View of Saqqara necropolis, including Djoser's step pyramid
A strange warehouse, 36 feet under ground and containing 30 Egyptian mummies has been found at the vast necropolis of Saqqara outside Cairo.
The tomb is thought to be about 2,600 years old and from the 26th dynasty, which was Egypt’s last independent kingdom before it was overthrown by the Persians.
The new tomb was announced by Zahi Hawass, secretary-general of Egypt’s Supreme Council of Antiquities and contains 8 mummies in stone coffins, or sarcophagi and another 22 mummies set in iches along the walls.
His assitant Abdel Hakim Karar said it was unusual for mummies of this late period to be stored in rocky niches. “Niches were known in the very early dynasties, so to find one for the 26th dynasty is something rare,” said Karar.
Zahi Hawass inspects a stone sarcophagus
Saqqara is a vast, ancient burial ground in Egypt, serving as the necropolis for the Ancient Egyptian capital, Memphis. Saqqara features numerous pyramids, including the world’s oldest standing step pyramid, as well as a number of mastabas. Located some 30 km south of modern-day Cairo, Saqqara covers an area of around 7 km by 1.5 km.
Excavations have been ongoing at Saqqara for 150 years, uncovering a vast royal necropolis of pyramids and mummy-filled tombs dating mostly to the Egypt’s Old Kingdom (2575 to 2150 B.C.), but also including sites as recent as the Roman era.
Amazingly, Zahi Hawass said only 30 percent of Egypt’s monuments have been uncovered, with the rest still under the sand.
Ancient Mummy Warehouse Found Deep Beneath Egypt