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Archaeologists Find Haul Of 20 Ancient Tombs In Egypt

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Archaeologists Find Haul Of 20 Ancient Tombs In Egypt

Archaeologists in Egypt have unearthed more than 20 ancient wooden coffins, in what's being hailed one of the 'most important' discoveries in recent years.

Egypt's Antiques Ministry announced in a statement on Tuesday that the coffins had been found in the Asasif Necropolis near the city of Luxor.

According to the BBC, most of the tombs at Asasif are from the Late Period (664-332BC) of ancient Egypt, but there are also tombs from the earlier 18th Dynasty (1550-1292BC) - the first of the New Kingdom.

The 'huge cache' of coffins may date back to the Third Intermediate Period, which began with the death of Pharaoh Ramesses XI in 1070 BC.

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Egyptian Minister of Antiquities, Khaled el-Anany, inspecting the coffins. Credit: PA
Egyptian Minister of Antiquities, Khaled el-Anany, inspecting the coffins. Credit: PA

That means the coffins are thought to be an incredible 3,000 years old, which is impressive considering the coffins still bear the colourful and detailed decorations 'just as the ancient Egyptians left them'.

The ministry described the find as 'one of the largest and most important' in recent years and said the coffins could have even 'belonged to high priests'.

For now, officials have only released a limited amount of information - along with the amazing photos of the coffins - but further details on the haul are expected to be revealed at a news conference on Saturday.

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In several photos, the Egyptian Minister of Antiquities, Khaled el-Anan, can be seen inspecting the artefacts, which were discovered after archaeologists found an ancient 'industrial area' in Luxor's West Valley.

Secretary General of the Supreme Council of the Egyptian Antiquities, Mustafa Wazir (L), inspects a coffin. Credit: PA
Secretary General of the Supreme Council of the Egyptian Antiquities, Mustafa Wazir (L), inspects a coffin. Credit: PA

The area included 'houses for storage and the cleaning of funerary furniture, with many potteries dated to the 18th Dynasty', the statement said.

The photos show that the coffins seem to be a pretty good nick, which is apparently partly due to the favourable climate in Egypt.

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Credit: PA
Credit: PA

Speaking to the Daily Mail, Dr Roland Enmarch - senior lecturer in Egyptology at the University of Liverpool - said: "If something stays dry then as long as the chemicals are stable - it can stay like this for thousands of years. They would sometimes use wax as varnish or tree resin, this is why on some coffins they can glisten. They have suffered a lot and there was a lot of dust on them."

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: World News, News

Jess Hardiman
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