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The coffins, with well-preserved mummies inside, date from around 500BC. They are being shown at the bottom of the Step Pyramid of Djoser in Saqqara, which is close to Cairo.

Mostafa Waziri, head of Egypt’s Supreme Council of Antiquities, confirmed they will be transferred to a permanent exhibit at the new Grand Egyptian Museum in Giza. He also revealed that a papyrus written in hieroglyphs was found inside one of the sarcophagi and may contain verses from the Book of the Dead. This was believed to protect and aid the deceased in the afterlife.

The treasures, including statues and vessels, were found at Saqqara, a burial ground for over 3,000 years, in autumn 2020.

Egypt hopes they will help put new life in the country’s tourist industry after a turbulent few years.

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