Archaeologists Discover 20 Sealed Ancient Egyptian Coffins
by Jason Daley Smithsonian.com
Archaeologists have unearthed 20 intact ancient coffins near the Egyptian city of Luxor, the country’s antiquities ministry announced this week in a statement lauding the find as “one of the largest and most important” in recent years.
According to CNN’s Oscar Holland and Taylor Barnes, researchers discovered the coffins in Al-Assasif, a necropolis on the Nile River’s West Bank. Once part of the ancient Egyptian capital of Thebes, the site stands in what is now Luxor.
As Lateshia Beachum reports for the Washington Post, the coffins—decorated in shades of red, green, white and black—were found stacked in two layers in a giant tomb. The wooden sarcophagi are particularly impressive due to their colorful, well-preserved paintings and inscriptions, as well as the fact that they are still sealed—a rarity in Egyptian archaeology.
Although the antiquities ministry did not specify what time period the sarcophagi date to, BBC News notes that the majority of tombs in the necropolis hold the remains of nobles and government officials buried during Egypt’s Late Period, which lasted from 664 to 332 B.C.