Hailed as “one of the largest and most important discoveries that have been announced during the past few years” in the ministry press statement announcing the find, the “huge cache” includes “more than 20” colored wooden coffins that were found in two adjacent rooms in the al-Assasif necropolis.
Minister of Antiquities Khaled Al-Anani and Dr. Mustafa Waziri, secretary general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, posed for pictures Tuesday as they inspected the body-shaped coffins.
The Al-Asasif Cachette. Intact and sealed coffins. More details to be announced on Saturday..Keep tuned #luxor #egypt #egyptology #historyofegypt #aasif #cachette #discovery #Archaeology pic.twitter.com/4CRcpfgrvf— Ministry of Antiquities-Arab Republic of Egypt (@AntiquitiesOf) October 15, 2019
Al-Assasif is part of the sprawling complex of Thebes, which sits on the left bank of the Nile opposite the modern metropolis of Luxor and near the Valleys of the Kings and Queens, which house massive Pharaonic tombs and mortuary temples.
Judging by where they were found, the sarcophagi might come from the 18th Dynasty, a period that spanned from 1550-1292 BCE, making them among the oldest in al-Assasif. After the 18th Dynasty, the site was used for burials once again by the 25th and 26th Dynasties, meaning the most recent burials happened in 525 BC. However, ministry authorities haven’t announced a period of origin yet, and are expected to at a press conference Saturday.
Just days prior, Egyptian authorities announced another big find in the area, including workshops where funerary objects and furniture to be placed in tombs were manufactured, Egypt Today noted.
In July 2018, a black obsidian sarcophagus uncovered in the coastal city of Alexandria produced worldwide clamor, bombarding Egyptian officials with fears that a curse would be unleashed if it were opened. While no curse was found inside, the internet’s fascination only expanded when it was revealed to have water inside, prompting a petition to circulate to “let people drink the red liquid.”