Egyptian archaeologists have uncovered an intact ancient papyrus, dating back to 50 BCE, in what experts in the country are calling the first discovery of its kind in a century.
The 52-foot-long papyrus was found in the Saqqara archaeological area. The ancient artifact contains declarations and spells from the Pharaonic Book of the Dead to assist those who have passed away in their afterlives.
Egypt’s Secretary General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, Mostafa Waziri, announced the discovery earlier this week during an Archaeologists’ Day event organized by the Egypt Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities. Waziri said the papyrus, which was fully restored at the Egyptian Museum in Tahrir, is being translated into Arabic, and will be presented at the opening of the Grand Egyptian Museum.
The papyrus was discovered inside one of 250 wooden sarcophogi found at the archeological area last June. Researchers and archaeologists have been working at the site for more than two years. Just in 2022, archaeologists uncovered hundreds of mummies, a pyramid of an unknown queen, five painted tombs, the tomb of an ancient dignitary, and a sarcophagus belonging to King Ramses II’s treasurer.
News of the ancient papyrus was first reported by the Egypt Independent.