Archaeologists Unearth Tomb Of Unknown Egyptian Queen

Czech archeologists have uncovered the tomb of an Egyptian queen who may have witnessed the construction of the Pyramids, reports BBC News.

Lead researcher of the Czech Institute of Egyptology mission, Miroslav Barta, said the tomb was found in Neferefre’s funeral complex, and dates from the middle of the Fifty Dynasty (2994-2345 BC). Archaeologists found around 30 utensils, 24 made of limestone and four of copper, inside Khentakawess III’s tomb.

The tomb was found in Abu-Sir, southwest of Cairo, and is thought to belong to the wife or mother of Pharaoh Neferefre, who ruled 4,500 years ago. The complex includes a number of pyramids built for the Fifth Dynasty pharaohs, according to Sputnik International. Abu-Sir is often called the “site of the forgotten kings of the 5th Dynasty.”

Abu-Sir is an Old Kingdom necropolis in the vicinity of the modern capital Cairo, which served as one of the main elite cemeteries for the ancient Egyptian capital city of Memphis. As an elite cemetery, neighboring Giza had “filled up” with the massive pyramids and other monuments of the Fourth Dynasty, leading the Fifth Dynasty pharaohs to seek sites elsewhere for their own funerary monuments. Abu-Sir thus became the site of several pyramids and numerous tombs dedicated to pharaohs of the Fifth Dynasty, reports Ancient Origins.

Antiquities Minister Mamdouh el-Damaty identified her as Khentakawess III, in succession of two other queens with the same name. Two previous queens of Neferefre with the same name had already been identified, but a third queen was not known about.

“This discovery will help us shed light on certain unknown aspects of the Fifth Dynasty, which along with the Fourth Dynasty, witnessed the construction of the first pyramids,” he commented.

Neferefre (named Raneferef while crown prince) was a Pharaoh of Egypt during the Fifth Dynasty. While Neferefre was given a reign of some 20 years in Manetho’s Epitome, this number is believed to be an overestimation of his true reign length, based on the completely unfinished state of his intended pyramid, reports Ancient Origins. Its construction is believed to have been interrupted by the unexpected early death of the king.

This discovery comes on the heels of a recent excavation that located a statue of Amenhotep III, which had been hidden for 3,200 years, as reported previously in the Inquisitr.

[Image via BBC News]