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Egypt discovers 27 sarcophagi more than 2,500 years old

Credit: REUTERS/Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities

Archaeologists in Egypt have discovered 27 coffins at the ancient necropolis of Saqqara, a burial ground that is also home to one of the world's oldest pyramids, the ministry of tourism and antiquities said.

Corrects to say sarcophagi are made of wood, not stone

CAIRO, Sept 21 (Reuters) - Archaeologists in Egypt have discovered 27 coffins at the ancient necropolis of Saqqara, a burial ground that is also home to one of the world's oldest pyramids, the ministry of tourism and antiquities said.

The wooden sarcophagi are ornately painted and covered in hieroglyphs, and were found stacked in two burial shafts, the ministry said in a statement.

They have not yet been opened, the ministry said.

Saqqara is a UNESCO world heritage site.

In March, Egypt reopened at the Saqqara site the Djoser’s Step Pyramid, the first pyramid ever built, after a 14-year restoration costing nearly $6.6 million.

In July, Egypt restarted international flights and reopened major tourist attractions including the Great Pyramids of Giza after months of closure due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Yet despite reopenings and continued safety reassurances to international tourists, many concede that the key winter season starting in October is going to be tough, further straining the economy.

(Reporting by Amr Dalsh and Nadeen Ebrahim Writing by Ulf Laessing Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky)

((Ulf.Laessing@thomsonreuters.com; Reuters Messaging: follow me on twitter @ulflaessing))

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