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EGYPT REVEALS DETAILS OF COFFINS, STATUES IN SAQQARA
Egyptian antiquities officials announced the discovery of at least 100 ancient coffins on Saturday (14 NOV 2020), some of which had mummies inside.
Around 40 gilded statues were also discovered in a vast necropolis south of Cairo.
Colorful, sealed sarcophagi and statues, that were buried more than 2,500 years ago, were displayed in a makeshift exhibit at the famed Step Pyramid of Djoser in Saqqara.
Archaeologists opened a coffin with a well-preserved mummy wrapped in cloth inside.
They also carried out public X‐rays to visualize the structures of the ancient mummy and show how the body had been mummified.
Egypt's Tourism and Antiquities Minister Khaled el-Anany told a news conference the discovered items date back to the Ptolemaic dynasty that ruled Egypt for some 300 years — from around 320 B.C. to about 30 B.C., and the Late Period (664-332 B.C.).
He said they would move the artifacts to at least three Cairo museums including the Grand Egyptian Museum being built near the famed Giza Pyramids.
The discovery in Saqqara necropolis is the latest in a series of archaeological finds in Egypt.
Since September antiquities authorities revealed at least 140 sealed sarcophagi with mummies inside most of them, in the same area of Saqqara.
Egyptian archaeologists had found another shaft "full of coffins, well gilded, well painted, well decorated," Mostafa Waziri, Secretary General of Egypt's Supreme Council of Antiquities, told reporters on Saturday.
The Saqqara site is part of the necropolis at Egypt's ancient capital of Memphis that includes the famed Giza Pyramids, as well as smaller pyramids at Abu Sir, Dahshur and Abu Ruwaysh.
The ruins of Memphis were designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1970s.
Egypt frequently touts its archaeological discoveries in hopes of spurring a vital tourism industry that has been reeling from political turmoil following the 2011 popular uprising that toppled longtime autocrat Hosni Mubarak.
The sector was also dealt a further blow this year by the coronavirus pandemic.
(Original Title: EGYPT ANTIQUITIES)
Cairo - 14 November 2020
1. Mid of Egyptian archeological mission opening a coffin that contains a well-preserved mummy
2. Dr Mostafa Waziri, Secretary General of Egypt's Supreme Council of Antiquities, describing the mummy
3. Various of archeologists X-raying the mummy, to visualize its structure
4. X-ray of mummy showing on screen
5. Various of newly discovered coffins
6. SOUNDBITE (English) Khaled el-Anany, Egypt's Tourism and Antiquities Minister:
"Today we are announcing the discovery of more than 100 sealed, colored, intact, human coffins all coming from the area called the Bubasteum, only hundreds of meters away from here and more than 40 funerary masks and statues and canopic jars and this wonderful wooden private statue."
7. Various of newly discovered statues
8. SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Mostafa Waziri, Secretary General of Egypt's Supreme Council of Antiquities:
"Now we can talk about more than 100 coffins but I can see that the level or the standard of the people who are buried here, they are a little bit rich than the other ones (that were discovered in October), yes. Because those guys, because they were rich, they were elite, high-rank people, that's why they could buy coffins gilded. they could afford it. So we have another shaft full of coffins well gilded, well painted, well decorated."
9. Various of opened coffin with mummy
10. Wide of the Step Pyramid of Djoser
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