This is an extraordinary time for anyone interested in Egyptian tombs.
A new fascinating film, Secrets of the Saqqara Tomb, has premiered on Netflix. Plus, we just learned that over 100 new ancient coffins and rare 40 wooden and gilded statues have been discovered in Saqqara, meaning another film is probably in order!
Saqqara Keeps Revealing More
Saqqara is home to the first-known burial pyramid, the Step Pyramid of King Djoser, as well as over a dozen others. Today, the vast pharaonic necropolis 20 miles south of Cairo reveals ever more finds with more predicted soon.
At the feet of the Step Pyramid of Djoser, a makeshift exhibit took place on November 14, 2020. The exhibit showed off the colorful, exquisitely detailed finds from Saqqara, part of the ancient capital of Memphis.
Although thousands of years old, the relics remain delicately painted and decorated. Notably, some look incredibly ornate. It’s as though they were created a short time ago.
Tourism and Antiquities Minister Khaled El-Anany spoke to a news conference:
“Saqqara has yet to reveal all of its contents. It is a treasure,” El-Anany said. “Excavations are still underway. Whenever we empty a burial shaft of sarcophagi, we find an entrance to another.”
The Ptolemaic Dynasty
The perfectly preserved wooded coffins are sealed, and many have mummies inside, now seeing daylight for the first time in at least 2,500 years. Notably, they came from the Ptolemaic dynasty that ruled Egypt for some 300 years from 320 BC to about 30 BC, and the Late Period (664-332 BC).
See some of the finds from Al Jazeera English below:
The Grand Egyptian Museum
Today, some of the coffins are on their way to a new museum near the Giza Pyramids. Hopefully, the new Grand Egyptian Museum may display some of the coffins in public if it opens next year.
Earlier in September, some 140 sealed sarcophagi containing mummies were found in the same area of Saqqara. Among them was a cache of mummified animals, including a lion cub. The Netflix movie focuses on this find, a previously unknown royal priest called “Wahtye”, and his family.
Mostafa Waziri from the Egyptian Supreme Council of Antiquities says he expects to locate an ancient workshop where the coffins were created –perhaps in 2021.
Despite the pandemic, Egypt reopened its borders to visitors in July. After revealing these discoveries, they hope to see a surge in tourism, which has waned due to Covid-19.
See more of the finds from Global News:
Featured images: Screenshots via YouTube