Large Stockpile of Embalming Equipment discovered in Abusir

Abusir necropolis
The Abusir Necropolis
Robert Paulu, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

A team of archaeologists led by Miroslav Bárta of Charles University discovered the greatest stockpile of embalming equipment ever discovered in Egypt on the western side of the ancient necropolis of Abusir.

During the second half of the sixth century B.C., over 370 vessels were buried in clusters in a 46-foot-deep shaft that appears to be related with an adjacent, as-yet-unexcavated tomb. The researchers unearthed four canopic jars in the cache’s top layer, which were used to keep embalmed viscera and organs that were removed during mummification.

“These jars should have been buried with the deceased in his tomb, but they were discovered clean and empty in the cache. We are still trying to determine whether they were copies, used only symbolically, or used for storage during the embalming process.”

Egyptologist Jiří Janák of Charles University

The deceased, Wahibre-mery-Neith, is likely interred in the unopened tomb, as is his mother, Lady Irturu, according to inscriptions on the jars.

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