Africa-Press – Cape verde. The Egyptian archaeological mission has reportedly discovered a massive number of coffins and bronze statues at a location near the famed Step Pyramid of Djoser, some 24 kilometers from the nation’s capital of Cairo.
Egypt’s antiquities officials have presented a trove of treasured items dating back over 2,500 years that were unearthed recently at the legendary necropolis of Saqqara, the National News reported on Monday.
Citing Mostafa Waziri, secretary-general of Egypt’s Supreme Council of Antiquities, the report detailed that the new archaeological find consisted of 250 sarcophagi and 150 small bronze statues of gods and goddesses, among other antiques.
Waziri reportedly exhibited only a portion of the treasure, comprising 35 painted wooden coffins, at the UNESCO Heritage site south of Cairo. The sarcophagi, which date back to the Late Period of Ancient Egypt’s history, are said to be in good shape as all contain mummies.
Officials also presented a discovery of a “rare” papyrus scroll that could be a depiction of a chapter belonging to the Book of the Dead, a tradition of funerary texts that dates back to the Old Kingdom.
More to that, deities such as Anubis, Amun, Hathor, Isis, Min, Nefertum, Osiris, and Bastet – the “protector” of the area in the form of a cat — are among the statuettes shown in a large glass case. Waziri reportedly drew attention to the headless figure of Imhotep, the principal builder of Pharaoh Djoser, who ruled Egypt from 2630 to 2611 BC. Two larger statues of the goddesses Isis and Nephthys with golden features, sobbing in sadness, were also presented on Monday.
The discovery is one of many in recent years in Saqqara, the necropolis of Memphis’ ancient city. Since April 2018, the Egyptian delegation has completed four excavations at the site, with a fifth scheduled for September after the hot summer months end.
Human and animal mummies, sarcophagi, statues, and other ancient Egyptian artifacts have been discovered in abundance at Saqqara. When Egyptian archeologists began excavating the site in 2018, they uncovered a 4,400-year-old priest’s tomb, which became the subject of the Netflix documentary ‘Secrets of the Saqqara Tomb’ in 2020.
Cosmetic artefacts such as combs, bracelets, necklaces, miniature pots, and a mirror reportedly were among the other uncovered antiques dating back over 3,200 years to the New Kingdom.
Waziri reportedly predicted “many surprises” and expressed hope that the team will discover the tomb of Imhotep, who “changed architecture” by erecting what is thought to be the world’s oldest still-standing large-scale stone monument.