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Ancient Egypt: A Trove Of Artifacts Dated Back 2,500 Years Discovered In Saqqara
Egypt never ceases to amaze people with its rich and wonderful ancient history. Now, the country has announced on May 31st, a new discovery of a trove of ancient artifacts dating back 2,500 years. According to the country’s antiquities authorities, those historic relics were recently discovered at the famed necropolis of Saqqara near Cairo. They are still in good condition. Some of them remained colorful. This archaeological mission has been working in this area since 2018 and has so far made several discoveries, including collections of artifacts, coffins, and human and animal mummies from ancient Egypt.
The artifacts were showcased at a makeshift exhibit at the feet of the Step Pyramid of Djoser, 15 miles southwest of the Egyptian capital. Constructed at Saqqara about 4,700 years ago, the Step Pyramid of Djoser was the first pyramid the Egyptians built.
Mostafa Waziri, head of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, said in a press conference that the find unearthed a collection of 250 wooden painted coffins and the biggest ever bronze cachette containing a collection of 150 bronze statues of ancient Egyptian deities such as Anubis, Osiris, Nefertem and Hathor. Archaeologists have also found 40 wooden coffins with mummies sealed inside and bronze vessels used in rituals of Isis, the goddess of fertility in ancient Egyptian mythology, all from the Late Period, about 500 B.C. A headless bronze statue of Imhotep, the chief architect of Pharaoh Djoser who ruled ancient Egypt between 2630 B.C. and 2611 B.C was also displayed.
The artifacts will be transferred for a permanent exhibit at the new Grand Egyptian Museum, a mega project still under construction near the famed Giza Pyramids, just outside Cairo.
The Saqqara site is part of a sprawling necropolis at Egypt’s ancient capital of Memphis that includes the Giza Pyramids and the smaller pyramids at Abu Sir, Dahshur and Abu Ruwaysh. The ruins of Memphis were designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in the 1970s.
Egypt has been heavily promoting recent archaeological finds, hoping to attract more tourists to the country. Its tourist sector, a major source of foreign currency, suffered from years of political turmoil and violence following the 2011 uprising that toppled autocrat Hosni Mubarak.
Egypt’s tourism industry has recently started recovering from the coronavirus pandemic. However, it was hit again by Russia’s war on Ukraine. Along with Russia, Ukraine is a major source of tourists visiting Egypt.