June 25, 2006

Egypt archaeologists find sarcophagi near pyramids

CAIRO (Reuters) - Egyptian archaeologists have found two
ancient sarcophagi close to the pyramids, the head of Egypt's
Supreme Council for Antiquities said on Sunday.

The sarcophagi, found about a kilometer (0.6 miles) south
of the pyramids in Giza, dated to the late 26th dynasty, or
about 2,500 years old, council chief Zahi Hawass said in a
report by the state MENA news agency.

Hieroglyphs referring to the ancient Egyptian gods Osiris,
god of the dead, and the sun-god Ra were painted on the larger
sarcophagus, which measured about 2 meters (6 ft 6.74 in) tall,
70 cm wide and 60 cm deep and was painted red, blue and green,
the report said.

The name of sarcophagus' owner, Neb Ra Khatow, and ritual
incantations to the gods were also painted on the sarcophagus.

The second sarcophagus had a more human form and was found
inside the first. Hawass said it was in good condition, and
that a wreath made of plants encircled the mummy inside.