In an exciting discovery, archaeologists have excavated a secret stash of some 20 sarcophagi with their seals intact in the Egyptian city of Luxor. A sarcophagus is the decorated and highly ornamental outer covering or coffin that was widely in use to store mummies as part of ancient Egyptian funerary rituals.
As per an announcement by the Egypt's Ministry of Antiquities, the 20 coffins have been discovered in a well-preserved conditions, almost as the "ancient Egyptians left them,". In fact, the coffins still bear the engravings and maintain their coloration.
As per a press statement by the Ministry, the coffins were found in a two-storey cache in the Assasif cemetery on the west bank of the Nile. As per the release, the discovery is one of the biggest in terms of archaeology in the past few years. The necropolis, located in the ancient town of West Thebes, includes tombs dating back to the Middle, New Kingdom and the Late Periods (1994 B.C. to 332 B.C.).
Assasif is also close to the site of the Valley of the Kings, where for around 500 years in Ancient Egypt, tombs were made for the most powerful in society, including pharaohs.
The discovery comes just a week after another major excavation when archaeologists unearthed an "industrial area" that was used for the manufacture and production of ornamental items including pieces of pottery, and tombs. The Egyptian governmnet is keen on using its historic heritage as a point to further tourism in the country. More details regarding the discovery are awaited on Saturday.
(With inputs from Associated Press)