Egyptian archaeological mission unearths largest-ever bronze statues cachette in Saqqara

The collection also included over 200 painted wooden sarcophagi, and a variety of other antiquities.

 Sarcophaguses that are around 2500 years old, from the newly discovered burial site near Egypt's Saqqara necropolis, are displayed during a presentation in Giza, Egypt May 30, 2022 (photo credit: REUTERS/MOHAMED ABD EL GHANY)
Sarcophaguses that are around 2500 years old, from the newly discovered burial site near Egypt's Saqqara necropolis, are displayed during a presentation in Giza, Egypt May 30, 2022
(photo credit: REUTERS/MOHAMED ABD EL GHANY)

Archeologists in Saqqara, Egypt announced on Monday that they have uncovered a collection of 250 wooden painted coffins and 150 bronze statues of ancient Egyptian deities.

The team has been working on the site for over four years. 

“I'm very proud that the discovery was made by Egyptians, and this will not be the last discovery here.”

Mostafa Waziri, secretary-general of Egypts Supreme Council of Antiquities

A collection of cosmetics was also found, including combs, kohl eyeliners, bracelets, earrings, and necklaces, among other curios.

Waziri confirmed that the sarcophagi will be transferred to the soon-to-open Grand Egyptian Museum, where they will be displayed in the main halls. He also revealed that a papyrus written in hieroglyphs was found inside one of the coffins, and may contain verses from the Book of the Dead. It was sent to the laboratory of the Egyptian Museum in Tahrir for further study. 

 Figurines that are around 2500 years old, from the newly discovered burial site near Egypt's Saqqara necropolis, are displayed during a presentation in Giza, Egypt May 30, 2022. (credit: REUTERS/MOHAMED ABD EL GHANY) Figurines that are around 2500 years old, from the newly discovered burial site near Egypt's Saqqara necropolis, are displayed during a presentation in Giza, Egypt May 30, 2022. (credit: REUTERS/MOHAMED ABD EL GHANY)
Previous discoveries at Saqqara

The discovery is one of several made at Saqqara, the necropolis of the ancient capital of Memphis, in recent years.

In March, Egyptian archaeologists discovered five ancient painted tombs at a cemetery in Saqqara.

The tombs date back 4,000 years to the Old Kingdom and First Intermediate period and belong to senior officials and regional rulers, the Egyptian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities said.
Large wooden and stone coffins and other artifacts, including small statues of people and pottery, were discovered inside the tombs.

In November, the tomb of Ptah-M-Wia, the treasurer of Pharaoh Ramesses II, was unearthed by researchers from the Cairo University

Ramesses II was the third pharaoh of the Nineteenth Dynasty of Egypt. Ptah-M-Wia served in a number of key roles during his rule, including royal scribe, head of the treasury, chief overseer of livestock and head of ritual offerings at the temple of Ramesses II at Thebes.

A sprawling Necropolis

Saqqara is a part of a sprawling necropolis, or large ancient cemetery for the ancient Egyptian capital of Memphis, which includes the Giza pyramids.

It is a UNESCO world heritage site that is also home to the Step Pyramid.
Judith Sudilovsky contributed to this report.