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Archaeologists unearthed 160 sarcophagi in an Egyptian city of the dead. They opened one that was sealed for more than 2,500 years.

• None Archaeologists have found 160 sarcophagi in an ancient city of the dead beneath Saqqara, Egypt since September.
• None The wooden coffins were perfectly sealed. They’d remained undisturbed for 2,500 years.
• None Researchers recently opened one sarcophagus to X-ray the mummy inside.
• None Egyptologists also discovered a trove of mummified lion cubs, crocodiles, and cobras in Saqqara last year.

More than two millennia ago, 160 Egyptians were laid to rest in Saqqara, an ancient city of the dead. Their organs were removed, and their bodies wrapped in linens. Priests placed them inside wooden boxes adorned with hieroglyphics.

The mummies stayed buried in those sarcophagi for 2,500 years — until their recent discovery by Egyptian archaeologists. In the last two months, researchers have discovered a trove of coffins buried deep within shafts below the Saqqara sand.

Over the weekend, Mostafa Waziri, the general director of Egypt’s Supreme Council of Antiquities, unveiled at least 100 new sarcophagi. That added to the total of 59 Saqqara coffins that had been found in September and October.

These sarcophagi were “completely closed and haven’t been opened since they were buried,” according to Egypt’s Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities.

The archaeologists picked one sarcophagus to open live in front of an audience at a small event on Saturday. Then they conducted an immediate, real-time X-ray of the mummy inside, which revealed a short, ancient Egyptian man who’d been in good health before he died between ages 40 and 45.

The photos below show how archaeologists found the sarcophagi and other mummies buried beneath Saqqara.

The 100 Saqqara coffins that archaeologists most recently found were buried in three 40-foot-deep burial shafts.

The sarcophagi were decorated with colorful, intricate hieroglyphics.

Many of the Saqqara coffins were “well-gilded, well-painted, well-decorated,” he said.

The X-ray showed the mummy was a male with perfect teeth who was between 5-foot-4 and 5-foot-7.

He was buried with his arms crossed over his chest — a position, Waziri said, that symbolizes royalty.

Saturday wasn’t the first time that archaeologists publicly opened a coffin: Egyptian officials also opened one on stage in an October press conference.

Saturday’s event was, however, was the first time researchers had X-rayed the mummy inside.

Archaeologists also unearthed more than 40 artifacts in the three shafts, according to Khaled El-Enany, Egypt’s minister of tourism and antiquities.

These included gilded statues and funerary masks. El-Enany said the artifacts and coffins will be distributed to three museums in Cairo for display.

But the new artifacts are merely the most recent in a string of discoveries at Saqqara.

El-Enany announced in September that a set of 13 sarcophagi had been found at the bottom of a 36-foot-deep shaft.

He said on Twitter that finding that first coffin cache was “an indescribable feeling.”

The shaft had three offshoots branching away from it, so El-Enany predicted at the time that more undiscovered sarcophagi were likely still buried in the shaft. He was right.

Two weeks later, the ministry announced that archaeologists had found 14 more sarcophagi. That brought the total to 27.

In a statement on Facebook, Egypt’s Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities said the finding is “the largest number of coffins with one burial” discovered since a group of 30 coffins were unearthed at Al-Assasif cemetery in Luxor last year. Read from source….