Archaeologists just uncovered 20 ancient coffins in Egypt with their original colors and carvings intact

egypt coffinsThe coffins were discovered in a large cache, stacked in two layers.Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities via AP

Archaeologists just uncovered 20 colorful, carved wooden coffins in a huge tomb in Egypt.

The Egyptian government is calling it "one of the largest and most important discoveries" of the last few years. The coffins include "colors and inscriptions in full," according to a press release announcing the finding.

The sarcophagi were unearthed in the Asasif Necropolis of the ancient town of West Thebes, on the west bank of the Nile. They were stacked in two layers. Though the government has not yet provided an estimate of how old the coffins might be, the necropolis is home to tombs dating as far back as Egypt's 18th dynasty, which began around 1540 B.C.

In a tweet, the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities said the coffins were "intact and sealed," and that the agency plans to announce more details on Saturday.

 

The coffins are part of a series of findings archaeologists have made since they began researching areas around the modern-day city of Luxor in December 2017.

Last week, the government announced the discovery of an ancient industrial area in the nearby Valley of the Monkeys. Archaeologists identified 30 different manufacturing workshops there, along with an ancient pottery kiln from the 18th Dynasty.

"Each workshop had a different purpose," archaeologist Zahi Hawass, who led that excavation, told CNN. "Some were used to make pottery, others to produce gold artifacts, and others still to manufacture furniture."

egypt coffinsThe coffins were discovered in a large cache, stacked in two layers.Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities

The Egyptian government said on Tuesday that the country's Minister of Antiquities, Khaled el-Anany, had traveled to the site to inspect the newly discovered coffins along with Mostafa Waziri, Egypt's secretary-general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities. 

The Associated Press reported that Egypt has sought to call attention to new archaeological discoveries like this one in the hopes of bolstering tourism.

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