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Over 100 mummified coffins discovered in the ancient city of Saqqara, Egypt

 Archaeologists in Egypt have discovered more than 100 delicately carved wooden coffins, some with mummies inside and 40 funeral statues in the ancient burial ground located in the city of Saqqara, the Egyptian antiquity authorities said, calling the discovery the biggest find on the site this year.

The sealed, wooden coffins, some containing mummies, date back as far as 2,500 years and are in perfect state of preservation," Khaled el-Enany, Egyptian Minister of Tourism and Antiquities, told reporters in Saqqara on Saturday. The fine condition of the coffins meant that they were possibly the last resting places for the richest people, officials said.

There were other objects discovered in the site which include, funeral masks, canopy jars and amulets.

"This finding is very significant because it shows that Saqqara was the main burial site of the 26th Dynasty," said Zahi Hawass, an Egyptologist.

The artifacts and coffins will eventually be displayed in a variety of museums in Egypt, including the Grand Egyptian Museum, a comprehensive archeological center under construction near the Giza Pyramids, which is scheduled to open next year.

The city of Saqqara is about 20 miles south of Cairo, is a large necropolis of the capital of the Old Kingdom of Memphis and has long been the site of significant archeological discoveries.

In the dramatic boom of Saturday's news conference, experts opened a coffin and scanned a mummy with an X-ray to determine that it was probably a man around the age of 40.

The discovery announced on Saturday is the latest in a series of historical finds on the site. Officials said in October that they had found 59 intact coffins.



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