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Egypt revealed Saturday a rare trove of 30 ancient wooden coffins that have been well-preserved over millennia in the archaeologically rich Valley of the Kings in Luxor.
The antiquities ministry officially unveiled the discovery made at Asasif, a necropolis on the west bank of the Nile River, at a press conference against the backdrop of the Hatshepsut Temple.
Discovery - Asasif - Hands - Archaeologists - Conservationists
"This is the first discovery in Asasif by dedicated Egyptian hands, comprised of archaeologists, conservationists and workers," the head of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, Mostafa al-Waziri, told reporters.
The 30 ornately decorated coffins of men, women and children were found only a metre (three feet) underground, stacked in two rows. They are believed to belong to family members of high priests.
Waziri - Excavations - Site - Century - Tombs
Waziri explained that excavations of the site in the 19th century had revealed royal tombs, but this latest discovery had yielded a collection of priests' burials.
The sarcophagi date back to the 22nd Dynasty, founded around 3,000 years ago in the 10th century BC.
Age - Paintings - Snakes - Birds - Flowers
Despite their age, black, green, red and yellow paintings of snakes, birds, lotus flowers and hieroglyphics that cover the coffins are still clearly visible.
A sealed coffin belonging to a young ancient Egyptian child was incomplete and unpainted.
First-aid - Coffins - Condition - Settlements - Site
"We only did remedial first-aid on these well-preserved coffins. They are considered to be in great condition because there were hardly any settlements" around the site, local antiquities ministry restorer Saleh Abdel-Gelil told AFP.
Discoveries of ancient Egyptian relics had slowed after the 2011 Arab Spring revolution that toppled long-time autocrat Hosni Mubarak and plunged the country in political turmoil, according to...
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