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Egypt unearthed! Mummies, ancient gods, and mystery scroll discovered in major burial dig
Ancient treasure trove includes 250 well-preserved coffins and 150 divine statues.
Hathor. Anubis. Isis. Osiris. Nope, we’re not talking about Indiana Jones’ bucket list or a who’s-who deity roster from the MCU's Moon Knight. Instead, those names are only a sampling of stars in the Egyptian pantheon whose vestiges have been recovered as part of a major archaeological treasure find just a short scarab’s flight from Cairo.
An archaeological team has unearthed a trove of mummies, statues, writings, and other artifacts all dating from ancient Egypt’s Late Period (about 500 B.C.), according to The Guardian. Egypt’s Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities announced the discovery this week, made at the Saqqara necropolis, along with the totally reassuring observation for curse-wary treasure hunters that the mummies — gulp — appear to be “well preserved.”
The score reportedly yielded 250 painted wooden sarcophagi and 150 statues representing deities Anubis, Amun, Min, Osiris, Isis, Nefertum, Bastet, and Hathor — “along with a headless statue of the architect Imhotep, who built the Saqqara pyramid,” The Guardian reports.
Also uncovered from the complex’s burial shafts was an awesome assortment of items from the Late Period, including a sistrum (a percussion instrument used in rituals to ward off the fratricidal god Set), cosmetics, amulets, jewelry, and “a collection of bronze vessels used in rituals for the worship of the goddess Isis,” per the report.
It wouldn’t be a proper treasure haul without stumbling across some cryptic ancient hieroglyphics, and sure enough, the Egyptian Museum in Cairo is already investigating a “well-preserved papyrus written in hieroglyphs, perhaps verses of the Book of the Dead,” reportedly found inside one of the coffins.
The excavation also yielded the chance to peer even deeper into Egypt’s dynastic past: Researchers also discovered a smaller trove of wood statues, each depicting gold-faced representations of Isis and Nephthys (Isis’ sister and the goddess of night and mourning), which date from an earlier period.
Khonshu, the lunar god who sort of guides and antagonizes Moon Knight’s Oscar Isaac (Marc Spector/Steven Grant) in equal measure, hasn’t been name-dropped among the long list of Egyptian deities found at Saqqara’s big score. That’s probably for the best, though: These artifacts are reportedly set to go on display later this year when the Grand Egyptian Museum (aka the “GEM”) near Giza officially opens, and the world’s bound to be a safer place if things can kick off without any of Khonshu’s moody supernatural theatrics.