The historic artifact was found in Saqqara, south of Cairo, which is a cemetery for the ancient Egyptian capital Memphis and has been enshrined as a UNESCO World Heritage site.
“We are very pleased with this discovery,” said Mostafa Waziri, Secretary General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities.
Since the discovery of 14 ancient coffins nearly 3 weeks ago, now more coffins have been found at depths of up to 12 meters.
A number of other coffins may still be buried there, said Minister of Tourism and Antiquities Khaled Al Anani at the site, which is near the 4,700-year-old Djoser pyramid.
“So today is not the end of the discovery, I consider it the beginning of a great discovery,” he was quoted as saying from AFP.
The box is dead which was sealed more than 2,500 years ago, dates back to the Late Period of ancient Egypt, from around the sixth or seventh century BC, the minister added.
Excavations at Saqqara in recent years have uncovered many artifacts as well as mummies of snakes, birds, scarab beetles and other animals.
The discovery of the ancient coffin is the first major announcement since the Covid-19 outbreak in Egypt, which saw museums and archaeological sites closed for about three months starting in late March.
Preliminary studies suggest that the sarcophagi most likely belonged to priests, senior statesmen and prominent figures in ancient Egyptian society from the 26th dynasty, Anani said.
All the coffins will be taken to the Egyptian Grand Museum which will soon be opened in the Giza plateau, he added.
The chests will be placed across from the hall containing another 32 sealed sarcophagi for priests from the 22nd dynasty, which were discovered last year in the city of Luxor.
The opening of the Grand Museum of Egypt, which was delayed several times, is planned to open in 2021.
The museum will display thousands of artifacts from various eras of Egyptian history, from pre-dynastic to Greco-Roman periods.
Egypt hopes that the archaeological discoveries in recent years and the Grand Museum of Egypt will enhance its tourism sector.
This vital sector has experienced a decline since the 2011 Arab Spring uprising and most recently the corona virus pandemic.