Mummified Scarab Beetles Discovered in Egyptian Tombs

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Archaeologists in Egypt have discovered a rare collection of mummified scarab beetles in an Egyptian tomb. The mummified beetles were among artefacts found in seven tombs discovered over the past six months on the edge of the King Userkaf pyramid complex at the ancient necropolis of Saqqara, south of Cairo.
The tomb dates from the Fifth Dynasty of the Old Kingdom and is unusual because the facade and door are intact, meaning its contents may still be untouched, said Mohamed Youssef, director of the Saqqara area. He said experts plan to open the tomb in the coming weeks.
The tombs lie in a buried ridge that has only partially been uncovered and could offer many more similar discoveries. Ancient Egyptians mummified humans to preserve their bodies for the afterlife, while animal mummies were used as religious offerings. Two large scarabs wrapped in linen and in very good condition were found inside a limestone sarcophagus with a vaulted, decorated lid, the antiquities ministry said in a statement.
Another collection of scarab mummies was found inside a smaller sarcophagus. Dozens of cat mummies and gilded statues of cats were unearthed, including a bronze statue dedicated to the cat goddess Bastet.
The team also found painted wooden cobra and crocodile sarcophagi, a collection of gilded statues depicting animal features, as well as objects including amulets, canopic jars, writing tools and papyri baskets.

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