20 Sealed Ancient Egyptian Coffins Await Opening

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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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2 COMMENTS

  1. Grave robbing for billions of tourism money is alive and well. It really gets me when they go on and on about how important the burial rites were to these people, while prying open the coffins and selling to the highest bidder. They will inspect and dissect and do all kinds of things, except understand the core message.

    • 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?