Egypt Unearths New Mummies Dating Back 2,500 Years


Archaeologists in Egypt have unearthed more than 100 delicately painted wooden coffins, some with mummies inside, and 40 funeral statues in the ancient burial ground of Saqqara, the Egyptian antiquities authorities said, calling the discovery the largest find at the site this year.


Other artifacts discovered include funeral masks, canopic jars and amulets.


“This discovery is very important because it proves that Saqqara was the main burial of the 26th Dynasty,” Zahi Hawass, an Egyptologist, told the magazine Egypt Today, referring to the rulers from about the mid 600s B.C. to 525 B.C. It would also enrich existing knowledge about mummifications in that period, he added.

“这个发现非常重要,因为它证明了萨卡拉是第26王朝的主要埋葬地。” 埃及古物学家扎希·哈瓦斯告诉《今日埃及》杂志,这个发现大约是在公元前600年到公元前525年的统治者,他补充说,这也将丰富关于这一时期木乃伊的现有认知。

Saqqara, a city about 20 miles south of Cairo, is a vast necropolis for the Old Kingdom capital of Memphis, and it has long been the source of major archaeological finds. Made a UNESCO world heritage site in the 1970s, the necropolis holds more than a dozen burial sites, including the Step Pyramid of King Djoser, the first known burial pyramid.


In a dramatic flourish at the news conference on Saturday, experts opened a coffin and scanned a mummy with an X-ray, determining it was most likely a man around the age of 40.


The discovery announced on Saturday is the most recent in a series of historical finds at the site. Officials said in October that they had found 59 intact coffins.


More discoveries are predicted at the site, with archaeologists expecting to find in 2021 an ancient workshop that prepared bodies for mummification.


According to a Times database, Egypt has reported 110,547 total virus cases, with an average of 226 new infections per day over the last week. The country reopened its borders to visitors in July.