Egypt Unveils Trove of Ancient Artifacts Found Near Cairo

Egypt Unveils Trove of Ancient Artifacts Found Near Cairo
Some 250 painted sarcophagi were put on the makeshift exhibit. (Photo: Amr Nabil, AP)

An impressive collection of 2,500-year-old ancient Egyptian artifacts was showcased today at the famous Saqqara necropolis.

The makeshift exhibit was located at the foot of the Step Pyramid of Djoser in Saqqara, according to the Associated Press. All relics shown today at the media event date back to the Late Period of ancient Egypt (around 664 to 332 BCE) and were excavated at Saqqara, the necropolis (cemetery) associated with the ancient Egyptian capital of Memphis.

Painted coffins

Photo: Amr Nabil, APPhoto: Amr Nabil, AP

Among the many items on display were painted sarcophagi with well-preserved mummies still inside. As the AP reports, upwards of 250 well-preserved coffins were on display at the media event.

Headless Imhotep

Photo: Amr Nabil, APPhoto: Amr Nabil, AP

Also on display was a headless bronze statue depicting Imhotep, the chancellor to the ancient Egyptian Pharoah Djoser, who ruled from 2630 to 2611 BCE. Imhotep, it is believed, oversaw the construction of the Step Pyramid of Djoser in Saqqara.

So many statues

Photo: Mahmoud El-Khawas, APPhoto: Mahmoud El-Khawas, AP

Glass displays were filled with Late Period bronze statues of ancient Egyptian deities. Today’s media event took place at the Sacred Animal Necropolis of North Saqqara.

The Step Pyramid of Djoser

Photo: Mahmoud El-Khawas, APPhoto: Mahmoud El-Khawas, AP

The new archaeological artifacts were found near the Step Pyramid of Djoser. Saqqara is located 15 miles (24 kilometers) southwest of Cairo.

Delivering the good news

Photo: Amr Nabil, APPhoto: Amr Nabil, AP

Mostafa Waziri, head of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, spoke to reporters earlier today. According to Waziri, the recovered bronze vessels were used during rituals to worship Isis, the ancient Egyptian goddess of fertility, as reported in the Associated Press.

Bronze statues

Photo: Mahmoud El-Khawas, APPhoto: Mahmoud El-Khawas, AP

A closer view of the Late Period bronze statues.

In remarkably good condition

Photo: Amr Nabil, APPhoto: Amr Nabil, AP

The artifacts were found in a very good state of preservation. These figurines, though a bit scuffed, don’t look their age; the items were manufactured around 2,500 years ago.

Colourful coffins

Photo: Amr Nabil, APPhoto: Amr Nabil, AP

A decorated coffin, showing intricately drawn patterns.

A closer look

Photo: Mahmoud El-Khawas, APPhoto: Mahmoud El-Khawas, AP

A close-up view of a painted sarcophagus.

Hieroglyphics

Photo: Mahmoud El-Khawas, APPhoto: Mahmoud El-Khawas, AP

A zoomed-in view of hieroglyphic inscriptions on a wooden sarcophagus.

Makeshift exhibit

Photo: Mahmoud El-Khawas, APPhoto: Mahmoud El-Khawas, AP

Reporters and experts attending today’s media event.

Next stop: The Grand Egyptian Museum

Photo: Amr Nabil, APPhoto: Amr Nabil, AP

The artifacts will eventually go on display at the upcoming Grand Egyptian Museum, which is still in the midst of being built near the Giza Pyramids.