Egypt: “major” archaeological finds in Sakkara

Egyptian officials said on Saturday that new archaeological treasures, including the more than 2,500-year-old morgue temple, have been discovered at Sakkara Necropolis, south of Cairo.

According to the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities, these “major discoveries” made by a team of archaeologists led by the famous Egyptian scientist Zahi Havas also include more than fifty sarcophagi.

The ministry said in a statement that this sarcophagus from the New Kingdom (16th – 11th century BCE) was found in funeral pits from 52.

“The funeral temple of King Teti’s wife, Queen Teti, as well as three brick warehouses, was discovered,” Mr Havas said in the statement.

The site of Sakkara, where there are ten pyramids, is an ancient monastery or animal burial site, a vast enclave of the ancient Egyptian capital Memphis listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

According to Zahi Howas, this discovery may provide additional information on the history of Sakkara during the New Kingdom.

These new archaeological treasures were found near the pyramids of King Teti, the first pharaoh of the Sixth Dynasty of the Old Kingdom.

Egypt announced in November the most important discovery of the year 2020: more than 100 intact sarcophagi.

Sealed wooden coffins, unveiled with statues of deities, are over 2,500 years old and belong to the ancient Egyptians of the late and Ptolemy period.

Tourism and Antiquities Minister Khalid al-Anani said at the time that “Sakkara has not yet revealed all its secrets.”

Cairo hopes these archaeological discoveries will boost tourism, an area that has seen many difficulties from the 2011 revolution to the coronavirus epidemic.

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Officials expect the “Great Egypt Museum” to be inaugurated on the Giza Plateau in 2021, where the famous Great Pyramids and Sphinx are located.

One of the first constructions in ancient Egypt, the site of the step pyramid of Djoksar, Sakkara, has undergone several excavations in recent years. Archaeologists hope that there is an old workshop for the manufacture of wooden sarcophagi, especially for mummies.

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