The discovery of 59 coffins was announced last month when it was revealed they were found in a burial shaft in the desert necropolis of Saqqara. There, it is believed to have previously served as the necropolis for Memphis, the former capital of ancient Egypt.
A huge amount of coffins were found stacked on top of one another in the burial shaft. The burial shaft was located 11 metres below the ground. More coffins were also uncovered in further excavation work.
Egyptian Antiquities minister, Khaled El-Anany, commented that; "My colleagues in the Supreme Council of Antiquities discovered burial shafts filled with wooden, sealed and intact coffins. I am really impressed that Covid-19 did not stop them from digging to unveil more mystery and secrets about our great civilisation. Today I can say most of the discoveries have been made by Egyptian teams on Egyptian soil. This is something I am immensely proud of."
On 3 October, authorities discovered a total of 59 sarcophagi. Officials stated that they expect tens more to be exhumed from the burial site, and that studies suggested the coffins "haven’t been opened since they were buried". On that day archaeologists were given the chance to be taken back to the 26th dynasty, more than 2,500 years ago, and open up the coffins.
El-Anany revealed that most of the coffins included mummies of priests and top officials. Two coffins were opened to show mummified remains wrapped in burial cloth that bore hieroglyphic inscriptions in bright colours. El-Anany further explained that ; "After removing the lid, we found that the two mummies bear the name and title of the family."
In the discovery, a carved bronze statue of the god Nefertum, inlaid with precious stones; a collection of 28 statues of Ptah-Soker, the main god of Saqqara Necropolis; collections of amulets and a ushabti figurine, was also discovered.
The antiquities minister concluded; "Today is not the end of the discovery, I consider it the beginning of the big discovery. The coffins are set to be transferred to the Grand Egyptian Museum, a huge establishment near the Giza pyramids, to be put on display to the public when it opens next year."