Dozens of 2,000-Year-Old Mummies Spotted a Stone’s Throw From World’s Oldest Pyramid

CC0 / Pixabay / Egyptian mummy
Egyptian mummy - Sputnik International
The mummies, though poorly preserved, were hidden in highly-decorated coffins featuring images depicting Egypt’s most-worshiped deities as well as decipherable hieroglyphic inscriptions.

Polish archaeologists have unearthed a collection of 2,000-year-old mummies during excavations in the vicinity of Egypt’s 'Wonder of the World', a large necropolis in Saqqara, northern Egypt, according to Science in Poland. The excavations, spanning over two decades, have culminated in the archaeologist's stumbling upon the historic treasure house.

The researchers noted that the first batch of mummies dug out last season “were very modest,” apparently undergoing only basic embalming and “wrapped in bandages and placed directly in pits found in the sand,” noted head of excavations Dr. Kamil O. Kuraszkiewicz of the Department of Egyptology, University of Warsaw.

Although the organic materials used to decorate the burial places had severely decayed over time, one wooden coffin attracted increased attention due to a beautifully coloured necklace, along with a hieroglyphic inscription that was applied on to the lid.

A no less catchy, master-decoration adorned the part of the coffin that covered the mummy’s feet.

"There are two beautifully clumsy images of Anubis in the form of lying jackals in a completely unusual blue colour," Kuraszkiewicz specified.

The divine jackal was viewed as an embodiment of the much-revered god Anubis, linked to the afterlife and typically depicted as a canine or a man with a dog’s or jackal’s head.

The excavations, west of the pyramid in Saqqara, were initiated over 20 years ago by Prof. Karol Mysliwiec as part of a global project undertaken by the Polish Centre of Mediterranean Archaeology of the University of Warsaw.

Archaeologists now believe, having pieced together the evidence at hand, that there are two necropolises located west of the Pyramid of Djoser complex – the first being last resting place for local nobles consisting of burial chapels of mud bricks and tombs carved in the rock. The other, apparently meant for ordinary people or the poor, was spotted above the older necropolis.

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