The discovery of at least 20 colorful, well-preserved ancient Egyptian coffins has been described by experts as “one of the largest and most important discoveries that have been announced in the past few years.”
The coffins were found in the El-Assasif necropolis near Luxor and were stored in a two-level cache with one coffin placed above the other. The coffins are still sealed and in the location where the original inters placed them, each well-preserved with vibrant colors and full inscriptions still visible.
It is not yet clear to which era the newly discovered coffins belong or who might be buried inside, but the area that they were found in has housed some of the most renowned leaders of Ancient Egypt.
El-Assasif is a necropolis on the West Bank at Thebes in Egypt. This region is known as Upper Egypt and contains burials from three dynasties who reigned ancient Egypt between 1550 and 525 BCE. The first, the 18th Dynasty of Egypt, spanned between 1550 and 1292 BCE. It was also known as the Thutmosid Dynasty and was ruled by some of the most famous Egyptian pharaohs, including Tutankhamun, Hatshepsut, and Akhenaten. Notably, this era also had two women who ruled as pharaohs and has been classified as the first dynasty of the New Kingdom of Egypt.
The 25th Dynasty, also known as the Nubian Dynasty or Kushite Empire, was ruled by a line of pharaohs originating from the Kingdom of Kush in what is now northern Sudan from 744 to 656 BCE. Following that was the 26th Dynasty, also called the Saite Period. This was the last dynasty of Egyptians to rule before Persian invasion, overseeing the region between 664 and 525 BCE.
In recent years, the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities has uncovered a plethora of burials across the country. In May, officials discovered a 4,500-year-old cemetery located on the outskirts of Cairo that housed some of Egypt’s rich and powerful buried alongside lavish artifacts. Just two months prior, the agency announced the recovery of an undated, yet ancient, skeleton of a teenage girl located near a 4,600-year-old pyramid. July diving excavations of two underwater cities revealed a stash of gold, pottery, and temples while dozens of Egyptian mummies were discovered in a tomb alongside the “Soul of the Deceased” statuette in April.