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article imageLion cub mummies feature in huge ancient Egypt find

By AFP     Nov 23, 2019 in Travel

Egypt on Saturday unveiled a cache of 75 wooden and bronze statues and five lion cub mummies decorated with hieroglyphics at the Saqqara necropolis near the Giza pyramids in Cairo.

Mummified cats, cobras and crocodiles and scarabs were also unearthed among the well-preserved mummies and other objects discovered recently.

A wooden statue of the goddess Neith from the hoard unveiled at Saqqara south of Cairo on November 2...
A wooden statue of the goddess Neith from the hoard unveiled at Saqqara south of Cairo on November 23, 2019
Khaled DESOUKI, AFP

The Antiquities Ministry announced the find at the foot of the Bastet Temple, dedicated to the worship of cats among ancient Egyptians, in the vast necropolis.

Antiquities Minister Khaled El-Enany described the discovery as "a (whole) museum by itself".

He said initial archaeological studies showed that five of the mummies are lion cubs.

Other artifacts uncovered in the dig included statues of an Apis bull, a mongoose, an ibis, a falcon and the ancient Egyptian god Anubis in animal form.

Statues of cats found in the dig unveiled at Saqqara by Egypt's antiquities ministry on Novembe...
Statues of cats found in the dig unveiled at Saqqara by Egypt's antiquities ministry on November 23, 2019
Khaled DESOUKI, AFP

The artifacts belong to the 26th Dynasty which dates back to the seventh century BC, Enany said.

The trove also boasts a collection of ancient Egyptian deities in the form of 73 bronze statuettes depicting the god Osiris, six wooden statues of Ptah-Soker and 11 statues of Sekhmet, the warrior goddess of healing.

One of the ancient statues from the 26th Dynasty hoard of Egyptian antiquities unveiled on November ...
One of the ancient statues from the 26th Dynasty hoard of Egyptian antiquities unveiled on November 23, 2019
Khaled DESOUKI, AFP

Egypt has sought to promote its unique heritage as a way to revive its vital tourism sector, which has been badly hit by political insecurity and attacks.

However, critics say archaeological sites and museums suffer from negligence and poor management.

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