Archaeologists have uncovered a “huge cache” of more than 20 sealed coffins in the city of Luxor, according to Egypt’s Ministry of Antiquities.
The seemingly well-preserved sarcophagi were discovered “as the ancient Egyptians left them,” said an official press statement highlighting their intact engravings and surviving coloration.
Found in Al-Assasif, an ancient necropolis on the west bank of Nile, the coffins were spread out over two levels of a large tomb. The site once formed part of the ancient city of Thebes, the ruins of which are found in present-day Luxor.
Nobles and officials were buried in Al-Assasif during pharaonic times. The cemetery has previously yielded archaeological finds dating back to Egypt’s 18th dynasty, which began in around 1539 B.C.
Officials are yet to disclose which period the coffins may date from, with further details expected to be announced at a press conference in Luxor on Saturday.
The statement described the find as “one of the largest and most important discoveries to have been announced in the past few years.” Authorities also released a series of images showing antiquities minister Khaled El-Anany inspecting the coffins on Tuesday morning alongside the Supreme Council of Antiquities’ secretary general, Mostafa Waziri.
The announcement comes less than a week after Egyptian authorities published details of another major discovery in the Luxor region. Last Thursday, the Ministry of Antiquities revealed that it had uncovered an ancient “industrial area” once used to produce decorative items, furniture and pottery for royal tombs. Comprised of 30 workshops and a large kiln to fire ceramics, the sprawling site was found in Luxor’s Valley of the Monkeys.