Egyptian authorities have discovered 2,500-year-old sealed wooden coffins in the desert of Saqqara. The coffins were found in a burial shaft located in a tomb complex home to thousands of coffins.
According to Egypt's Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities, the burial shaft was found 11 metres (36 feet) below the ground, where the coffins had been stacked on top of each other. Their excellent preservation means that some of the colours painted on the wood are still visible. The coffins were buried for more than 2,500 years.
شعور لا يقارن كلما تشهد كشف اثري جديد،— Khaled El-Enany (@KhaledElEnany6) September 6, 2020
انتظروا الاعلان عن كشف اثري جديد بسقارة، شكرا لزملائي بالوزارة.
An indescribable feeling when you witness a new archeological discovery.
Stay tuned for the announcement of a new discovery in Saqqara
Thank you to my colleagues in the ministry pic.twitter.com/RpgK6TmREo
Egypt's Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities explained that preliminary studies indicated the coffins are 'completely closed and haven't opened since they were buried inside the well'. Alongside the 13 coffins, three sealed niches were also found, and authorities believe there are more coffins in the sides of the shaft. They added,
A number of archaeological and wooden coffins were found inside, so far, the identity and positions of the owners of these coffins or their total number have not been identified, but these questions will be answered within the next few days through the continuation of excavations.
Saqqara, where the coffins were found, is believed to have previously served as the necropolis for Memphis, which was once the capital of ancient Egypt. The Egyptians buried their dead there for 3,000 years, making it a point of interest for archaeologists today.
Researchers believe that most of those coffins belong to people from the middle or working class. But few can have high ranking nobles and officials inside, buried with grave goods. It's a good sign that the coffins remained sealed and undisturbed for thousands of years.
In the coming days, the researchers will continue their excavation work in Saqqara and more details will be found after they open the newly found coffins.