2,500-Years-Old Egyptian Mummification Workshop Revealed at the Saqqara Necropolis of Memphis

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South of Cairo, near the famous pyramids, archaeologists discovered a mummification workshop which is more than 2,500 years old. They also discovered a shaft, and both with the workshop, they date back to the Saite-Persian Period, from 664-404 B.C.

The site was excavated over 100 years ago, in 1900, and it’s south of the Unas pyramid.

‘A Goldmine of Information’

Archaeologists found in the mummification workshop different tools and pottery vessels in an embalmer’s cachette. They found bowels and measuring cups, all of which could help them find out more about the substances used during the 26th Dynasty in the mummification process.

In a press conference, Ramadan Hussein, the head of the German-Egyptian mission, stated:

“We are in front of a goldmine of information about the chemical composition of these oils.”

The artifacts found inside the workshop are fragments of mummy cartonnages, and marl clay, faience cups and canopic cylindrical jars, most of which will be displayed in the Grand Egyptian Museum, which is currently under construction. The Grand Egyptian Museum will be inaugurated this year.

The Guilded Mask, a Sensational Discovery

Among the artifacts discovered at the site, there was also a gilded silver mask, which was placed on the face of a priest’s mummy found in a wooden coffin. Since 1939, this is the first mask to be discovered, Hussein explaining:

“The finding of this mask could be called a sensation. Very few masks of precious metals have been preserved to the present day because the tombs of most Ancient Egyptian dignitaries were looted in ancient times.”

The shaft was 30 meters deep and hosted burial chambers which were carved into the rocks. The chambers lined the sides of two hallways. Antiquities Minister Khaled al-Anani said that they would continue the excavations, knowing they will find more artifacts, saying that “it’s only the beginning.”

Rex Austin

Rex Austinwas born and raised in Thunder Bay Ontario on the shores of Lake Superior. Apart from running his own podcast (Ice Fishing And Other “Cool” Things), he spends his time canoeing and backpacking in Northern Ontario.. As a journalist Rex has published stories for Global News (Thunder Bay) we well as Buzz Feed and Joystiq. As a contributor to Great Lakes Ledger, Rex most covers science and health stories. Contact Rexhere