Ancient Wooden Coffins in Asasif Necropolis

The Discovery

It was the month of October 2019. The Ministry of Antiquities in Egypt released the news. It was about the new discovery of a great number of coffins near the city of Luxor. Luxor is located in Upper or Southern Egypt. It is the capital city of Luxor Governorate. Thus, this article will discuss this new discovery.


The Location of the Discovery

According to the Ministry of Antiquities in Egypt, archaeologists unearthed these coffins at the Asasif necropolis. It is located on the west bank of the river Nile. Most of the tombs of this necropolis are mainly from the Late Period of ancient Egypt. The Late Period lasted approximately 664 BCE – 332 BCE. Although, this necropolis has also tombs from the period going back to the 18th Dynasty of ancient Egypt. This Dynasty lasted approximately 1550 BCE – 1292 BCE.


What has been discovered?

Archaeologists unearthed a giant tomb. This tomb had two layers. So they recovered the coffins from these two layers. All coffins were intact. Thus, according to the officials of the excavation, this find is “one of the largest and most important” in recent years.


The Coffins

All the coffins were in intact condition as they all have their original carvings of faces and hands. Thus, researchers were able to observe them clearly. All the coffins are decorated and attractive. This decoration is furnished through the use of different colors. These colors are red, green, white and black. Because of this colorful appearance, all the coffins are impressive from an artistic perspective.


The paintings and inscription on the coffins make them more important. Because, through the study of these features, archaeologists could determine several aspects of the period to which these coffins belong. There is another important point about these coffins. It is that they all are in sealed condition. So antiquity smugglers did not attack this tomb. This is really a rare case in Egypt. Because, most of the time, smugglers already open coffins to steal the valuable artifacts placed with the skeletal remains. Thus, it is a great discovery from this viewpoint also.


The Ministry says the coffins belong to some high priest families. These consist of men, women, and children. They date back to the 22nd Dynasty of ancient Egypt. A coffin of a child is notable as it is unpainted and incomplete. So there might have been several reasons for this. A detailed study can reveal the real reasons.



In 2011, the Arab Spring Revolution happened. Thus, tourists’ visits were almost stopped. Because the then political situation frightened people. So, the Ministry of antiquities started massive archaeological projects. Thus their main motive was to revive the economy as well as re-establishing the heritage of Egypt to the world.

This discovery is a great outcome of that initiative. Because finding a large number of wooden coffins in totally intact condition is really a very big achievement. Thus, we can hope that these continuous efforts by the authority will bring back the charm of Egypt as a destination of history lovers.