Archaeologists working with the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities have recently announced that they have discovered the skeleton of a 13-year-old girl buried beside the 4,600-year-old Meidum pyramid — news which has created a bit of a mystery.
As Live Science reports, the skeleton of the teenage girl was found buried in a squatting position in part of a cemetery that had been built very close to the pyramid. Interestingly, besides the remains of the girl, the tomb was completely barren. Archaeologists were unable to discover evidence of any other human remains or grave goods that may have been left behind.
While archaeologists in Egypt were able to determine the age the young girl was when she died by analyzing her bones, they are still unsure as to when she would have been buried beside the Meidum pyramid, part of which has now collapsed. However, as the pyramid was built 4,600 years ago, this can at least be used as a point of reference.
In the cemetery where the skeletal remains were discovered, archaeologists also unearthed what they believe are skulls from two bulls. These were found next to several pottery vessels. These objects were almost certainly used as funerary offerings, but archaeologists do not know who the offerings were originally intended for.
— Live Science (@LiveScience) February 12, 2019
With the recent discovery of the teenage skeleton, archaeologists are also trying to learn more about the Meidum pyramid, which is still something of a mystery. Archaeologists do know that it was first constructed as a step pyramid, but then later turned into a proper pyramid — one without these steps. However, it is not known when this conversion took place.
It has been suggested that at least one portion of the pyramid was built specifically for the pharaoh Sneferu, who ruled Egypt from 2575 to 2551 B.C., although it was the pharaoh Huni — who was in charge of Egypt from 2599 to 2575 B.C — who originally conceived the idea of the earlier step pyramid. The pyramid was later changed under Sneferu’s reign.
Besides the Meidum pyramid, Sneferu also had quite a few other pyramids constructed in Egypt, including two at the Dahshur site alone. Because of his intense enthusiasm for building so many pyramids, some archaeologists have suggested that these may have been attempts by the pharaoh to build the most perfect pyramid in all of Egypt.
As it turned out, it was Sneferu’s son — Khufu — who ended up finally perfecting the pyramid structure, with his grand and imposing Great Pyramid of Giza.
Archaeologists from the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities are currently on site at the Meidum pyramid to perform further excavations. There, they hope to learn more about not just this pyramid, but also the skeleton of the 13-year-old girl who was found in a tomb beside it.