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Egypt reveals more secrets at Saqqara with the discovery of the temple and the coffins

Egypt reveals more secrets at Saqqara with the discovery of the temple and the coffins

The coffins are from the New Kingdom, the oldest ones found in the cemetery so far.

The state said that a mission headed by prominent Egyptologist Zahi Hawass, former Minister of State for Antiquities Affairs, discovered the funerary temple of Queen Neret, the wife of King Tete, the first pharaoh of the Sixth Dynasty in Egypt.

The mission also discovered 52 burial wells, with more than 50 wooden coffins found inside. The oldest coffins date back 3000 years at Saqqara.

“These coffins are wooden and human-like .. Many deities that were worshiped during this period were represented on the surface of the coffins, in addition to various extracts from the Book of the Dead that help the deceased to pass through the underworld journey,” the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities said in a statement.

In recent months, Egypt has discovered hundreds of coffins of high officials and priests at Saqqara, all of them dating back to the later and Ptolemaic periods.

The ministry said the new discovery is remarkable because ancient coffins from the New Kingdom were found. The period of the New Kingdom lasted from the 16th century BC to the 11th century BC, covering the 18th, 19th and 20th Egyptian dynasties.

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“The discovery confirmed that the Saqqara area was not used for burial during the late period only, but also during the era of the modern state,” the statement said.

A “luxurious mud-brick mausoleum” was also unearthed 24 meters below ground level, the deepest corridor found so far. Hawass said that the excavation will continue until the burial chamber is discovered.

And the Ministry of Antiquities added, “The mission discovered within the corridors large numbers of artifacts and a large number of statues representing deities such as the god Osiris and Ptah Sukkar Osiris.”

Egypt has carried out large-scale excavations at Saqqara in recent years, which have resulted in a series of discoveries, including the revelation of the 4,400-year-old royal priest’s tomb and the discovery of hundreds of mummified animals and statues annually. Later.

In November, Minister of Tourism and Antiquities Khaled Al-Anani said that Egypt could “find graves and burial columns in every spot in this area,” referring to Saqqara, which also includes 13 pyramids.

Egypt hopes the results will help revive a vital tourism industry, which took a fresh hit from the COVID-19 pandemic only when it began to recover from the fallout from the uprisings and civil unrest in 2011 and 2013.

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Hawass said that the recent discoveries in the ancient cemetery “will make Saqqara an important tourist and cultural destination.”

He added, “It will also rewrite the history of Saqqara in the era of the New Kingdom.”