Over 100 sarcophagi were discovered on Saturday, November 14 in Egypt's Saqqara, the same ancient burial ground where dozens of coffins were found last month.
After the recent discovery from the place, which served as the necropolis for the ancient capital of Memphis, a UNESCO world heritage site, antiquities minister Dr. Khaled El Enany said, "It's the biggest discovery of 2020, but we are not stopping here yet. The discovery of one burial shaft leads to another." He also noted that as of now Saqqara has not revealed one percent of its secrets, so more tombs, and burial shafts can be found in every single spot in the area.
Some of the newly-discovered seas and colored coffins were displayed in a makeshift tent overlooking the Step pyramid of Djoser. As reported, the wooden and gilded sarcophagi included mummies of Egyptian priests and ancient high-ranking officials belonging to the late and Ptolemaic periods, almost 2,500 years ago.
As per Egypt's Supreme Council of Antiquities Mostafa El-Waziri, the mission is now to locate the workshop where these coffins were made. He also pointed out the discrepancy in the colors of the sarcophagi and the shapes that suggest the financial muscle of their owner, as some were able to pay for the gilded coffins, while others were only capable of paying for wooden ones. The excavators also unearthed funerary masks and 40 wooden statues of Saqqara goddess Ptah Soker.
A CT scan was performed on one of the mummies and archaeologists said that the deceased had died in his 40s. It also revealed that the man who was mummified thousands of years ago didn't suffer any chronic diseases.
Land of Hidden Mysteries
Saqqara is a very large area with around 13 pyramids, including Djoser, which is deemed the oldest stone structure of its size in the world. Kings, high-rank citizens, and senior officials were buried there from the ancient era, alongside their families through most eras of ancient Egyptian history.
El-Enany also said that it is a very rich area that is still full of mysteries that are revealed to the world every now and then. He believes that with continued excavations, there is a possibility to find more human and animal tombs. The country hopes that its major discoveries, such as unearthing of a 4,400-year-old tomb of royal priest Wahtye in 2018, will help revive its vital tourism industry, which became affected due to the COVID-19 pandemic.