CAIRO – Egypt on Monday displayed a collection of ancient artifacts dating back 2,500 years that the country’s antiquities authorities said were recently unearthed at the famous Saqqara necropolis near Cairo.
The artifacts are on display in a temporary exhibition at the foot of the Step Pyramid of Djoser in Saqqara, 24 kilometers (15 miles) southwest of the Egyptian capital.
According to Mustafa Waziri, head of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, the find includes 250 painted sarcophagi containing well-preserved mummies, as well as 150 bronze statues of ancient deities and ancient fertility goddess Isis used in ceremonies of bronze utensils.Egyptian mythology, all from the late period, about 500 BC
Also on display is a headless bronze statue of Inhotep, the chief architect of the pharaoh Djoser, who ruled ancient Egypt from 2630 BC to 2611 BC.
The artifacts will be moved to permanent exhibition at the new Grand Egyptian Museum, a massive project still under construction near the famous Pyramids of Giza outside Cairo.
The Saqqara site is part of a sprawling necropolis in the ancient Egyptian capital of Memphis, which includes the Pyramids of Giza and the smaller pyramids of Abusir, Dashur and Abruwesh. The ruins of Memphis were designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in the 1970s.
Egypt has been heavily promoting recent archaeological finds in hopes of attracting more tourists to the country. Its tourism industry, a major source of foreign exchange, has endured years of political unrest and violence after the 2011 uprising that overthrew dictator Hosni Mubarak.
The industry recently began to recover from the coronavirus pandemic, only to be reeling from Russia’s war against Ukraine. Like Russia, Ukraine is a major source of tourists visiting Egypt.
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