Incredible 2,500-year-old treasure trove discovered at site in Egypt

Reporters and camera crews gather to witness the ancient treasures (Credits: AP)

A huge trove of ancient treasures has been unearthed at an archeological site in Egypt.

Some 250 painted sarcophagi holding well-preserved mummies are among finds dating back 2,500 years discovered at the Saqqara necropolis near Cairo.

The haul displayed under canvas also included 150 bronze statues of deities and bronze vessels that were used in rituals honouring the fertility goddess Isis.

One headless sculpture is thought to have depicted Imhotep, chief architect of Pharaoh Djoser, who ruled ancient Egypt between 2630BC and 2611BC.

The collection unveiled beside the Step Pyramid of Djoser in Saqqara will eventually be put on permanent display at the Grand Egyptian Museum — still being built near the Giza Pyramids.

Painted coffins with well-preserved mummies inside, dating back to the Late Period of ancient Egypt around 500 B.C. (Credits: AP)
The finds are displayed during a press conference at a makeshift exhibit at the feet of the Step Pyramid of Djoser in Saqqara (Credits: AP)
A reporter films painted coffins with well-preserved mummies inside (Credits: AP)

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.

The Saqqara site is part of a sprawling necropolis at Egypt’s ancient capital of Memphis (Credits: AFP)
Statuettes depicting the Egyptian goddesses (L to R) Isis (Iset) and Nephthys (Nebet-Het). (Credits: Getty)
The face on one of the sarcophaguses found in the cache (Credits: Getty)
Statuettes and figurines depicting cats and Egyptian deities. (Credits: AFP)

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.

A labourer uses a hand air blower to brush dust off one of the sarcophaguses found. (Credits: AFP)
One of the sarcophaguses found in the cache dating back to the Egyptian Late Period (Credits: AFP)

The sector has recently started to recover from the coronavirus pandemic, only to be hit again by the effects of Russia’s war on Ukraine.

Along with Russia, Ukraine is a major source of tourists visiting Egypt.


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