Dozens of cat mummies and a rare collection of mummified scarab beetles have been discovered in seven sarcophagi, some dating back more than 6,000 years, at a site on the edge of the pyramid complex in Saqqara, south of Cairo.
Antiquities Minister Khaled el-Enany said the discovery was made by an Egyptian archaeological mission during excavation work started in April.
Three of the tombs had been used for cats, he said, while one of four other sarcophagi discovered at the site was unopened.
The tomb dates from the Fifth Dynasty of the Old Kingdom and is unusual because the facade and door are intact, meaning its contents may still be untouched, said Mohamed Youssef, director of the Saqqara area. He said experts plan to explore it in the coming weeks.
Mostafa Waziri, head of Egypt’s Supreme Council of Antiquities, said the mission had also unearthed the first mummies of scarabs to be found in the area.
Two such mummies were found inside a rectangular limestone sarcophagus with a vaulted lid decorated with three scarabs painted in black, he said.
Another collection of scarab mummies was found inside a smaller sarcophagus. Continue Reading