- Title: EGYPT: About 30 Egyptian mummies found in ancient cache
- Date: 13th February 2009
- Summary: (SOUNDBITE) (English) HEAD OF EGYPTIAN SUPREME COUNCIL OF ANTIQUITIES, DR. ZAHI HAWASS, SAYING: "Discovery is very important because the Egyptian expedition under me just found a completely new cemetery. Two Old Kingdom tombs were found, one for the chief of the singer, and one for the overseer of the mission of the Pyramid of Unas that we did announce last month. But this new third tomb that was found, it belong to someone, his name is Sinegim, and he was a lector priest. Next door to this tomb found a big burial chamber contained thirty mummies. what's unique about her? Four mummies in a niche, in front of them a mummy of a dog. And also another mummy of a child. two coffins made of wood, we opened one, beautifully inscribed, anthropoid face. We found inside remains of a mummy dated to 2,600 years ago. The second coffin we could not open it because the wood is in a bad condition. But the exiting one was the third one that made of limestone. I found out that the ancient Egyptian when they brought it to the shaft they broke the lid, and they did restore the lid. When we opened it we found inside a beautiful, beautifully preserved mummy dated to 2,600 years ago. I expect inside this mummy to be hidden amulets that can help the deceased go safely to the afterlife." WOODEN SARCOPHAGUS HUMAN REMAINS IN TOMB MUMMIES IN TOMB DONKEY PASSING BY EXCAVATION SITE
- Embargoed: 28th February 2009 12:00
- Location: Egypt
- Country: Egypt
- Topics: History
- Reuters ID: LVA1FBNZVHHNGS55HWDPZUIEZXU0
- Story Text: Egyptian archaeologists have found about 30 mummies and at least one unopened sarcophagus in a burial chamber about 4,300 years old, the government said in a statement on Monday (February 9).
They found the chamber in the desert on the western side of the Step Pyramid of Saqqara, one of the earliest large stone structures in the world, dating from about 2,650 BC.
The mummies appear to vary in age. One dates from about 640 BC while the unopened sarcophagus, which is made of limestone and sealed with plaster, is probably much older.
"We think it is Old Kingdom, maybe Fifth Dynasty," archaeologist Abdel Hakim Karar told Reuters. The Fifth Dynasty ruled Egypt from about 2,494 BC to 2,345 BC.
It is unusual to find intact burials in well-known necropolises such as Saqqara, which served the nearby city of Memphis, because thieves scoured the area in ancient times.
The archaeologists expect to open it later this week and they may find amulets among the mummy wrappings.
The statement said another sarcophagus, made of wood, had not been opened since pharaohnic times but Karar said ancient grave robbers probably reached it first.
Inside it , the archaeologists found the complete mummy of a man called Badi Enhery, according to the inscriptions on the sarcophagus, Karar said.
Most of the mummies were in niches in the walls of the chamber, which is about 11 metres (34 feet) below ground level.
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