The perfectly-preserved mummy of a woman has just been unveiled from inside a coffin in Egypt dating back to more than 3,000 years.
The sarcophagus was opened yesterday (Saturday 24 Nov), having been one of two coffins discovered in El-Assasif, Luxor, on the bank of the River Nile.
“One sarcophagus was rishi-style, which dates back to the 17th dynasty, while the other sarcophagus was from the 18th dynasty,” Egypt’s Minister of Antiquities Khaled Al Anani explained.
“The two tombs were present with their mummies inside.”
The 18th dynasty, which dates back to the 13th century BC, is an era known for it high profile pharaohs – including the likes of Tutankhamen and Ramses II.
Located between the royal tombs at the Valley of the Queens and the Valley of the Kings, El-Assasif is a necropolis that is the burial site of pharaohs’ nobles and senior officials.
The team of French researchers had started the excavation back in March, but had stopped in May before resuming once again in August.
Along with the mummified woman, nearby the team also found five coloured masks and over 1,000 Ushabti statues, which are the miniature figurines of servants believed to help serve the dead in the afterlife.
The tomb also contains other mummies, skeletons and skulls, and dates back to the middle kingdom almost 4,000 years ago. However, it was also reused during the late period.
According to the ministry, the tomb belonged to Thaw-Irkhet-If, the mummification supervisor at the Temple of Mut in Karnak.
In order to uncover it, more than 300 metres of rubble had to be removed over the course of five months – including coloured ceiling paintings that depicted the owner and his family.
Earlier this year, archaeologists also discovered massive black sarcophagus in Alexandria, Egypt – which they eventually cracked open to find some skeletons and some stagnant water. Nice.
A huge, black granite sarcophagus was also discovered earlier this year in Alexandria, Egypt. Credit: PA
It was thought to be the largest of its kind to be found intact in the city, measuring a whopping 185cm high, 265cm long and 165cm wide, and weighing over 30 tonnes.
The tomb is believed to date to back to the early Ptolemaic period, which kicked off in 323BC and, according to archaeologists, it’s been lying there undisturbed since it was buried, until it was opened in the summer.
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