Archaeologists in Egypt have found a large animal mummy that may contain the remains of a lion or lioness.
Egypt’s Ministry of Antiquities said on Monday the mummy was excavated in Saqqara, a town south of Cairo that was a vast necropolis in antiquity and is home to the famed Step Pyramid.
Archeologists frequently find mummified cats, but the recovery of a lion is rare. In 2004, the first lion skeleton was found, revealing the sacred status of the animal during ancient times.
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Egypt’s Antiquities Minister Khaled Al-Anani visited the site on Thursday, according to a Facebook post by the country’s Ministry of Antiquities. The remains of a number of cats were found at the site, some of which were large, officials said.
Step Pyramid of Djoser (Zoser) and Userkaf pyramid, Saqqara — file photo.
Step Pyramid of Djoser (Zoser) and Userkaf pyramid, Saqqara — file photo. (Photo by DeAgostini/Getty Images)
More details of the discovery will be announced on Nov. 23, the Ministry of Antiquities added.
The pyramid complex of Saqqara is a UNESCO World Heritage site. The complex is a «masterpiece of architectural design,» according to UNESCO, which notes that the Step Pyramid, or Pyramid of Djoser, is the first pyramid ever built.
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In another project, archaeologists recently uncovered 30 wooden coffins in an ancient necropolis in the southern Egyptian city of Luxor.