Egypt unveils biggest ancient coffin find in over a century

A team of Egyptian archaeologists discovered a "distinctive group of 30 colored wooden coffins for men, women and children" in a cache at Al-Asasif cemetery on Luxor's west bank, an Egyptian antiquities official said at a press conference Saturday.

The intricately carved and painted three thousand year old coffins were closed with mummies inside and were in "a good condition of preservation, color and complete inscriptions," the officials said.

(SOUNDBITE)(English) EGYPTIAN MINISTER OF ANTIQUITIES, KHALED EL-ENANY, SAYING: "Now we have at al-Asasif a cache with 30 coffins, exceptionally well-preserved, exceptionally well-colored - sealed, all of them. They will be moved to the Grand Egyptian Museum which will be opening in the end of 2020, as a new surprise for our visitors to visit the Grand Egyptian Museum."

(SOUNDBITE)(English) EGYPTIAN ARCHAEOLOGIST, ZAHI HAWASS, SAYING: "This will enrich our knowledge as Egyptologists about the belief of the afterlife, about the workshops that made all these beautiful scenes, the color, the religious scenes, how the Book of the Dead is for everyone, for common people, for a king or for a priest and this is why I believe this discovery is very important."