Next to the tomb of the ancient Egyptian pharaoh Tutankhamun, archaeologists excavated the pyramid of an unknown queen and discovered hundreds of mummies.
This is reported by Live Science.
For the past two years, archaeologists have been working at Saqqara, an archaeological site in Giza, about 32 kilometers south of Cairo. They recently discovered a hoard of coffins and mummies that may have belonged to some of King Tutankhamun's closest generals and advisors during his reign (1333 BC to his death in 1323 BC).
Archaeologists also drew attention to a nearby pyramid that belonged to Tita, the first king of the Sixth Dynasty of Egypt.
Buried in these mines, archaeologists discovered a "huge limestone sarcophagus" along with "300 magnificent coffins from the New Kingdom period," Hawass said.
If the discovery of the coffins was impressive enough, when the researchers lifted the lids of the coffins, they were surprised to find the mummies in condition, even after many centuries.
This shows that mummification reached its peak in the New Kingdom. Some coffins have two lids, and the most amazing coffin has a woman's mask made entirely of pure gold,” Hawass said.
In addition, the researchers found a pyramid in honor of a queen whose identity was previously unknown.
"We have since discovered that her name was Nate, and she was never known in the historical record before," Hawass said. "It's amazing to literally rewrite what we know about history by adding a new queen to our records."
A selection of coffins and antiquities found at the excavation site will be displayed at the Great Egyptian Museum in Giza, which is scheduled to open next year.
Egypt unveiled in September a 3,200-year-old sarcophagus found at the Saqqara archaeological site south of Cairo