A beautifully decorated sarcophagus of a 3,600-year-old mummy has been unearthed in Luxor.
It is believed the mummy was a high-ranking official but Egyptologists will now work to discover its identity.
Mohammed Ibrahim, Egypt’s Antiquities Minister, said in a statement that the preserved wooden sarcophagus dates back to 1,600 BC, when the Pharaonic 17th Dynasty reigned.
Spanish archaeologists made the find alongside experts from the Egyptian antiquities mission.
The sarcophagus is engraved with hieroglyphs and decorated with inscriptions of birds’ feathers on its lid and sides that have led experts to refer to it as ‘Feathers Sargophagi’.
Antiquities department head Ali Al-Asfar said the sarcophagus still bears its original colouring and writings.
Measuring 7ft 11inches (242cm) long, it is said to be in very good condition and the titles of the deceased are thought to be engraved on it, which experts are working on identifying.
The coffin was uncovered during the excavation of the tomb of Djehuty, who was the treasure holder for Queen Hatshepsut and was buried at Dra Abul-Naga necropolis, Ahram Online reported.
Two other burials were also found at the site, but both were empty as archaeologists think they were robbed many years ago.
Excavation of the tomb began 13 years ago when many artefacts from the New Kingdom were discovered and last year archaeologists found the sarcophagus of a 17th dynasty child along with clay pots and miniature ushabti funerary figures.
Meanwhile prosecutors have accused nine people of smuggling stone samples from pyramids.
A total of three Germans have been referred to criminal court on charges of smuggling and damaging antiquities as well as six Egyptians for acting as their accessories.
Hisham Barakat, Egypt’s chief prosecutor said authorities issued arrest warrants for the alleged German thieves, who fled to their country after the incident.
He said authorities would communicate with Germany to restore the pieces they say were taken last April under the pretext of use for research. The Egyptian defendants are already in detention.
Mr Barakat said that the Germans, along with their Egyptian guides, entered the famed pyramids of Giza with permits to visit but not excavate, and left with samples of stone from the ramparts of two tombs and the burial room of King Khufu.
Egyptian archaeologist Monica Hanna said the German researchers wanted to use the samples to prove their hypothesis in a documentary they later filmed, which says that the pyramids were built by people that predate the ancient Egyptians.
The online documentary, which has been removed in the wake of the controversy, showed one researcher inside the inner chambers of the Khufu pyramid, taking samples from the king’s cartouche.
Egypt has experienced a security vacuum since its 2011 uprising, led to thousands of artefacts being been stolen.
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