Egypt: 'Huge Cache' of Vividly Painted Wooden Coffins Discovered in Luxor

Published October 16th, 2019 - 11:18 GMT
Archaeologist have stumbled upon what is deemed the 'biggest and most important' discovery in years near the Egyptian city of Luxor. At least 20 well-preserved, vividly painted wooden coffins have been unearth in the ancient town of West Thebes (Twitter)
Archaeologist have stumbled upon what is deemed the 'biggest and most important' discovery in years near the Egyptian city of Luxor. At least 20 well-preserved, vividly painted wooden coffins have been unearth in the ancient town of West Thebes (Twitter)
Highlights
The area is called the Asasif Tombs because it is surrounded by burials. The tombs sit next to the Temple of Hatshepsut on the West Bank of Luxor. 

Archaeologists have discovered a 'huge cache' of vividly painted wooden coffins near the ancient Egyptian city of Luxor in what the country is hailing the 'biggest and most important' discovery in years.

At least 20 well-preserved, vividly painted wooden coffins have been discovered 'just as the ancient Egyptians left them', in the ancient town of West Thebes, according to a statement from Egypt's Ministry of Antiquities. 

The treasure trove includes tombs dating back to the Middle, New Kingdom and the Late Periods, which occurred in the years 1994 B.C. to 332 B.C.

Experts have provided few details of the discovery, but have shared stunning pictures of the vibrant sarcophagi with their inscriptions and paintings. 

The coffins which are considered one of the 'biggest and most important' discoveries in recent years, were found in the Asasif Necropolis.

The area is called the Asasif Tombs because it is surrounded by burials. The tombs sit next to the Temple of Hatshepsut on the West Bank of Luxor. 

The area is not always open to visitors due to a lack of interest, but this new discovery should see tourists flocking to the site.

{"preview_thumbnail":"https://cdn.flowplayer.com/6684a05f-6468-4ecd-87d5-a748773282a3/i/v-i-1…","video_id":"192ec53e-cbdd-4fc7-b31d-b77a7f4c19ea","player_id":"8ca46225-42a2-4245-9c20-7850ae937431","provider":"flowplayer","video":"Lebanon Calls on Neighboring Countries to Combat its Wildfires"}

The recent discovery has been promoted by tour operators across Egypt, with many taking the opportunity to boost numbers. 

One group Luxor Travels, posted pictures of the discovery on its social media channels, with the caption: 'A great discovery in Luxor west Bank cache of more than 20 colored coffins with mummy's in and many more to come.'

Excavations are been continuous in the area over the last few years and it is believed that many more tombs could be discovered. 

It is not yet know how old the coffins are and how they have remained so well preserved. MailOnline has contacted the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities in order to garner further detail on the discovery.

Speaking to MailOnline, one expert, who specialises in Egyptian Art said that the ministries release on Saturday could provide more useful information in terms of the origins of the discovery.

Professor John Baines at the University of Oxford said the discovery 'looked legitimate and fits with known patterns', however he highlighted that it was not clear whether or not this work had been carried out primarily by Egyptians, as this area was a place where Austrians had previously worked.

Austrian archaeologist Julia Budka, tweeted about the discovery and congratulated his Egyptian colleagues on the findings. 

Curator at the National Museum of Egypt, Mohamed Mokhtar said: 'It's an amazing discovery. I think will be the most important of 2019 in Egypt.'

This is while one Egyptologist Francis Amin, previously told EgyptToday that research has been going on in this particular region for nearly 100 years. 

The research, has primarily been focused on the historically rich-period of the Amenhotep III era.

Thebes was one of the most important areas in Ancient Egypt and had previously been home to royalty and high society.  

In 2035 B.C Thebes emerged as the capital city of Egypt it remained the royal city until Akhenaton moved it to El-Armana.

Earlier discoveries had also found tombs belonging to Anch-Hor, Kheru-Ef, Montuemhet, and Pabasa. 

Beneath the sandy ground are underground rooms and a gallery leading to the tomb of Kheru-Ef during the reign of Amenhotep III. At first, this period in Egypt was first ruled by

The ministry says it will release further details at a news conference on Saturday. 

The discovery comes as President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi's government continues to look to boost Egypt's foreign investment by making it easier for foreign investors to position themselves in the stock market.

El-Sisi has been plagued by issues over the last few weeks including unrest in Cairo and on-going talks between Egypt and Ethiopia regarding the Nile Dam.  

Less than a week ago, archaeologists made a discovery inside a coffin that was also astounding -the oldest oldest copy of a 'map for the soul to attain eternal life'. 

'The Book of Two Ways' was supposed to help the deceased navigate through a dangerous landscape of fiery lakes and knife wielding demons to make it to the realm of Osiris. 

The burial shaft housing the coffin was unearthed in 2012, but has now been found to have been constructed 4,000 years ago. 

The engravings have also revealed the coffin's inhabitant is not an overlord, but an elite woman.

'The Book of Two Ways' refers to two paths that zig zag a dangerous route through obstacles and demonic entities towards 'Rostau' or the realm of Osiris. 

It was believed that anyone who laid on the body of Osiris would never die.

And now it is determined that the etching found on the side of the coffin is the oldest copy known to man.

The ancient map for the dead is etched in two wood panels and although versions have been found on other coffins, this is the oldest in history.

This article has been adapted from its original source.    


© Associated Newspapers Ltd.

You may also like