Egypt to announce major archaeological discovery in Saqqara

An Egyptian archaelogical laborer is seen walking near deities in a newly discovered tomb at Saqqara necropolis, on Saturday. (AFP)
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Updated 06 September 2020

Egypt to announce major archaeological discovery in Saqqara

  • None of the coffins are thought to belong to important historical figures

CAIRO: Egypt is preparing to announce its largest archaeological discovery in recent memory, which includes wooden and gold coffins, with much of their original colour preserved.

Sources at the Egyptian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities said that the Supreme Council of Antiquities working in the Saqqara archaeological area discovered a new major archaeological cache.

The discovery includes human and animal burials, a group of shabti statues and statues of the gods Isis, Nephthys and Horus, in addition to masks and canopic vessels that belong to the late age.

Sources told local websites that about 50 coffins had been discovered so far, but that number is expected to double during the excavations.

None of the coffins are thought to belong to important historical figures, and work continues on identifying who was buried in the coffins.

The sources said that the  discovery would be announced during the next few days.

The archaeological area of Saqqara, an ancient burial ground in the governorate of Giza, has witnessed many archaeological discoveries in recent years. The most important of these was the discovery of the Tomb of Wahty and the sacred cache of animals and birds, in which a large number of animal mummies were found.

Sources revealed to Al-Watan, the local newspaper, that the discovery of the animal cemetery, which began in April 2018, continued till April 2020. It was on World Heritage Day, April 18 this year that a well measuring about 120 x 90 cm and a depth of about 11 meters was discovered.

Towards the end of 2019 the Egyptian archaeological mission working in the region discovered a cache of mummies of animals and sacred birds, including five mummies of large cats, which preliminary studies suggested could be small lions.

International news agencies circulated the discovery, saying that the  animals resembled the Sphinx.


Lebanon sets out its claim in maritime border talks

Updated 29 October 2020

Lebanon sets out its claim in maritime border talks

  • A military source told Arab News: “The Lebanese side considers that Israel, through the border line it drew for itself, is eating into huge areas of Lebanese economic waters.”

BEIRUT: Lebanese negotiators laid out their claim to maritime territory on Wednesday as they began a second round of talks with Israel over their disputed sea border.
The contested zone in the Mediterranean is an estimated 860 square kilometers known as Block 9, which is rich in oil and gas. Future negotiations will also tackle the countries’ land border.
Wednesday’s meeting took place at the headquarters of the UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) amid tight security. An assistant of the UN special coordinator for Lebanon chaired the session, and the US Ambassador to Algeria, John Desrocher, was the mediator.
A military source told Arab News: “The Lebanese side considers that Israel, through the border line it drew for itself, is eating into huge areas of Lebanese economic waters.”
The Lebanese delegation produced maps and documents to support their claim to the disputed waters.
In indirect talks between Lebanon and Israel in 2012, US diplomat Frederick Hoff proposed “a middle line for the maritime borders, whereby Lebanon would get 58 percent of the disputed area and Israel would be given the remaining 42 percent, which translates to 500 square kilometers for Lebanon and 300 square kilometers for Israel.”
On the eve of Wednesday’s meeting, Lebanese and Israeli officials met to discuss a framework to resolve the conflict through the implementation of UN Resolution 1701.
UNIFIL Commander Maj. Gen. Stefano Del Col praised the “constructive role that both parties played in calming tensions along the Blue Line” and stressed the necessity of “taking proactive measures and making a change in the prevailing dynamics regarding tension and escalation.”