Archaeologists discover mummified scarab beetles in Egypt

April FrancisNov 13, 2018

Antiquities Minister Khaled Anani announced that three tombs dating back to the Pharaonic modern-state era of Egypt and four other ancient ones containing a group of artifacts including mummified cats "Bastet", were unearthed at Giza's Saqqara necropolis.

A mass cat cemetery and a collection of rare mummified scarab beetles were discovered during an archeological excavation in Saqqara, Egypt, the nation's antiquities ministry said Saturday. They also saw wooden gilded statues with the features of a lion, a cow and a falcon, as well as 1,000 amulets, some jars, writing tools, and chapters from the Book of the Dead.

Egypt is promoting the new discoveries in a bid to revive its flagging tourism sector following a 2011 uprising that toppled long-time leader Hosni Mubarak.

"Painted wooden sarcophagi of Cobras with mummies found inside them were also discovered along with two wooden sarcophagi of crocodiles", Waziri explained.

Seven tombs were discovered during the archaeological mission, which started in April.

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Notable about this find is that the facade and door are intact, meaning its contents may still be untouched, said Mohamed Youssef, director of the Saqqara area.

It is worth noting that the Ministry of Antiquities aims to intensify work in West Luxor in order to discover more ancient Egyptian treasures, and to supervise the restoration and maintenance works carried out in Luxor within the government's framework to turn Luxor and Aswan into modern touristic hubs, restoring their solid positions among the global touristic resorts. He said experts plan to explore it in the coming weeks.

The Fifth Dynasty of the Old Kingdom ruled Egypt from about 2,500 BC to 2,350 BC. "It is something really a bit rare", said Mostafa Waziri, secretary-general of Egypt's Supreme Council of Antiquities.

Ancient Egyptians may not have worshiped their cats, but there's ample evidence that they viewed the small mammals as divine. "I never heard about them before".

Waziri said the mission had also unearthed the first mummies of scarabs to be found in the area.

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