TEHRAN (Press Shia) – Egyptian archaeologists have discovered a rare collection of mummified scarab beetles, as well as an apparently pristine Fifth Dynasty tomb they plan to open in the coming weeks in the Saqqara necropolis, 30 km (19mi) south of Cairo.

Seven ancient Egyptian tombs containing mummified cats and scarabs, according to an announcement by Egypt's Minister of Antiquities Khaled El-Enany on Saturday.

Secretary-General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, Dr Mostafa Waziri, said he believes this is the first time the preserved insects have ever been found, saying "we asked museums in many countries if they have mummified scarabs, but no one have mummified scarabs till today."

Three of the tombs, which date back to the New Kingdom period and are between 3500 and 3000 years old, appear to have been used for feline burial as dozens of mummified moggies were discovered within, as well as wooden cat statutes and representations of the cat goddess Bast.

The other four tombs are believed to date from the Old Kingdom period and are thus at least 4000 years old.