When Egyptians hid several sealed coffins deep into a shaft some 2,500 years ago, they probably thought they would be there for all eternity, undisturbed, while their occupants travelled forth to greater things.
Once their souls had successfully passed through judgment by the god Osiris — easy peasy if you were from the upper class — they went on to an eternal paradise, The Field of Reeds, where everything which had been lost at death was returned and one would truly live happily ever after.
Alas, the Field of Reeds will have to wait, as they will probably end up at the massive new Egyptian museum in Cairo.
On Sunday, Egyptian officials announced the discovery of a collection of more than 13 intact sealed coffins dating back to about 2,500 years ago, China Daily reported.
The coffins were found at an archeological site in Saqqara necropolis in Giza, said the Egyptian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities in a statement.
The coffins, along with three sealed niches, were unearthed inside an 11-meter-deep shaft, according to the statement.
Egyptian Tourism and Antiquities Minister Khaled al-Anany and Mostafa Waziri, secretary general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA), visited the site on Sunday and inspected the excavation work in the shaft, China Daily reported.
“The discovery marks the largest number of coffins found in one burial place since the discovery of the Asasif Cachette,” the minister said, referring to the discovery of 30 ancient coffins in October 2019 at Asasif cemetery in Upper Egypt’s Luxor Province.
“The discovery in Saqqara includes a wonderful collection of colored wooden coffins whose colors and inscriptions are still in a good condition despite the passage of 2,500 years,” said Waziri, who leads the Egyptian archeological mission in Saqqara.
Waziri said the exact number of the unearthed coffins as well as the identity and titles of their owners have not yet been determined, but they will be found out in the coming few days as the excavation work still continues.
“The mission continues excavation work on the site and it is expected to result in many other new discoveries of shafts, colored wooden coffins and statues,” the SCA chief added.
Initial studies revealed that the coffins are completely sealed and have not been opened since they were buried inside the shaft, China Daily reported.