Archaeologists unearthed 27 sarcophagi in an historical Egyptian metropolis of the useless. They've been sealed for greater than 2,500 years.

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A 2500-year-old coffin discovered in a burial shaft in the desert near the Saqqara necropolis in Egypt. The image was released September 19, 2020 by the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities. 

<p class="copyright">The Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities/Handout via Reuters</p>
<p>” src=”https://s.yimg.com/ny/api/res/1.2/Jkwav46D25VsQiii6c2XaA–/YXBwaWQ9aGlnaGxhbmRlcjt3PTcwNTtoPTUyOC43NQ–/https://media.zenfs.com/EN/business_insider_articles_888/61981fd9caa789fed96093e7e124550b” data-src=”https://s.yimg.com/ny/api/res/1.2/Jkwav46D25VsQiii6c2XaA–/YXBwaWQ9aGlnaGxhbmRlcjt3PTcwNTtoPTUyOC43NQ–/https://media.zenfs.com/EN/business_insider_articles_888/61981fd9caa789fed96093e7e124550b”></p></div>
</div><figcaption class=A 2500-year-old coffin found in a burial shaft within the desert near the Saqqara necropolis in Egypt. The picture was launched September 19, 2020 by the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities.

  • Archaeologists discovered 27 new sarcophagi in an historical metropolis of the useless beneath Saqqara, Egypt.

  • The wood coffins are completely sealed — they’ve remained undisturbed for two,500 years for the reason that our bodies inside had been mummified.

  • Last yr, Egyptologists found a trove of mummified lion cubs, crocodiles, and cobras in Saqqara.

  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for extra tales.

More than two millennia in the past, 27 Egyptians had been laid to relaxation in Saqqara, an historical metropolis of the useless. Their organs had been eliminated, and their our bodies wrapped in linens. Priests positioned them inside wood containers adorned with hieroglyphics.

The mummies stayed buried in these sarcophagi for two,500 years — till their current discovery by Egyptian archaeologists. 

The discovering is one among Egypt’s largest in over a century.

It occurred in two elements: In early September, Egypt’s Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities introduced greater than a dozen coffins had been present in a burial shaft underneath the traditional metropolis of Saqqara. Then two weeks later, the shaft yielded a second set of sarcophagi.

“Initial studies indicate that these coffins are completely closed and haven’t been opened since they were buried,” the ministry mentioned in a Facebook submit on Sunday. 

The images beneath present how archaeologists discovered the sarcophagi,and different mummies buried beneath Saqqara.

The first discovering that Egypt’s Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities introduced was a set of 13 sarcophagi discovered on the backside of a 36-foot-deep shaft.

Khaled El-Enany, Egypt's minister of tourism and antiquities, and Mostafa Waziri, the secretary-general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, peer at a sarcophagi in Saqqara. 

<p class="copyright">Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities Egypt</p>
<p>” src=”https://news.yahoo.com/archaeologists-unearthed-27-sarcophagi-ancient-212500439.html” data-src=”https://s.yimg.com/ny/api/res/1.2/o4A9rioYgT.Yq3Pizl92WA–/YXBwaWQ9aGlnaGxhbmRlcjt3PTcwNTtoPTQ3MC4zMjMyNDYyMTczMzE1/https://media.zenfs.com/EN/business_insider_articles_888/7c8480b240d4848db635fe28252b8c5c”><noscript><img alt=Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities Egypt

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Khaled El-Enany, Egypt’s minister of tourism and antiquities, and Mostafa Waziri, the secretary-general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, peer at a sarcophagi in Saqqara.

Khaled El-Enany, Egypt’s minister of tourism and antiquities, mentioned on Twitter that discovering the coffin cache was “an indescribable feeling.”

The shaft had three offshoots branching away from it, so El-Enany predicted on the time that extra undiscovered had been doubtless nonetheless buried within the shaft.

He was proper: On Sunday, the ministry introduced that archaeologists had discovered 14 extra sarcophagi.

A sarcophagus discovered in Saqqara, Egypt. 

<p class="copyright">Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities Egypt</p>
<p>” src=”https://news.yahoo.com/archaeologists-unearthed-27-sarcophagi-ancient-212500439.html” data-src=”https://s.yimg.com/ny/api/res/1.2/gAeAiWKmZWpgnn7FkXPLtg–/YXBwaWQ9aGlnaGxhbmRlcjt3PTcwNTtoPTM5Ni42OTI0Nzc4NzYxMDYy/https://media.zenfs.com/EN/business_insider_articles_888/70fb5c9b64f2e8e8f422cc77e389efbc”><noscript><img alt=Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities Egypt

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A sarcophagus found in Saqqara, Egypt.

That introduced the overall to 27.

In an announcement on Facebook, Egypt’s Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities famous that this discovering is “the largest number of coffins with one burial” found since a bunch of 30 coffins had been unearthed at Al-Assasif cemetery in Luxor final yr.

Despite being buried for two,500 years, the sarcophagi have retained most of their unique paint and hieroglyphics. The coffins have been sealed since their burial.

Mostafa Waziri, secretary-general of Egypt's Supreme Council of Antiquities, looks at a 2,500-year-old coffin discovered in a burial shaft near Saqqara necropolis. The image was released September 19, 2020. 

<p class="copyright">The Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities/Handout via Reuters</p>
<p>” src=”https://news.yahoo.com/archaeologists-unearthed-27-sarcophagi-ancient-212500439.html” data-src=”https://s.yimg.com/ny/api/res/1.2/ENWXIXabAzEycr45H02MFw–/YXBwaWQ9aGlnaGxhbmRlcjt3PTcwNTtoPTk0MA–/https://media.zenfs.com/EN/business_insider_articles_888/91e1fd86e3e96096e9fd9c9379bdf220″><noscript><img alt=The Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities/Handout via Reuters

” src=”https://s.yimg.com/ny/api/res/1.2/ENWXIXabAzEycr45H02MFw–/YXBwaWQ9aGlnaGxhbmRlcjt3PTcwNTtoPTk0MA–/https://media.zenfs.com/EN/business_insider_articles_888/91e1fd86e3e96096e9fd9c9379bdf220″ class=”caas-img”>

Mostafa Waziri, secretary-general of Egypt’s Supreme Council of Antiquities, seems to be at a 2,500-year-old coffin found in a burial shaft near Saqqara necropolis. The picture was launched September 19, 2020.

The ministry has not but opened them.

The identities of the individuals contained in the sarcophagi “have not been determined,” the ministry mentioned on Sunday, however recommended the query “will be answered over the next few days” as excavations proceed.

Multiple coffins discovered in a burial shaft in the desert near the Saqqara necropolis in Egypt . 

<p class="copyright">The Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities/Handout via Reuters</p>
<p>” src=”https://news.yahoo.com/archaeologists-unearthed-27-sarcophagi-ancient-212500439.html” data-src=”https://s.yimg.com/ny/api/res/1.2/zPhEUgoGyT_DYoQhQd_oNQ–/YXBwaWQ9aGlnaGxhbmRlcjt3PTcwNTtoPTUyOC43NQ–/https://media.zenfs.com/EN/business_insider_articles_888/c06f1d9803f856d1c9bd02ca81c2095f”><noscript><img alt=The Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities/Handout via Reuters

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Multiple coffins found in a burial shaft within the desert near the Saqqara necropolis in Egypt .

The coffins had been discovered stacked on high of one another within the shaft.

The archaeologists additionally uncovered numerous artifacts within the burial shaft, together with small statues and collectible figurines.

Mostafa Waziri, secretary-general of Egypt's Supreme Council of Antiquities, looks at a statue found in one of the 2,500-year-old coffins discovered in a burial shaft in the desert near Saqqara necropolis. 

<p class="copyright">The Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities/Handout via Reuters</p>
<p>” src=”https://news.yahoo.com/archaeologists-unearthed-27-sarcophagi-ancient-212500439.html” data-src=”https://s.yimg.com/ny/api/res/1.2/Q3m5hGUJnp2QHX7Eg_baqA–/YXBwaWQ9aGlnaGxhbmRlcjt3PTcwNTtoPTk0MA–/https://media.zenfs.com/EN/business_insider_articles_888/d17410ad72d70ee733cedbc482aeaa38″><noscript><img alt=The Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities/Handout via Reuters

” src=”https://s.yimg.com/ny/api/res/1.2/Q3m5hGUJnp2QHX7Eg_baqA–/YXBwaWQ9aGlnaGxhbmRlcjt3PTcwNTtoPTk0MA–/https://media.zenfs.com/EN/business_insider_articles_888/d17410ad72d70ee733cedbc482aeaa38″ class=”caas-img”>

Mostafa Waziri, secretary-general of Egypt’s Supreme Council of Antiquities, seems to be at a statue present in one of many 2,500-year-old coffins found in a burial shaft within the desert near Saqqara necropolis.

They additionally uncovered a wood obelisk simply over a foot tall that is adorned with work of Egyptian gods and goddesses, CNN reported.

The historical Egyptians buried their useless in Saqqara — which is 20 miles south of Cairo within the Western Desert — for some 3,000 years.

People enter the Pyramid of Djoser in Saqqara outside Cairo. 

<p class="copyright">Oliver Weiken/Picture Alliance / Getty</p>
<p>” src=”https://news.yahoo.com/archaeologists-unearthed-27-sarcophagi-ancient-212500439.html” data-src=”https://s.yimg.com/ny/api/res/1.2/iiwtCT4wjnzGJTjeIZU3BA–/YXBwaWQ9aGlnaGxhbmRlcjt3PTcwNTtoPTQ2OS44ODI1/https://media.zenfs.com/EN/business_insider_articles_888/462e6b3d0346e32d4f264672338e7a4c”><noscript><img alt=Oliver Weiken/Picture Alliance / Getty

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People enter the Pyramid of Djoser in Saqqara outdoors Cairo.

Saqqara was the necropolis, or metropolis of the useless, for the traditional capital of Memphis. Its identify doubtless derives from Sokar, the Memphite god of the useless.

Saqqara is home to one among Egypt’s oldest pyramids: the Step Pyramid of Djoser, which was constructed about 4,600 years in the past.

The Step Pyramid of Djoser in Saqqara. 

<p class="copyright">Michel Baret/Gamma-Rapho / Getty</p>
<p>” src=”https://news.yahoo.com/archaeologists-unearthed-27-sarcophagi-ancient-212500439.html” data-src=”https://s.yimg.com/ny/api/res/1.2/RJk.n5a1BlIJzsiOlQw2Ig–/YXBwaWQ9aGlnaGxhbmRlcjt3PTcwNTtoPTQ2OC44MjU-/https://media.zenfs.com/EN/business_insider_articles_888/f56708724d0e0a65dd98fe78728551a2″><noscript><img alt=Michel Baret/Gamma-Rapho / Getty

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The Step Pyramid of Djoser in Saqqara.

The architect Imhotep constructed the pyramid to deal with the stays of King Djoser, an historical Egyptian pharaoh from the Third Dynasty.

It was the first constructing ever fabricated from stone, and it paved the best way for different pyramids, together with the Great Pyramid of Giza.

The necropolis is replete with mummies.

A journalist tours inside the step pyramid of Djoser in Egypt's Saqqara necropolis, south of the capital Cairo, on March 5, 2020. 

<p class="copyright">Mohamed el-Shahed / AFP / Getty</p>
<p>” src=”https://news.yahoo.com/archaeologists-unearthed-27-sarcophagi-ancient-212500439.html” data-src=”https://s.yimg.com/ny/api/res/1.2/ukkBnwyAKMci02ip3ljnMA–/YXBwaWQ9aGlnaGxhbmRlcjt3PTcwNTtoPTQ2OS44ODI1/https://media.zenfs.com/EN/business_insider_articles_888/3a83d93337c4b843873933d7b649130c”><noscript><img alt=Mohamed el-Shahed / AFP / Getty

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A journalist excursions contained in the step pyramid of Djoser in Egypt’s Saqqara necropolis, south of the capital Cairo, on March 5, 2020.

The Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities introduced in 2018 that archaeologists had found a 4,400-year-old tomb in Saqqara. It belonged to a royal purification priest who served in the course of the reign of King Nefer-Ir-Ka-Re.

Researchers additionally unearthed an enormous cache of animal mummies there in November 2019.

A feline mummy displayed after the announcement of a new discovery in the Saqqara necropolis, November 23, 2019 

<p class="copyright">Khaled Desouki/AFP via Getty</p>
<p>” src=”https://news.yahoo.com/archaeologists-unearthed-27-sarcophagi-ancient-212500439.html” data-src=”https://s.yimg.com/ny/api/res/1.2/JKhVrPoIw4HK_1uEgL8I7A–/YXBwaWQ9aGlnaGxhbmRlcjt3PTcwNTtoPTUyOC43MDQ3MDMxNjExNDEx/https://media.zenfs.com/EN/business_insider_articles_888/c56bfa86ac5446bdfa4b908ccee8f27d”><noscript><img alt=Khaled Desouki/AFP via Getty

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A feline mummy displayed after the announcement of a brand new discovery within the Saqqara necropolis, November 23, 2019

They discovered two uncommon mummified lion cubs, in addition to mummified birds, crocodiles, cats, cobras, and an unlimited mummified scarab beetle.

The mummified lion cubs are about 2,600 years previous.

A mummy of a cat displayed after the announcement of a new discovery in the Saqqara necropolis, November 23, 2019. 

<p class="copyright">Khaled DesoukiI/AFP via Getty</p>
<p>” src=”https://news.yahoo.com/archaeologists-unearthed-27-sarcophagi-ancient-212500439.html” data-src=”https://s.yimg.com/ny/api/res/1.2/migPll2tmVyskjW1mIV08Q–/YXBwaWQ9aGlnaGxhbmRlcjt3PTcwNTtoPTUyOC43MDcwMDE3MDc3MzM2/https://media.zenfs.com/EN/business_insider_articles_888/00b5eefa9992b1e3c13f1e2d685a4e4c”><noscript><img alt=Khaled DesoukiI/AFP via Getty

” src=”https://s.yimg.com/ny/api/res/1.2/migPll2tmVyskjW1mIV08Q–/YXBwaWQ9aGlnaGxhbmRlcjt3PTcwNTtoPTUyOC43MDcwMDE3MDc3MzM2/https://media.zenfs.com/EN/business_insider_articles_888/00b5eefa9992b1e3c13f1e2d685a4e4c” class=”caas-img”>

A mummy of a cat displayed after the announcement of a brand new discovery within the Saqqara necropolis, November 23, 2019.

The cubs had been solely eight months previous once they had been mummified. Other mummified wildcats had been discovered alongside the 2 lions. 

“This is the first time [a] complete mummy of a lion or lion cub” has been present in Egypt, Mostafa Waziri, the secretary-general of Egypt’s Supreme Council of Antiquities, mentioned in a press convention.

The head of cat statue displayed after the announcement of a new discovery in the Saqqara necropolis, November 23, 2019. 

<p class="copyright">Khaled DesoukiI/AFP via Getty</p>
<p>” src=”https://news.yahoo.com/archaeologists-unearthed-27-sarcophagi-ancient-212500439.html” data-src=”https://s.yimg.com/ny/api/res/1.2/Q1XNPfyPlz7XbpWYlJm1xg–/YXBwaWQ9aGlnaGxhbmRlcjt3PTcwNTtoPTUyOS43MTYyODI4OTQ3MzY5/https://media.zenfs.com/EN/business_insider_articles_888/d4f7baba5513bf4c51accece18d85f3f”><noscript><img alt=Khaled DesoukiI/AFP via Getty

” src=”https://s.yimg.com/ny/api/res/1.2/Q1XNPfyPlz7XbpWYlJm1xg–/YXBwaWQ9aGlnaGxhbmRlcjt3PTcwNTtoPTUyOS43MTYyODI4OTQ3MzY5/https://media.zenfs.com/EN/business_insider_articles_888/d4f7baba5513bf4c51accece18d85f3f” class=”caas-img”>

The head of cat statue displayed after the announcement of a brand new discovery within the Saqqara necropolis, November 23, 2019.

Ancient Egyptians mummified and buried thousands and thousands of animals, usually treating creatures like hawks, cats, and crocodiles with the identical reverence that they’d a human corpse.

The Egyptians believed animals had been reincarnations of gods, so that they honored them by mummifying the creatures and worshipping these animals in temples. Mummified animals might additionally function choices to these gods.

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