April 15, 2009--
A wooden casket decorated with six different gods was among those recently found in a cache of 52 rock tombs in Lahun, a site about 75 miles (120 kilometers) south of Cairo, Egyptian archaeologists announced.
Ancient Egyptians depicted gods on their coffins to protect them in the afterlife. The person in this coffin, who was likely buried 2,500 years ago during the 26th dynasty, worshiped an incarnation of the king of the gods, Amun-Ra, shown as a combination of a ram and a hawk with the sun on its head.
"We are in a funerary site, a cemetery, so it's very much connected to religious beliefs," said Abdul Rahman El-Aidy, who discovered and photographed the nearly 30 mummies at the site for Egypt's Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA).
Photograph courtesy SCA