Biggest ancient coffin find in Egypt in over a century

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Mostafa Waziri, secretary-general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, told reporters the coffins, with inscriptions and paintings, were found in the Asasif Necropolis on the Nile River's west bank near Luxor. Coffins which were carved with the hands open meant they were female, while if the hands were balled into fists, they held males, according to Waziri.

"This discovery is one of the largest and most important discoveries that have been announced during the past few years as it includes so far more than 20 colored wooden human coffins, in a distinct state of conservation, colors and inscriptions in full and are still closed, and were revealed in the situation that left them", the Antiquities Ministry wrote on its website.

Egyptian Antiquities Ministry on Saturday unveiled 30 newly-discovered well-preserved ancient coffins with mummies in Upper Egypt's Luxor.

The Egyptian government displayed 30 sarcophagi more than 3,000 years old in the city of Luxor, the most important discovery of its kind since the 19th century.

According to archaeologist Zahi Hawass, finding coffins belonging to a child is a rare occurrence.

"Some people, we don't have to mention names, don't want us to have these discoveries. that impress the world", said Enany before throngs of tourists, referring to detractors.

During the news conference, archaeologists pried open two of the coffins to uncover mummies wrapped in cloth - one man and one woman.

He said the coffins were "exceptionally painted and preserved".

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After painting, egg yolk was mixed with candle wax and spread over the coffin to maintain a natural shine, which is still visible. he said. When they continued to dig, 17 more coffins were found.

"We just did curative first-aid on these well-preserved coffins".

The discovered coffins were placed by high priests to be stored in a store with a stone gate to prevent any robbery attempts.

The coffins have been seemingly so richly adorned to compensate for the very fact they weren't buried correctly in tombs.

"This discovery will enrich our knowledge as Egyptologists about the belief of afterlife and the workshops that made all these lovely scenes", he told Xinhua.

The colored sarcophaguses discovered in the cemetery of Assasif, west of Luxor belong to senior statesmen and middle class individuals in the 18th, 25th and 26th ancient Egyptian dynasties. The coffins will be given their own exhibit.

"They will be moved to the Grand Egyptian Museum which will be opening in the end of 2020, as a new surprise for our visitors to visit the Grand Egyptian Museum".

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