- Archaeologists have uncovered 20 ancient wooden coffins in Egypt’s Asasif necropolis, where the ancient city of Thebes once stood.
- The sarcophagi are “intact and sealed,” the Egyptian government said, with colours and inscriptions preserved “in full.”
- Egyptian officials said they would announce more details about the discovery on Saturday.
- The finding came after an industrial area of ancient Thebes was unearthed last week – the discoveries included 30 manufacturing workshops and a pottery kiln.
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Archaeologists just uncovered 20 colourful, carved wooden coffins in a huge tomb in Egypt.
The Egyptian government called it “one of the largest and most important discoveries” of the past few years and said the coffins included “colours and inscriptions in full,” according to a translation of a press release announcing the finding.
The sarcophagi were unearthed in the Asasif necropolis of the ancient town of Thebes, on the west bank of the Nile. They were stacked in two layers.
Though the government has not provided an estimate of how old the coffins might be, the necropolis is home to tombs dating as far back as Egypt’s 18th dynasty, which began around 1540 BC.
In a tweet on Tuesday, the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities said that the coffins were “intact and sealed” and that it would announce more details on Saturday.
The Al-Asasif Cachette. Intact and sealed coffins. More details to be announced on Saturday..Keep tuned #luxor #egypt #egyptology #historyofegypt #aasif #cachette #discovery #Archaeology pic.twitter.com/4CRcpfgrvf
— Ministry of Antiquities-Arab Republic of Egypt (@AntiquitiesOf) October 15, 2019
The coffins are part of a series of findings by archaeologists since they began researching areas around the modern-day city of Luxor in December 2017.
Last week, the government announced the discovery of an ancient industrial area in the nearby Valley of the Monkeys. Archaeologists identified 30 manufacturing workshops there, along with an ancient pottery kiln from the 18th dynasty.
“Each workshop had a different purpose,” Zahi Hawass, the archaeologist who led that excavation, told CNN. “Some were used to make pottery, others to produce gold artifacts, and others still to manufacture furniture.”
The Egyptian government said on Tuesday that the country’s minister of antiquities, Khaled El-Anany, had travelled to the site to inspect the newly discovered coffins along with Mostafa Waziri, the secretary-general of Egypt’s Supreme Council of Antiquities.
The Associated Press reported that Egypt had sought to call attention to new archaeological discoveries like this one to bolster tourism.
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