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January 27
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Archaeologists have discovered a massive funerary structure with ancient coffins in catacomb-type graves in Egypt, the Miami Herald reports.

According to the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities of Egypt, there were roughly hewn stones inside the catacomb-like rooms.

The floor of the building was made of colored material and alternating tiles, said Dr. Adel Akasha, head of the Central Egyptian Antiquities Authority.

The excavation uncovered ancient painted coffins in several different styles, scientists said. Some coffins were human-shaped, while others were square in shape.

For example, one red coffin depicted a mummy, while another square-shaped coffin was painted with white and green stripes resembling wreaths.

A third mummy-shaped coffin is completely covered in red, white, and blue patterns. Based on the variety of coffins, we can assume that the funerary building was in use from the third century B.C. to the third century A.D., a thousand-year period that began during the ancient Egyptian Ptolemaic era and continued through the Greco-Roman era.

Researchers have also uncovered portraits of mummies. These models, known as Faiyum portraits, are the second portraits of mummies ever discovered. The first such portraits of mummies were found more than 115 years ago.

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