Archaeologists in Egypt said Saturday they had found 59 well-preserved and sealed wooden coffins over recent weeks that were buried more than 2,500 years ago.
Opening one of the ornately decorated sarcophagi before assembled media, the team revealed mummified remains wrapped in burial cloth that bore hieroglyphic inscriptions in bright colors.
The dramatic find was unearthed south of Cairo in the sprawling burial ground of Saqqara, the necropolis of the ancient Egyptian capital of Memphis, a UNESCO World Heritage site.
At a news conference, Egypt’s Tourism and Antiquities Minister Khalid el-Anany said at least 59 sealed sarcophagi, with mummies inside most of them, were found.
The coffins had been buried in three wells more than 2,600 years ago.
Initially, 13 coffins were found, although archaeologists subsequently excavated others.
The coffins are in a good state of preservation and maintain their original colors, according to Egypt’s Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities, in a translated Facebook post on Saturday.
A sealed door was also unearthed where it is expected more mummies may lie behind, said Khaled el-Anany the first Minister of Antiquities and Tourism, adding that the artifacts were in an excellent state of preservation and would be displayed in the Grand Egyptian museum next year.
Hundreds of mummified animals, birds and crocodiles, as well as two mummified lion cubs were found in the region last year.