Tomb of Fifth Dynasty queen discovered near Cairo

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Czech archaeologists have unearthed the tomb of a previously unknown queen believed to have been the wife of Pharaoh Neferefre who ruled 4,500 years ago, officials in Egypt say.

Tomb of Fifth Dynasty queen discovered near Cairo
The tomb dates to the Fifth Dynasty of the Pharaohs – about 4,500 years ago [Credit: Czech Institute of Egyptoplogy]

The tomb was discovered in Abu Sir, an Old Kingdom necropolis south-west of Cairo where there were several pyramids dedicated to pharaohs of the Fifth Dynasty, including Neferefre.

The name of his wife was not known before the find, antiquities minister Mamdouh al-Damaty said in a statement.

He identified her as Khentakawess and said for the “first time we have discovered the name of this queen who had been unknown before the discovery of her tomb”.

Tomb of Fifth Dynasty queen discovered near Cairo
The side rooms of the discovered tomb have inscriptions mention titles of the tomb owner includes “Wife of the King” 
and “Mother of the King” [Credit: Czech Institute of Egyptoplogy]

That would make her Khentakawess III, as two previous queens with the same name have already been identified.

Her name and rank had been inscribed on the inner walls of the tomb, probably by the builders, Mr Damaty said.

“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 said.

Tomb of Fifth Dynasty queen discovered near Cairo
About 30 vessels were found at the tomb [Credit: Czech Institute of Egyptoplogy]

Miroslav Barta, who heads the Czech Institute of Egyptology mission that made the discovery, said the tomb was found in Neferefre’s funeral complex.

“This makes us believe that the queen was his wife,” Mr Barta said.

An official at the antiquities ministry said the tomb dated from the middle of the Fifth Dynasty (2994-2345BC).

Archaeologists also found about 30 utensils – 24 made of limestone and four of copper – the statement said.

Source: AFP [January 05, 2015]

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