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Last Updated: Thursday June 29 2006 17:07 GMT

Egypt mummy search finds flowers

The ancient flowers were found inside this Egyptian coffin
Archaeologists in Egypt were hoping to find an ancient mummy in a chamber they were excavating - but instead have uncovered a bunch of flowers!

But they're even more excited by this 3,000-year-old discovery, as it's the first time a garland's ever been found.

It was in the last of seven coffins which archaeologists had hoped would contain the mummies of royal queens or even famous king Tutankhamun's mother.

But they say the surprise find was "even better" than discovering a mummy.

The flowers are rusty-coloured and withered and looked like they would crumble if touched.

Museum boss Nadia Lokma said: "I prayed to find a mummy, but when I saw this, I said it's better - it's really beautiful.

A pyramid
"It's very rare - there's nothing like it in any museum. We've seen things like it in drawings, but we've never seen this before in real life - it's magnificent."

The chamber that's being worked on is the 63rd tomb in the Valley of the Kings and was discovered accidentally last year by US archaeologists working on the next-door tomb.

Since then, the lids of seven coffins in the underground room - including a tiny one built for a child and filled with feather-stuffed pillows - were peeled back one by one.

They've found that five of the seven coffins contained bits of pottery, shrouds and things used in mummification.

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