Recent excavations at the ancient Egyptian necropolis of Saqqara have uncovered a large number of well-preserved, intact painted wooden coffins. The Egyptian archaeological mission – headed by Mostafa Waziri, Secretary General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities – first found 13 coffins in August, but further work soon brought the total to 59, with more discoveries expected to be announced as investigations continue.
The coffins were found stacked up some 10-12m deep in three burial shafts at the site. Initial studies suggest that they date to the 26th Dynasty (664-525 BC) and belong to priests, senior statesmen, and other prominent figures. As well as the coffins, archaeologists also unearthed 28 statues of Ptah Sokar, the main god of the Saqqara necropolis, as well as shabtis, amulets, and a bronze statue of the god Nefertum. Measuring 35cm in height, the image of Nefertum has the name of its owner, the priest Badi-Amon, written on its base.