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Sakkara (Saqqara)

Leaving Memphis, traveling westward over an excellent road for four kilometers, and ascending the sandy plateau, we come to the vast graveyard, the greatest Necropolis of Sakkara in which the Memphite Pharaohs and inhabitants of their capital city were laid to rest. As a royal Necropolis Sakkara has now been proved to date back to the First Dynasty (3200 B.C.) and the huge tomb of (Hor Ahe), the successor of king Menas, was found there in recent years.

The name Sakkara, as we have already said, is derived from the Falcon-headed God (Seker) an Egyptian local God of the dead, who was also connected with the resurrection of the dead.

Sakkara is the only place in the world where we can see the oldest free-standing stone structure ever discovered, still standing on its original site. The excavated area extends along the Libyan Desert for about four miles long and two miles in width. It is now fenced off, and visitors must pass through the main barrier where tickets are available to those who have not previously acquired them in Cairo.

The Necropolis has been as wonderfully preserved as though it had some share in the immortality of the soul of its inhabitants that rest Osiris. The burial places of the Pharaohs have outlived their cities because they regarded their houses as temporary dwelling places and their graves as eternal homes. Their lives on earth as a brief sojourn and their death as eternal life.

The most important monuments of interest here are the Step pyramid and its complex, the pyramid of Unas, the Serapeum, the mastaba (tomb) of Ti, the Tomb of Ptah Hotep, and the Tomb of Mera (merruruka).

Egyptian archaeologists unveil the discovery of 59 sealed sarcophagi !!!

Early Tuesday morning, His Excellency the Prime Minister Dr. Mustafa Madbouly and Dr. Khaled El Enany, Minister of Tourism and Antiquities, accompanied by Dr. Mustafa Waziry, Secretary-General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, visited the site of the discovery of new burial shafts that contain a huge number of colored coffins that were sealed for more than 2,500 years, in addition to colored and gilded wooden statues in Saqqara archeological site.
This new discovery is from the excavation work of the Egyptian archaeological mission working.

Dr. Mustafa Madbouly was keen to go down one of the three newly discovered burial shafts, to see firsthand the new findings and the coffins that were revealed inside the shafts.

Dr. Madbouly thanked the Minister of Tourism and Antiquities, the Ministry’s staff, and the Supreme Council of Antiquities for the effort made by this team of archaeologists, that has made unprecedented discoveries

Dr. Khaled El Enany expressed his gratitude to the Prime Minister for the great support the Ministry receives from the government. This support has helped in making all these important discoveries. This support also led to the completion of many archaeological projects and new openings that have been praised by the whole world. He added that there 5 museums before the end of 2020.
Details of this discovery will be announced during the next few weeks in a press conference in the Saqqara archeological site after that is after completion of the archaeological documentation and photography.

Dr. Mostafa Madbouly made a video where he thanked the Ministry and expressed his great pride in the unique Egyptian civilization.

The Egyptian archeological mission had announced during the past years a number of important archaeological discoveries in the Saqqara archeological site, the last of which was the discovery of 59 colored sealed coffins with mummies in good condition. Preliminary studies show that they belong to senior statesmen and priests from the 26th dynasty. This recent discovery was announced at an international press conference in early October

Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities

New Discoveries

H.E. The Minister of Antiquities, Dr. Khaled El-Enany, announced on Saturday at an international press conference a new archaeological discovery in Saqqara. The discovery was carried out by an Egyptian archaeological mission, headed by Dr. Mostafa Waziri, Secretary-General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, during its work at the animal cemetery. This area is situated next to the cemetery of elites and the animal cemetery discovered last year.  The area also includes the beautiful tomb of Wah-Ti, also discovered the previous year. The press conference was attended by more than 40 ambassadors of Arab and foreign countries in Egypt and their families, a group of public figures and members of the House of Representatives, in addition to a large number of local and international newspapers, news agencies, and television.

The Minister of Antiquities explained that he is not announcing a new archaeological discovery, but rather announcing an entire museum. In addition to this, H.E. stated that he has the honor of now standing at this very same spot for the third time to announce a new discovery. The discoveries include a collection of 75 wood and bronze cat statues of different shapes and sizes; 25 wooden chests decorated with different materials and inscribed with hieroglyphic texts containing cat mummies; wooden statues of different animals, such as ichneumons (Egyptian mongoose), Apis Bulls, small crocodiles, and the god Anubis; two ichneumon mummies; a large stone scarab and two smaller ones made of wood and sandstone; a wooden ibis statue; a collection of statues of deities, including 73 bronze statues of Osiris, 6 wooden statues of Ptah‑Sokar, 11 faience and wooden statues of Hathor; a wooden statue of the goddess Neith.

          H.E. Dr. Khaled El-Enany added that the mission also discovered small limestone coffins of cats, which were sacred to the goddess Bastet, as well as a limestone stela recording the Horus name of king Psamtik I of the 26th Dynasty. There was also a wooden chest containing the remains of a golden mask. The discovery included two wooden statues of ladies, one of which had the head of a cobra. Other cobra statues were also discovered, as well as amulets, the head of an ibis, a wooden naos holding within it a small statue of the falcon Sopdu, three statues of the falcon god Horus, a collection of amulets of different shapes and sizes, some of which were found inside the linen wrappings, faience shabti statues, a collection of papyri fragments containing illustrations of the goddess Tausret, several colored wooden, and mud funerary masks, and a wooden headrest.

          H.E. the Minister of Antiquities stated that several large mummies were discovered, five of which probably belong to lion cubs. These mummies dated to the seventh century BC and the rise of the 26th Dynasty. The archaeologist Alain Zivie discovered a lion skeleton nearby.

          Dr. Mustafa Waziri clarified that the most important of the discovery are three mummies of large cats. The preliminary study revealed that they likely belong to lion cubs. These studies were carried out by Professor Salima Ikram and Professor Richard Ridge, both of whom specialize in animal mummies. The shape and size of the mummies strongly suggest that this hypothesis is almost certainly correct and that the cubs are most probably around eight months of age. Dr. Waziri said that more studies are required and will be carried out in the coming weeks to confirm the results. Studies will also be done on the rest of the mummies to determine their species. Dr. Waziri confirmed that if studies were to prove that these mummies belong to cubs, this will be the first discovery of its kind.

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