CAIRO – Egypt's former antiquities minister and noted archaeologist Zahi Hawass on Sunday revealed details of an ancient funerary temple in a vast necropolis south of Cairo.
Hawass told reporters at the Saqqara necropolis that archaeologists unearthed the temple of Queen Neit, wife of King Teti, the first king of the Sixth Dynasty that ruled Egypt from 2323 B.C. till 2150 B.C.
Archaeologists also found a 13-foot-long papyrus that includes texts of the Book of the Dead, which is a collection of spells aimed at directing the dead through the underworld in ancient Egypt, he said.
Hawass said archaeologists also unearthed burial wells, coffins and mummies dating back to the New Kingdom that ruled Egypt between about 1570 B.C. and 1069 B.C.
They unveiled at least 22 burial shafts up to 40 feet deep, with more than 50 wooden coffins dating back to the New Kingdom, said Hawass, who is known for his Indiana Jones hat and TV specials on Egypt's ancient sites.