Archaeologists in Egypt discover mummification workshop

Reporters film recently discovered gilded mummy mask found in a disturbed context of the hall way of a burial chamber dating back some 2,500 years at an ancient necropolis near Egypt's famed pyramids in Saqqara, Giza, Saturday, July 14, 2018. Antiquities Ministry officials said at a press conference that archaeologists hope the find will reveal more about the secrets of mummification in the 26th dynasty of ancient Egypt. (AP Photo/Amr Nabil)

Archaeologists say they have discovered a mummification workshop dating back some 2,500 years at an ancient necropolis near Egypt's famed pyramids

CAIRO — Archaeologists in Egypt stumbled upon a new discovery dating back to more than 2,500 years ago near Egypt's famed pyramids at an ancient necropolis south of Cairo.

The discovery which includes a mummification workshop and a shaft, used as a communal burial place, is located at the vast Saqqara necropolis part of the Memphis, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Memphis, the first capital of ancient Egypt, and its large necropolis are home to a wide range of temples and tombs as well as the three pyramids of Giza.

The latest find, announced at a press conference Saturday, belongs to the Saite-Persian Period, from 664-404 B.C. The site, which lies south of Unas pyramid, was last excavated more than 100 years ago, in 1900.

Among the artefacts found were a gilded silver mummy mask, fragments of mummy cartonnages, canopic cylindrical jars and marl clay and faience cups. Many of them will be displayed in the under-construction Grand Egyptian Museum, the first phase of which is expected to be inaugurated later this year.

Down the 30-meter-deep shaft lie several mummies, wooden coffins and sarcophagi. The shaft is comprised of burial chambers carved into the bedrock lining the sides of two hallways.

In mummification workshop, an embalmer's cachette was found that archaeologists believe will reveal more about the oils used in the mummification process in the 26th Dynasty.

"We are in front of a goldmine of information about the chemical composition of these oils," Archaeologist Ramadan Hussein said at the press conference.

"It's only the beginning," added Antiquities Minister Khaled al-Anani. He told reporters that the sites will likely yield more discoveries after further excavation.

Egypt has gone at great length to revive its vital tourism industry, still reeling from the political turmoil that followed a 2011 popular uprising. It hopes such discoveries, along with the inauguration of the museum at the Giza plateau, will help encourage more tourists to visit.

Related News

Egyptian statue recently unearthed is not Ramses...

Mar 16, 2017

Egypt's antiquities minister says a massive statue recently discovered in Cairo and thought to be...

Egypt's famed pyramids get new lab to restore...

Mar 29, 2017

Egypt's famed Giza pyramids get largest on-site antiquities lab meant to restore second pharaonic...

In DC visit, Egypt's el-Sissi to test 'chemistry'...

Apr 2, 2017

Making his first official visit to Washington since taking office in 2014, Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi's...

Egypt moves bed, chariot of King Tut to new museum

May 23, 2017

Egypt has safely transported two unique items, a funerary bed and a chariot belonging to the famed...

Egypt archaeologists discover tombs dating back...

Aug 16, 2017

Egyptian archaeologists discover tombs dating back more than 2,000 years, from the Ptolemaic Period

Egypt finalizes deal with Russia for first...

Sep 4, 2017

Russian media says Egypt has secured Russian funding to build its first nuclear power plant after...

Sign up now!