They were found in three grave shafts at a depth of 12 metres in the Saqqara necropolis south of Cairo. Archaeologists opened one coffin to find a mummy wrapped in a burial savannah adorned with brightly coloured hieroglyphic paintings.
Sakara is the burial site of the ancient Egyptian capital of Memphis, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The huge find came just over a month after archaeologists in the area found 59 other well-preserved and sealed wooden coffins dating back more than 2,500 years. “Saqara has yet to disclose all of his content. It's a treasure,” Antiquities and Tourism Minister Khaled al-Anani said during the opening ceremony. “Excavations are still underway. Whenever we empty a tomb shaft of sarcophagus, we find another entrance.”
More than 40 statues of ancient deities and burial masks have also been discovered, he said. They will be distributed among several museums in Egypt, including the Giza Plateau Museum.
Another discovery in the vast necropolis is expected to be announced in the coming weeks.
Archaeologists also hope to find an ancient workshop for making wooden coffins for mummies soon, according to Mustafa Waziri, secretary-general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities.
Egypt hopes archaeological discoveries will boost tourism, a sector that has suffered multiple collapses from the 2011 uprising to today's coronavirus pandemic.
In Egypt found over 100 intact sarcophagi with mummies (Photos)
Egypt reported the discovery of an ancient treasure trove of over 100 intact sarcophagi, the largest such find this year. The sealed wooden coffins belong to senior officials from the Late Period and Ptolomeus Period of ancient Egypt, BGNES reported.