Fifty-nine coffins that were preserved and sealed were unveiled by Egyptian archeologists after being buried for more than 2,500 years.
On Saturday, one of the sarcophagi which were ornately decorated was opened in front of the media. The coffin then revealed remains that were mummified and wrapped in a burial cloth bearing inscriptions written in hieroglyphic which were brightly colored.
The unearthing of the coffins happened amid the burial grounds of Saqqara which lies in the south of Cairo. The area is considered as a UNESCO World Heritage Site as it serves as ancient Egypt's capital Memphis' necropolis.
According to Aljazeera, the secretary-general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, Mostafa Waziri expressed his joy about the amazing discovery.
The first 13 coffins were found and announced about three weeks ago since then more have been dug as the shafts reached more than 40 feet deep.
In addition, Khaled al-Anani, the Tourism and Antiquities Minister of the country stated that there could be more coffins buried underneath the area. The site is near the pyramid of Djoser which is more than 4,700 years old.
The coffins that were found were said to have been sealed inside the wooden coffins for more than 2,500 years. They said to date back all the way to ancient Egypt's Late Period which s around the sixth and seventh century BC.
However, al-Anani also stated that upon witnessing the unveiling of the coffin, the mummy looked like it was only mummified for just a day.
Moreover, in recent years several artifacts have been unearthed in the excavations done in Saqqara. Aside from mummified corpses, there have also been mummified birds, snakes, beetles, and other animals dug in the area.
The discovery of the coffins is one of the biggest announcements in the country ever since the COVID-19 outbreak started in 2020. The outbreak caused the closure of several archeological sites in the area for months since back in March.
There have also been statues found in the excavation site. One of the statues that were found was a bronze figure of Egypt's ancient god of the lotus blossom., Nefertem.
Based on the preliminary assessments, the sarcophagi may have belonged to prominent figures in ancient Egypt including senior statesmen and priests of the 26th dynasty.
All 59 coffins would then be taken to Giza Plateau and into the soon-to-open Grand Egyptian Museum.
The coffins would then be lines up in a hall opposite the one which is currently hosting 32 other sealed sarcophagi of 22nd dynasty priests. The said sarcophagi were discovered last year in the city of Luxor.
The opening of the museum has already been delayed several times in the past but is already planned to push through by 2021.
The Grand Museum will be housing thousands of artifacts throughout Egyptian history, which spans through its multiple eras including the pre-dynastic until the Greco-Roman period, CGTN reported.
The country is hoping that the increase in archeological findings in the past years will boost the tourism sector of the country which has suffered since the Arab Spring uprisings in 2011.