Egypt showcases many recently discovered ancient artifacts

CAIRO (AP) – Egypt on Monday unveiled many 2,500-year-old ancient artifacts that, according to antiquities authorities, were recently found in the famous Saqqara necropolis near Cairo.

The artifacts were on display at an impromptu exhibition at the foot of the Djoser Step Pyramid in Saqqara, 24 kilometers (15 miles) southwest of the Egyptian capital.

According to Mustafa Wazir, head of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, the find includes 250 painted sarcophagi with well-preserved mummies inside, as well as 150 bronze statues of ancient deities and bronze vessels used in rituals of Isis, the goddess of fertility in antiquity. Egyptian mythology, all from the late period, around 500 BC

Also on display was a headless bronze statue of Imhatep, the chief architect of Pharaoh Djoser, who ruled Ancient Egypt between 2630 BC. and 2611 BC.

The artifacts will be transferred for permanent display to the new Great Egyptian Museum, a megaproject still under construction near the famous Pyramids of Giza, near Cairo.

The Saqqara site is part of a large necropolis in the ancient Egyptian capital of Memphis, which includes the Pyramids of Giza and the smaller pyramids at Abu Syra, Dahshura and Abu Ruwaisha. The ruins of Memphis were inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in the 1970s.

Egypt is actively promoting recent archeological finds, hoping to attract more tourists to the country. Its tourism sector, a major source of foreign exchange, has suffered from years of political turmoil and violence since the 2011 uprising that toppled autocrat Hosni Mubarak.

The sector recently began to recover from the coronavirus pandemic, but has again suffered from the effects of Russia’s war against Ukraine. Together with Russia, Ukraine is a major source of tourists visiting Egypt.

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