The Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities of Egypt, represented by the Supreme Council of Antiquities, today began the transfer of a stone sarcophagus discovered during a rescue excavation at the site designated for the construction of a university hospital in the Al Qalyubia governorate.

The quartzite stone sarcophagus, dating back to the time of Pharaoh Psamtik I of the XXVI dynasty (reigning between 664 and 610 BC), is being moved to the antiquities area of Al Qalyubia as a preliminary step before conservation and restoration work begins.

Dr. Mustafa Waziri, Secretary General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, explained that the lifting and transfer of the sarcophagus was carried out according to strict scientific standards, after a team of specialists from the Council and the Grand Egyptian Museum conducted preliminary on-site restoration. This involved mechanical cleaning and consolidation work on the sarcophagus and its lid.

The sarcophagus, along with its lid weighing approximately 62 tons, is believed to contain the remains of the scribes supervisor during the reign of Psamtik I, according to initial studies. This is deduced from an inscription engraved beneath the lid representing the pharaoh’s cartouche.

Mr. Mohamed El Seid, Director of the Scientific Office of the Secretary General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, indicated that the Council will continue with rescue excavations at the site designated for the construction of the university hospital until ensuring that it has been fully inspected and does not contain any more archaeological pieces.

The extraordinary archaeological find has sparked great excitement among experts, who hope to find inside it the mummified remains of the high official from Psamtik I’s court as well as objects from his funerary equipment that shed new light on this dynamic period of Egyptian history.

Once conservation and restoration work is completed, it is expected that the sarcophagus will be transferred to the National Museum of Egyptian Civilization for study and exhibition.


Sources

Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities of Egypt


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