Archaeologists discovered the world’s first golden casket in Saqqara, Egypt.
The latest discovery of the “first gilded coffin” at a site in Saqqara just adds to the treasure trove of unknown secrets that Egypt has to offer archaeologists.
For years, Egyptologists and archaeologists have poured over the Saqqara site. It is well-known for being a huge, ancient burial cemetery of Egyptian monarchs and royals, located just south of Cairo. It has a series of pyramids and was formerly the necropolis for the ancient Egyptian city, Memphis.
The world-famous Step Pyramid of Djoser, also known as the Step Tomb due to its slow tiered elevation, is one of these.
Archaeologist Mohammad Youssef recently discovered an amazing discovery deep beneath the ground near the structure.
He was met with the look of a miniature, painted statue of the composite funerary deity Ptah-Sokar-Osiris, with a golden face and plumed crown, when he shone a light through a breach in a tunnel.
Youssef would go on to discover a slew of figures, as well as one of the site’s first gold-gilded coffins.
‘Inside the Tombs of Saqqara,’ a Smithsonian Channel program and special report, covered the dig.
Youssef initially thought the coffin was “slightly broken,” so he took great care not to shatter the outside when removing the cover.
A mummy was revealed by carefully removing a single piece of wood from the coffin’s face, prompting one of the archaeologists to exclaim, “A gilded mask!”
“This is one of the wonderful ones we’ve uncovered this season since the face is gilded – marvellous,” Youssef added.
“It is the first ever found on the site,” the documentary’s narrator revealed.
The mask’s face was covered in a thin layer of gold, and while it wasn’t constructed of solid gold like Tutankhamun’s, the wearer was “still unimaginably affluent.”
Gold, which has a specific religious significance, could only be afforded by the wealthy.
“In ancient Egypt, the notion was that the skin, the flesh of their gods, was formed of gold,” said Egyptologist Dr Bob Bianchi.
“By painting the mummy’s container gold or gilding the face, the departed may be transformed into a living divinity with golden skin.”
Because of the bad condition of the casket and the significance of the mask, it could not be left unattended deep beneath the grave.
Youssef with his friends. “Brinkwire News in Condensed Form.”