought to publicize in an effort to revive its key tourism sector, which was badly hit by the turmoil that followed the 2011 uprising.

The sector was also dealt a further blow this year by the global coronavirus pandemic.

“Gift of the Century” Egypt unveils 59 ancient coffins in major archaeological discovery