Cairo (AP) — Egyptian archaeologists have unearthed another ancient coffin in a vast cemetery south of Cairo, authorities said Monday.
The Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities said in a statement that archaeologists had discovered a collection of colorful and sealed sarcophagus buried in the Saqqara cemetery 2,500 years ago.
More than 80 coffins were found, Mostapawa Geiri, secretary-general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities.
Archaeologists have also found wooden statues covered in ornate gold leaf, the Ministry of Education said. Details of the new discovery will be announced at a press conference at the famous Josser’s Stair Pyramid.
Egypt has tried to promote its archaeological finds to revive a major tourism sector that was badly hit by the chaos after the 2011 uprising. The sector has also been further hit by the coronavirus pandemic this year.
Prime Minister Mustafa Mad Bully and Minister of Tourism and Antiquities Khalid El Anani toured the area and investigated new discoveries that were more than two weeks old.
The Saqqara site is part of a cemetery in Memphis, the ancient capital of Egypt, which includes the famous Giza Pyramids and smaller pyramids of Abu Sir, Dahshur and Abu Ruwaysh. Memphis’ ruins were declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in the 1970s.
This plateau contains at least 11 pyramids, including stepped pyramids, along with hundreds of ancient civil servant tombs and other monuments ranging from the First Dynasty (2920-2770 BC) to the Coptic Period (395-642).