Egypt: Archaeologists in Saqqara uncover coffin

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The breakthrough was made during excavations at the site of Tel al-Fara in the Kafr El-Sheikh area. Researchers found various objects that are said to have been dedicated to rituals of the daily religious service for the goddess Hathor. Tel al-Fara was also said to be the home of the tutelary goddess of Lower Egypt, Wadjit, and has been occupied since the Predynastic Period until it was abandoned in the Old Kingdom.

Settlers returned in the eighth century BC.

The site is comprised of three mounds, two of which are domestic settlements, with the third covering the temple site.

The team discovered a limestone pillar in the form of the goddess Hathor, a group of incense burners made of faience, one of them with the head of the god Horus, and a group of clay figurines that were used in religious and ceremonial rituals.

Also unearthed were small statues of deities Taweret and Thoth, a large offering holder, a pure gold eye of Ujat, and the remains of golden scales used for gilding.

Dr Mustafa Waziri, Secretary-General of the Supreme Council of Archaeology said: “This is an important discovery because it includes the tools that were actually used to perform the rituals of the daily religious service of the goddess Hathor.

“It is likely that it was quickly placed under a group of stone blocks arranged regularly on top of a sandhill in the south of the temple of the goddess Wajit.”

Head of the project, Dr Hossam Ghanim, said that was not all they found.

He added: “The mission also discovered a huge building of polished limestone from the inside, representing a well for holy water used in daily rituals.”

It comes just weeks after remains of the residential and Greek-Roman town were found during excavation work in Alexandria.

Experts discovered around 700 artefacts, including plates of different shapes and sizes, and a lot of tools that were used for industrial activities.

The Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities has said that preliminary studies on the remains of the uncovered suburb of the city showed that the main street was linked up by other smaller sub streets which were connected by a sewage network.

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Evidence suggests that this network was used in the town for a very long period of time.

Ibrahim Mustafa, Minister of the General Secretary of the Higher Archaeology Council, said that this discovery indicates it was most likely heavily linked to trade movement in Alexandria, as well as for fishing and the associated tool industry.

It highlights the various activities that were undertaken at the external walls of the Egyptian capital in the Greek and Roman era, which included places for travellers and visitors to the city.

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