Archaeologists in Egypt discover rare collection of mummified cats and beetles

Archaeologists in Egypt discover rare collection of mummified cats and beetles

Archaeologists in Egypt have found mummified cats, as well as a seemingly original tomb from the fifth dynasty that they want to open in the coming weeks.

Mummified beetles were also one of the artefacts found in seven graves discovered in the past six months on the edge of the Pyramid Complex King Userkaf in the old necropolis of Saqqara, south of Cairo.

While they were preparing the site to present the latest discoveries, archaeologists found the door to another tomb that remains sealed, said Secretary General of the Egyptian Supreme Council of Antiquities, Mostafa Waziri.

The grave dates from the fifth dynasty of the old kingdom and is unusual because the facade and the door are intact.

Mummified cats found during the Egyptian archaeological mission

An Egyptian archaeologist cleanses one of the dozens of mummified cats that were found

This means that the content can still be untouched, said Mohamed Youssef, director of the Saqqara area.

He said that experts are planning to open the tomb in the coming weeks.

The fifth dynasty reigned over Egypt from about 2500 BC to 2,350 BC, not long after the great pyramid of Giza was built.

The graves lie in a buried ridge that has only been partially uncovered and could offer many more similar discoveries, Waziri said.

Workers carry mummified cats outside the grave of Khufu-Imhat, in the Saqqara area near the necropolis, in Giza, Egypt

A wooden gilded image cat found in the old necropolis of Saqqara, south of Cairo

Excavations in the area were halted in 2013 before resuming earlier this year.

Saqqara served as the necropolis for Memphis, the capital of ancient Egypt for more than two millennia.

Monuments are shown after excavation work at the pyramid complex King Userkaf in Saqqara Necropolis, south of the capital Cairo

Ancient Egyptians mummified people to preserve their bodies for the hereafter, while animal mummies were used as religious offerings.

Dozens of cat mummies and gilded statues of cats were unearthed, including a bronze statue dedicated to the cat goddess Bastet.

Gold-plated statues of cats were unearthed, including a bronze statue dedicated to the cat goddess Bastet

Two large scarabs wrapped in linen and in very good condition were found in a limestone sarcophagus with a vaulted, decorated lid, the Ministry of Antiquity said in a statement.

Another collection of scarab mummies was found in a smaller sarcophagus.

Egyptian archaeologist cleans mummified cats after the new discovery

"The (mummified) scarab is really something unique, it's something that's really rare," Waziri said.

A few days ago, when we discovered those chests, they were sealed coffins with drawings of scarabs. I have never heard of them. & # 39;

An Egyptian archaeologist clears a bronze ancient Egyptian sitting cat statue during a demonstration

The team also found painted wooden cobra and crocodile sarcophagi, a collection of gilded statues with animal characteristics, as well as objects such as amulets, canopian pots, writing utensils and papyri baskets.

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