Egypt unveils 3000-year old coffins in latest archaeological discovery

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Egypt has unveiled a significant new archaeological discovery at the Saqqara necropolis south of Cairo, including 54 wooden coffins, many of which can be traced back 3000 years to the New Kingdom period.

The funerary temple of Queen Neit was also discovered near the pyramid of her husband, King Teti of Egypt’s 6th dynasty which dates back 4200 years, said famed archaeologist Zahi Hawass, who headed the archaeological mission.

epa08943329 A newly discovered coffin at the funerary temple of Queen Nearit, the wife of King Teti in the Saqqara archaeological site next to the Pyramid of King Teti in Giza, Egypt, 17 January 2021. It was announced on 16 January 2021 that the Zahi Hawass Center at Bibliotheca Alexandrina and the Ministry of Antiquities have discovered the Funerary temple of Queen Naerit along with other important discoveries that will help Egyptologists better understand the Old and New Kingdoms of Dynastic Egypt. EPA-EFE/Mohamed Hossam

The coffins, or sarcophagi, include the first dating back to the New Kingdom to be found at Saqqara, a UNESCO world heritage site that is home to the Step Pyramid, the tourism and antiquities ministry said in a statement. Carved in human form and painted in bright colours, many of them are still intact.

Ancient games, statues, and masks were also found.

“All these discoveries will rewrite the history of Saqqara and the New Kingdom,” said Hawass.

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