Egyptian archaeologists have discovered an ancient mummification workshop dating back to more than 2,500 years.
Specialist stumbled across the find near Egypt’s famed pyramids at an ancient necropolis south of Cairo.
The discovery includes a mummification workshop and a shaft, which was used as a communal burial place, and is located at the Saqqara necropolis of Memphis – the first capital of ancient Egypt.
Memphis, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and its vast necropolis are home to a wide range of temples and tombs as well as the three renowned Giza pyramids.
The latest find, announced at a press conference Saturday, belongs to the Saite-Persian Period, from 664-404 B.C.
The site, which lies south of the Unas pyramid, was last excavated more than 100 years ago, in 1900.
In the mummification workshop, an embalmer’s cachette holding a large collection of pottery vessels, bowls and measuring cups were found.
Some of these are believed to be canopic jars – which were used to store and dry bodily organs after they had been removed from the corpse.
Other cups may have been used to hold the embalming fluid used to preserve the body.
Archaeologists believe the findings could reveal what kind of oils were used in the mummification process in the 26th Dynasty.
‘We are in front of a goldmine of information about the chemical composition of these oils,’ said Ramadan Hussein, the head of the German-Egyptian mission, at the press conference.
Among the artifacts found were fragments of mummy cartonnages, canopic cylindrical jars and marl clay and faience cups. Many will be displayed in the under-construction Grand Egyptian Museum, the first phase of which is expected to be inaugurated later this year.
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Source: Daily Mail