Egypt has uncovered significant new archaeological finds at the Saqqara necropolis south of Cairo, including 54 wooden coffins. Many of the coffins can be traced back 3,000 years to the New Kingdom period.
Zahi Hawass, the archaeologist who headed the mission, said the burial shrine of Queen Neit was also found near the 4,200-year-old pyramid of her husband, King Teti of Egypt's 6th dynasty.
The coffins, or sarcophagi, are among the first from the New Kingdom to be found at Saqqara, a UNESCO world heritage site. Egypt's Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities says the area is home to the Multi-Storied Pyramids. Carved into human shapes and painted in bright colors, many of which are still intact.
Ancient games, statues, and masks were also found.
"All these discoveries will rewrite the history of Saqqara and the New Kingdom," Hawass said, as quoted by Reuters.
Officials want to showcase the newly discovered artifacts in a bid to revive visitor numbers after the tourism industry took a hit during the coronavirus pandemic. The number of tourists visiting the country plunged to 3.5 million last year from 13.1 million in 2019