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In Photos: 'Cachette of the Priests' Discovered in Luxor

Archaeologists near Luxor, Egypt, have discovered 30 sealed wooden coffins with mummies inside, some of which belonged to ancient Egyptian priests. The archaeologists have named the extraordinary finding the "cachette of the priests."

The Coffins

Cachette of the Priests mummies discovered.

The discovery of the 30 sealed wooden coffins was announced by Egypt's Ministry of Antiquities. The coffins were found at the site of El-Assasif, an ancient necropolis located near Luxor, Egypt. 


(Image credit: Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities)

Ancient priests

Cachette of the Priests mummies discovered.

Archaeologists call the 30 coffins the "cachette of the priests," since some of the mummies appear to be those of priests. They date back about 3,000 years. 

(Image credit: Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities)

Mummy wrappings

Cachette of the Priests mummies discovered.

The mummies inside the 30 coffins consist of 23 adult males, five adult females and two children. Two of the coffins were opened at a press conference, showing that the wrappings on the mummies are well preserved, covering the face and bodies of the mummies. 


(Image credit: Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities)

Minister of Antiquities

Cachette of the Priests mummies discovered.

Egypt's Minister of Antiquities Khaled al-Anani views a coffin up-close. The coffins are colorfully painted with images that show complex patterns, Egyptian deities and hieroglyphic writing. 


(Image credit: Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities)

Vivid colors

Cachette of the Priests mummies discovered.

Here, a side-view of the coffins. The colors on the paintings are remarkably well preserved despite the passage of about three millennia of time.  

(Image credit: Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities)

Carefully carved

Cachette of the Priests mummies discovered.

Here, a view of the top of the coffins, showing the carefully carved faces and hands.


(Image credit: Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities)

Arranged in layers

Cachette of the Priests mummies discovered.

The coffins were buried in two layers, with 18 coffins on the top layer and 12 coffins on the bottom layer. 

(Image credit: Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities)

Ongoing analysis

Cachette of the Priests mummies discovered.

Another view showing the two layers of the coffins. Excavation of the site and analysis of the coffins and their mummies is ongoing.  

(Image credit: Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities)

 Originally published on Live Science. 

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