Egypt Unveils Newly Discovered Ancient Workshops and Tombs in Saqqara Necropolis

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

The spaces were found in the sprawling necropolis of Saqqara, which is part of the ancient Egyptian 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 Pharaonic 30th Dynasty (380 BC to 343 BC) and the Ptolemaic Period (305 BC to 30 BC), he said.

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

The tombs, meanwhile, belonged to a senior 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, the Egyptian government has strongly promoted new archaeological finds to the media and international diplomats. He hopes such finds will help attract more tourists to the country to revive an industry that suffered political unrest following the 2011 uprising.

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