Archaeologists in Egypt crack open 2,500-year old mummy coffin, video goes viral
At least 59 sarcophagi, with mummies inside, were found earlier this year during an excavation in Saqqara, which is situated to the south of Cairo
Archaeologists in Egypt cracked open the coffin of an ancient mummy in front of a live audience on Saturday. There were several onlookers in attendance as archaeologists unsealed the first of 59 sealed sarcophagi. Media reports have suggested that one of these coffins has never been opened before since it was originally sealed some 2,500 years ago.
Honoured to be invited by the Minister of Tourism and Antiquities HE Khaled El Anany to Saqqara for the announcement that a new tomb of mummies has been discovered. I saw one being opened for the first time in 2600 years! Truly amazing! @TourismandAntiq @MFATNZ 🇪🇬🇳🇿 pic.twitter.com/5oLfAM7zAV
— Greg Lewis 🇳🇿🇪🇬 (@NZinEgypt) October 3, 2020
The mummies were found earlier this year during an excavation in Saqqara, which is situated to the south of Cairo, according to Global News. As per the report, the first wooden sarcophagus contained a mummy of a deceased priest who was wrapped in an “ornate burial cloth” which had been decorated to resemble the deceased’s face. It cited officials to state that the sarcophagus was entombed along with several others sometime in the later period of ancient Egypt.
A video clip from the unveiling of the mummy has gone viral on social media. The 20-second video has amassed 20 million views on Twitter already.
The mummy tomb, which has been sealed for 2500 years, has been opened for the first time. pic.twitter.com/KWGT95girv
— Psychedelic Art (@VisuallySt) October 5, 2020
Many inquired if opening up the sealed mummies was a good idea in 2020. This is in line with the popular belief that opening up of tombs or coffins may bring bad luck. An article in the National Geographic talks about the folklore of the curse of the mummy and how the 1922 discovery of King Tutankhamun's tomb in the Valley of the Kings popularised this myth.
The news became a sensation when Lord Carnarvon, the sponsor of the excavation, died of blood poisoning soon after the coffin was opened. However, it was not entirely factual to say that all excavators of the tomb were dying as only six of the total 26 people present when the tomb was being opened died within a decade.
Mostafa Waziri, secretary-general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, said that the team was “very happy about [the recent] discovery”. He said the sarcophagi were “in perfect condition,” and the discovery was “the gift of the century” for researchers in Egypt.
As per a press release by Egypt's Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities, these coffins are going to be put on display at the under-construction Grand Egyptian Museum on the Giza plateau.
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