20 Sealed Ancient Egyptian Coffins Await Opening

The wooden sarcophagi boast colorful, well-preserved paintings and inscriptions (Ministry of Antiquities-Arab Republic of Egypt)

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.

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Carol graduated from Riverside White Cross School of Nursing in Columbus, Ohio and received her diploma as a registered nurse. She attended Bowling Green State University where she received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in History and Literature. She attended the University of Toledo, College of Nursing, and received a Master's of Nursing Science Degree as an Educator. She has traveled extensively, is a photographer, and writes on medical issues. Carol has three children RJ, Katherine, and Stephen - one daughter-in-law; Katie - two granddaughters; Isabella Marianna and Zoe Olivia - and one grandson, Alexander Paul. She also shares her life with her husband Gordon Duff, many cats, and two rescues.


  1. With all the searching in Egypt that has been done over the decades, I am amazed that there is still something that has not been found and opened. I was thinking, after putting up the article, how would people feel if graves could be opened up at whim and things taken from the caskets and from the people buried within. During Victorian times it was considered great fun to obtain a mummy and then unwrap it during a party to find the artifacts that might be held within the wrappings….how sick is that?

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