rare 17th dynasty wooden sarcophagus discovered in luxor

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The Minister of Antiquities, Dr. Mohammed Ibrahim, has announced the discovery of a rare wooden sarcophagus in the Dra’ Abulnaga Area, West Bank, Luxor. Dating back to the 17th Dynasty (1600 A.D), the Sarcophagus’ lid contains hieroglyphic inscriptions indicating the name of the sarcophagus’ owner, which remains in good condition inside.

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“The importance of this sarcophagus lies in the rarity of its inscriptions which resemble feathers”, said Dr. Ibrahim. He also pointed out that more studies need to be done on the titles and positions of its owner while initial considerations suggest that he may be an important official.

The discovery was found by the Spanish Mission in collaboration with the Ministry of Antiquities during regular excavations at the eastern part of the Theban Necropolis. The sarcophagus was found under the front court of Djehuty’s tomb (1482-1502 A.D) who was Overseer of Queen Hatshepsut’s treasuries.

The head of the MSA’s Ancient Egyptian Sector, Ali Al-Asfar, said that the sarcophagus is 2m long, 50cm wide and 42cm high. “The lid has incredible inscriptions of prayers that used to help the deceased in his journey to the next world”, commented Al-Asfar. Additionally, he noted that the colours decorating the sarcophagus are in great condition.

Abdelhakim Karar, Director of the Luxor Archaeological Area, clarified that the excavation work started last month and three burial shafts were recently discovered. Though two were stolen during the Ancient Ages, the third shaft, in which the sarcophagus was found, was untouched because it was enclosed with limestone.

The director of the Spanish Mission, José Galan, said the mission started the archaeological excavations at Dra’ Abulnaga 13 years ago and it discovered a 5 year old child’s wooden sarcophagus that belonged to the 17th Dynasty. In addition to a huge collection of ceramics, some wooden Shabties wrapped in linen were found beside the child’s sarcophagus.

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