A team of archaeologists working in Egypt have uncovered 20 ancient wooden coffins close to the city of Luxor.
The intricately patterned coffins were discovered at Asasif; an ancient necropolis located on the west bank of the River Nile.
Sealed shut and well preserved, the unearthed coffins bear intact inscriptions and have also maintained some of their bright colours. Its easy to imagine how imposing they would have looked upon first being closed.
The sarcophagi were discovered in two layers of a large tomb, with one level of elaborate coffins layered carefully on top of the other.
In a press release, the Egypt Antiquities Ministry hailed this find as being ‘one of the largest and most important discoveries’; emphasising the large number of coffins as well as the excellent state of preservation.
According to this press release:
This discovery is one of the largest and most important discoveries that have been announced during the past few years as it includes so far more than 20 colored wooden human coffins, in a state of conservation, colors and inscriptions in full and still closed, and were revealed in the situation that left them.
The ancient Egyptian where they were found gathered in a cache in two levels on top of the other.
Authorities have released a number of photographs which show antiquities minister Khaled El-Anany examining the coffins, alongside Supreme Council of Antiquities’ secretary general, Dr. Mostafa Waziri.
According to CNN, nobles and officials were laid to rest in Al-Assasif during the time of the pharaohs, with the site known to be a place of archaeological significance.
Archaeologists digging in the area have previously made discoveries which date right back to Egypt’s 18th dynasty, a period which began at approximately 1539 B.C.
As reported by BBC News, the majority of tombs discovered at Asasif date back to ancient Egypt’s Late Period (664-332BCE).
However, previously unearthed tombs have dated back even earlier to the 18th Dynasty (1550-1292BCE), the era of famous pharaohs such as Hatshepsut, Amenhotep III and Tutankhamun.
At the time of writing, it has not been specified exactly what period in ancient Egyptian history this newly revealed tomb belongs to. Or indeed, who it is who lies inside the eerily beautiful coffins.
However, further details about this fascinatingly spooky discovery will be given at a press conference in West Luxor on Saturday, October 19.
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Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications.