Archaeologists unearthed the said coffins – which were arranged on top of each other – in a 40-feet (12 meters) deep well in the ancient burial ground of Saqqara, 20 miles south of Cairo, according to CNN. The famous Step Pyramid, which is thought to be the oldest pyramid in the world, is one of the various monuments situated on the popular necropolis.
The coffins are reportedly so well preserved to the extent that their untouched designs and colors are still conspicuous. Egypt’s minister of tourism and antiques, Khaled El-Enany, described the discovery as “an indescribable feeling when you witness a new archeological discovery.”
The ministry also announced the coffins are completely sealed and haven’t been opened since they were buried in the well. They also revealed they are expecting more archaeological discoveries on the site.
In 2019, the country displayed a huge cache of wooden and bronze statues including animal mummies found in the same necropolis.
The discoveries, which include mummified cats, crocodiles, cobras, and birds, were unveiled for the first time near the capital Cairo. Archaeologists uncovered them in the ancient necropolis, south of the capital.
The Antiquities Ministry announced the find at the foot of the Bastet Temple, dedicated to the worship of cats among ancient Egyptians, Aljazeera reported.
The Saqqara plateau, where the discovery was made, was said to host at least 11 pyramids, including the Step Pyramid, along with hundreds of tombs of ancient officials, ranging from the 1st Dynasty (2920 BC-2770 BC) to the Coptic period (395-642).
The North African country, which generates a significant portion of its annual revenue through tourism, recently reopened its archaeological sites and museums to tourists after several months of closure as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, CNN reported. The country received over 13 million visitors in 2019 and hit a record $13 billion in revenue.
The Saqqara Necropolis is home to the world-famous Step Pyramid, the first pyramid built in Egypt under the guidance of famous architect Imhotep. The tallest structure of its time, the building consists of King Djoser’s burial chamber and was built entirely out of stone rather than mud bricks, making it the earliest important stone building in Egypt. Known for commissioning other tombs, temples, and monuments, it is during the reign of Djoser that Egypt witnessed great technological innovation in the use of stone architecture, according to records.
Djoser, also known as Netjerikhet, Tosorthos, and Sesorthos, was the first king of the Third Dynasty of Egypt, whose reign for almost thirty years ensured Egypt was politically and economically stable. Not much is known about his young life but he is believed to have succeeded his father, Khasekhemwy, the last king of the Second Dynasty. Married to Hetephernebti, Djoser’s mother was the queen Nimaathap.
Once made king, he began commissioning his building projects. According to historian Margaret Bunson, Djoser “ruled during an age witnessing advances in civilization on the Nile such as the construction of architectural monuments, agricultural developments, trade, and the rise of the cities.”
Even though cities had grown before Djoser, his reign brought forth more cities and architectural masterpieces which had never been seen before in Egypt. His Step Pyramid at Saqqara, built by skilled Egyptian laborers and craftsmen, is one such project.