Dozens of ancient Egyptian skeletons found in rare clay coffins buried 6,000 years ago

A STAGGERING 83 unusual ancient Egyptian graves have been discovered, according to the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities.

The graves surprised archaeologists because instead of the human remains lying in sarcophagi, the deceased have been buried in clay coffins.

The majority of the graves have been dated to the Lower Egypt period, which occurred during the first half of 4,000 BC to 3,000 BC.

Archaeologists discovered the human remains during excavations in the Dakahlia governorate of northern Egypt.

Three other graves dating to around 3200 to 3000 BC were also discovered.

This time period is referred to as Naqada III period.

Experts have labelled the clay coffins as unusual because during the time period humans were commonly laid to rest in mud-brick tombs or wooden coffins.

Those who couldn't afford a traditional burial were put into shallow hole.

Naqada III culture is extremely old even in terms of Egyptian standards.

It dates to before the start of Egypt's pharaonic monarchy.

The Naqada III graves contained rare artefacts like oyster shells, handmade pottery and two bowls of kohl.

Kohl was commonly used by the Egyptians as cosmetic makeup for painting around the eyes.

Other remains include the later remains of mud-brick building foundations and found mud-brick burials.

Experts think there could be even more similar graves to find in the region.

A brief history of Ancient Egypt

Here's everything you need to know…

  • The Ancient Egyptians were an advanced civilisation who at one point owned a huge portion of the globe
  • The civilisation began about 5,000 years ago when ancient humans began building villages along the River Nile
  • It lasted for about 3,000 years and saw the building of complex cities centuries ahead of their time – as well as the famous Great Pyramids
  • The Ancient Egyptians were experts at farming and construction
  • They invented a solar calendar, and one of the world's earliest writing systems: The hieroglyph
  • The Egyptians were ruled by kings and queens called pharaohs
  • Religion and the afterlife were a huge part of Ancient Egyptian culture. They had over 2,000 gods
  • Pharaohs built huge elaborate tombs to be buried in, some of which were pyramids – at the time among the largest buildings in the world
  • The Egyptians believed in life after death, and important people's corpses were mummified to preserve their bodies for the afterlife
  • The Ancient Egytpian empire fell due to a mix of factors, including wars with other empires and a 100-year period of drought and starvation

In other archaeology news, a lost tomb containing 72 ancient skeletons from an extinct Canary Islands civilisation has been found by drone after 1,000 years.

A new study has claimed that ancient humans romped with a mystery species 700,000 years ago.

And, from headless vikings to ‘screaming’ mummies, here are some of the most gruesome ancient corpses ever found.

What do you make of this mass skeleton discovery? Let us know in the comments…

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