Mummy’s coffin opened on live TV
“Expedition Unknown: Egypt Live” aired from the site outside Minya, which is along the Nile River south of Cairo and its Giza pyramids. Archeologists recently discovered a network of vertical shafts at the site which led to tunnels and tombs containing 40 mummies “believed to be part of the noble elite.” After exploring other tombs—finding artifacts like statues, amulets, canopic jars used to store organs, and other mummies including one that had decomposed to a skeleton—they crawled to the chamber containing the intricately carved sarcophagus. It took the strength of several people to open. And the team’s efforts had not gone to waste: inside was a pristinely linen-wrapped mummy surrounded by treasure including gold. “I can’t believe this, this is incredible,” exclaimed Zahi Hawass, an Egyptian archaeologist and former antiquities minister, who had taken charge of the expedition with American explorer Josh Gates as the host of the broadcast. A Discovery spokesman previously told AFP that the project was set up in collaboration with Egypt’s antiquities ministry. ‘Like a royal burial’ Gates said the mummy was that of a high priest of Thoth, the ancient Egyptian god of wisdom and magic, and dated to Ancient Egypt’s 26th dynasty—the last native dynasty to rule until 525 BC. “Toward the end of Ancient Egypt, the power really was with the high priests and you can see this... almost feels like a royal burial,” Gates said.
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