February 26, 2009

Archeologists Uncover Wooden Sarcophaguses In Egypt

The Egyptian government announced on Thursday that Japanese archaeologists working in Egypt have found four wooden sarcophaguses and associated grave goods that could date back 3,300 years, Reuters reported.

The Supreme Council for Antiquities said in a statement that the researchers from Waseda University in Tokyo discovered the anthropomorphic sarcophaguses in a tomb in the Sakkara (or Saqqara) necropolis, about 15 miles south of Cairo.

Archaeologists believe there are still plenty of remains buried in the sands of Sakkara, the burial ground for the ancient city of Memphis.

Experts say the area remains one of the richest sources of Egyptian antiquities.

The diggers also found three wooden Canopic jars, in which ancient Egyptians tried to preserve internal organs, and four boxes for ushabti figures, the miniature statues of servants to serve the dead person in the afterlife.

Grave robbers in ancient times likely got to the sarcophaguses first, as the archaeologists revealed they did not contain mummies. However, the sarcophaguses original black and yellow paintwork showing ancient Egyptian gods was still intact.

Most of the 38 wooden figurines inside the ushabti boxes were broken, but one of them was unopened and reportedly in excellent condition. It belonged to a man by the name of Tut Bashu, who was the original owner of one of the coffins.

A man called Ari Saraa was the owner of another sarcophagus.

The report said the burials dated from the Ramesside period or the Late Dynastic Period -- anywhere between about 1300 and 330 BC.

No other details have been announced.


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