Following the discovery of 59 ancient Egyptian coffins, one was opened to reveal an intact 2,600-year-old mummy.
Following the incredible discovery of 2,600-year-old coffins in Saqqara last month announced the Egyptian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquity, archaeologists have taken the next step and actually opened one of them.
To everybody’s surprise, the remarkably well-preserved wood coffins still retained some of their paint, and the mummy inside was in an even more intact condition.
After lifting the lid of the sarcophagus as a crowd of onlookers watched in anticipation, the researchers revealed a mummy wrapped in ornate burial linen; more than two millennia after the individual’s interment, the cloth’s inscriptions and colorful designs remained intact!
Based on preliminary analysis, researchers believe that the bodies in the ancient coffins are of priests, government officials, and prominent members of society.
28 statues of Ptah-Soker were discovered, as well as one statue of Nefertum, were also discovered in addition to the coffins. The latter was actually inscribed with the owner’s name, Priest Badi-Amun.
Ptah-Soker is a composite god that is seen in funerary settings. The god is composed of Ptah, a creator god who was the local deity of the ancient capital of Memphis, and Soker, a falcon god of the Memphis necropolis. Nefertum is Ptah’s youthful companion, and so they are often depicted together.
According to tourism and antiquities minister Khaled al-Anani, the coffins and statues aren’t the end of what’s to be discovered.
“Today is not the end of the discovery; I consider it the beginning of the big discovery.” Whatever is there to come yet, the coffins will be put on display at the soon-to-be-opened Grand Egyptian Museum in Giza. The museum will host thousands of artifacts, including some of the numerous finds that archeologists have dug up in recent years.
Here’s a video by NBC news showing the opening of the sarcophagus and how intact the mummy inside is.