Overall 27 masterly crafted coffins have recently been discovered in the historic city of Memphis south of Giza, and the Tourism and Antiquities Ministry believes it is just the beginning of their lucky streak.
A total of 14 ancient sarcophagi have been unearthed in the Saqqara necropolis south of Cairo, which had been buried there for 2,500 years, Egypt’s Antiquities Ministry said in a statement.
The excavation work was carried out at the site where 13 other burial spots were discovered earlier this month, with more troves expected to be dug out later on. The necropolis in question is located around 16 kilometres (10 miles) south of the Giza pyramids and is part of the ancient city of Memphis, a UNESCO World Heritage site.
In a video about the discoveries published this month, Tourism and Antiquities Minister Khaled al-Anani hailed the recently found Saqqara treasures as “just the beginning”.
Photographs of the well-preserved wooden coffins feature diverse ornate paintings, with dominating maroon and blue colours, as well as hieroglyphs.
Egypt has sought to promote archaeological ventures across the country in a bid to revive tourism, which was dealt a severe blow by travelling restrictions induced by the novel coronavirus pandemic earlier this year.
In July, Egypt’s authorities reopened the landmark Giza pyramids, which drew record numbers of visitors – around 13.6 million last year, along with other archaeological sites, to the public after a three-month freeze and waived tourist visa fees to make the country more attractive to tourists.
Separately, Egypt is also planning to unveil a widely anticipated project – the Grand Egyptian Museum – in the next few months.