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Egypt Unveils Recently Discovered Ancient Workshops, Tombs in Saqqara Necropolis (Pics)

CAIRO (AP) — Egyptian antiquities authorities Saturday unveiled ancient workshops and tombs they say were discovered recently at a Pharaonic necropolis just outside the capital Cairo.

The spaces were found in the sprawling necropolis of Saqqara, which is a part of Egypt’s ancient capital of Memphis, a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Mostafa Waziri, secretary-general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, said the workshops had been used to mummify humans and sacred animals. They date back to the 30th Pharaonic Dynasty (380 BC to 343 BC) and Ptolemaic period (305 BC to 30 BC), he said.

Inside the workshops, archaeologists found clay pots and other items apparently used in mummification, as well as ritual vessels, Waziri said.

A colored painting is seen on a recently unearthed ancient wooden sarcophagus at the site of the Step Pyramid of Djoser in Saqqara, 24 kilometers (15 miles) southwest of Cairo, Egypt, Saturday, May 27, 2023. Saqqara is a part of Egypt’s ancient capital of Memphis, a UNESCO World Heritage site. The workshops had been used to mummify humans and sacred animals, dated back to the 30th Pharaonic Dynasty 380 BC to 343 BC and Ptolemaic period 305 BC to 30 BC, Mostafa Waziri, secretary-general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities said. (AP Photo/Amr Nabil)

The tombs, meanwhile, were for a top official from the Old Kingdom of ancient Egypt, and a priest from the New Kingdom, according to Sabri Farag, head of the Saqqara archaeological site.

In recent years, Egypt’s government has heavily promoted new archaeological finds to international media and diplomats. It hopes that such discoveries will help attract more tourists to the country to revive an industry that suffered from political turmoil following the 2011 uprising.

Canopic jars, which were made to contain organs that were removed from the body in the process of mummification, are seen at the site of the Step Pyramid of Djoser in Saqqara, 24 kilometers (15 miles) southwest of Cairo, Egypt, Saturday, May 27, 2023. Saqqara is a part of Egypt’s ancient capital of Memphis, a UNESCO World Heritage site. (AP Photo/Amr Nabil)
Mostafa Waziri, secretary-general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, displays a recently unearthed ancient wooden sarcophagus at the site of the Step Pyramid of Djoser in Saqqara, 24 kilometers (15 miles) southwest of Cairo, Egypt, Saturday, May 27, 2023. Saqqara is a part of Egypt’s ancient capital of Memphis, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Waziri said the workshops had been used to mummify humans and sacred animals, dated back to the 30th Pharaonic Dynasty 380 BC to 343 BC and Ptolemaic period 305 BC to 30 BC. (AP Photo/Amr Nabil)
Canopic jars, which were made to contain organs that were removed from the body in the process of mummification, are seen at the site of the Step Pyramid of Djoser in Saqqara, 24 kilometers (15 miles) southwest of Cairo, Egypt, Saturday, May 27, 2023. Saqqara is a part of Egypt’s ancient capital of Memphis, a UNESCO World Heritage site. (AP Photo/Amr Nabil)
A recently unearthed ancient wooden sarcophagus is seen at the site of the Step Pyramid of Djoser in Saqqara, 24 kilometers (15 miles) southwest of Cairo, Egypt, Saturday, May 27, 2023. Saqqara is a part of Egypt’s ancient capital of Memphis, a UNESCO World Heritage site. (AP Photo/Amr Nabil)
A visitor is reflected on a panel on which recently unearthed ancient artifacts are placed, as she films at the site of the Step Pyramid of Djoser in Saqqara, 24 kilometers (15 miles) southwest of Cairo, Egypt, Saturday, May 27, 2023. Saqqara is a part of Egypt’s ancient capital of Memphis, a UNESCO World Heritage site. (AP Photo/Amr Nabil)
A Canopic jar, which was made to contain organs that were removed from the body in the process of mummification, are seen at the site of the Step Pyramid of Djoser in Saqqara, 24 kilometers (15 miles) southwest of Cairo, Egypt, Saturday, May 27, 2023. Saqqara is a part of Egypt’s ancient capital of Memphis, a UNESCO World Heritage site. (AP Photo/Amr Nabil)
Visitors pose for pictures on top of recently unearthed ancient embalming workshops at the site of the Step Pyramid of Djoser in Saqqara, 24 kilometers (15 miles) southwest of Cairo, Egypt, Saturday, May 27, 2023. Saqqara is a part of Egypt’s ancient capital of Memphis, a UNESCO World Heritage site. (AP Photo/Amr Nabil)
Mostafa Waziri, secretary-general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, displays a recently unearthed ancient wooden sarcophagus at the site of the Step Pyramid of Djoser in Saqqara, 24 kilometers (15 miles) southwest of Cairo, Egypt, Saturday, May 27, 2023. Saqqara is a part of Egypt’s ancient capital of Memphis, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Waziri said the workshops had been used to mummify humans and sacred animals, dated back to the 30th Pharaonic Dynasty 380 BC to 343 BC and Ptolemaic period 305 BC to 30 BC. (AP Photo/Amr Nabil)

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