Egyptian Antiquities Ministry on Saturday unveiled 30 newly-discovered well-preserved ancient coffins with mummies in Upper Egypt's Luxor.
According to Antiquities Minister Khaled el-Enany, discoveries of ancient Egyptian relics had slowed after the 2011 Arab Spring revolution that toppled long-time autocrat Hosni Mubarak and plunged the country in political turmoil.
The gender of the mummies was established by the shape of their hands, as men were laid to rest with closed palms, while women had them opened. The find was "completely by accident", archaeologist Zahi Hawass told Today.
"They were hiding, meaning that the ancient Egyptians wanted to hide their presence, but why?" asks the Secretary General of Egyptian Antiquities, Mostafa Waziri archaeologists, the origin of these tombs dates back to the 22nd dynasty in the 10th century BC Back.
"Some people, we don't have to mention names, don't want us to have these discoveries. that impress the world", said Enany before throngs of tourists, referring to detractors.
The minister said the coffins were found stacked in two layers in al-Assassif necropolis on the west bank of Luxor.
They are adorned with intricate carvings and designs, including Egyptian deities, hieroglyphics and scenes from the Book of the Dead, a series of spells that enabled the soul to navigate the afterlife.
The two rows of coffins were discovered in a "good condition of preservation, colors and complete inscriptions" at Al-Asasif cemetery, the ministry said.
After painting, egg yolk was mixed with candle wax and spread over the coffin to maintain a natural shine, which is still visible. he said.
"We only did remedial first-aid on these well-preserved coffins".
It is the biggest find of its kind in more than a century.
The discovered coffins were placed by high priests to be stored in a store with a stone gate to prevent any robbery attempts. "And that's really very interesting to know why they were buried in a cliff", El-Anany told reporters.
A dig team stumbled upon the sarcophagi in the Asasif necropolis of the ancient town of Thebes, the Egyptian government announced on Tuesday. The coffins will be given their own exhibit.
The coffins will endure some restoration earlier than being moved to a particular showroom that will likely be opened on the Grand Egyptian Museum in Giza subsequent 12 months.
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