Archaeologists in Egypt have discovered a rare collection of mummified scarab beetles, as well as an apparently pristine Fifth Dynasty tomb that they plan to open in the coming weeks.
The mummified beetles were among artefacts found in seven tombs discovered over the past six months on the edge of the King Userkaf pyramid complex at the ancient necropolis of Saqqara, south of Cairo.
As they were preparing the site to present the latest discoveries, archaeologists found the door of another tomb that remains sealed, Mostafa Waziri, secretary general of Egypt's Supreme Council of Antiquities, told reporters.
He added: "We have heard about coffins, but not mummified scarabs. This is something really amazing."
Two large scarabs wrapped in linen and in very good condition were found inside a limestone sarcophagus with a vaulted, decorated lid, the antiquities ministry said in a statement.
Another collection of scarab mummies was found inside a smaller sarcophagus.
Dozens of cat mummies and gilded statues of cats were also unearthed, including a bronze statue dedicated to the cat goddess Bastet.
Saqqara served as the necropolis for Memphis, the capital of ancient Egypt for more than two millennia.