Cairo: Egypt’s antiquity authorities on Saturday announced the discovery of well-preserved 30 coffins dating to Pharaonic times in the southern city of Luxor.
The wooden coffins include mummies of men, women and children, and when unearthed were laid on two levels, Antiquity Minister Khalid Al Anani said at a press conference in Luxor.
“This is the first treasure of human coffins to be fully discovered since the end of the 19th century,” he said. The 3,000-year-old decorated coffins were found by Egyptian archaeologists, Al Anani said.
The coffins were displayed at the press conference, according to Egyptian media.
They include sarcophagi of male and female priests and are bedecked with scenes of offering sacrifices to deities.
The trove is planned to be transported to the Grand Egyptian Museum being built near the Pyramids in Giza where they will be put on display, according to Al Tayeb Abbas, an official in the museum.
In recent years, Egypt has announced a series of ancient discoveries aimed at reviving its vital tourism industry.
The sarcophagi date back to the 22nd Dynasty, founded around 3,000 years ago in the 10th century BC.
Despite their age, black, green, red and yellow paintings of snakes, birds, lotus flowers and hieroglyphics that cover the coffins are still clearly visible.
“We only did remedial first-aid on these well-preserved coffins. They are considered to be in great condition because there were hardly any settlements” around the site, local antiquities ministry restorer Saleh Abdul Jelil told AFP.