A Czech archeology team in Egypt has uncovered an intriguing find: the tomb of a previously unknown queen.
The discovery was made in an Old Kingdom necropolis southwest of Cairo in Abusir, home to the pyramid of Pharaoh Neferefre, who ruled 4,500 years ago. The tomb was found in Neferefre’s funeral complex, and it’s believed that the queen was Neferefre’s wife.
In a statement to the Agence France-Presse, Egypt’s Antiquities Minister Mamdouh el-Damaty called the queen Khentakawess III, noting that this is the “first time we have discovered the name of this queen who had been unknown before the discovery of her tomb.”
The tomb, which one official said dated back to the middle of the 5th Dynasty (2994-2345 BC), had an inscription that indicates its owner was the “king’s wife.” Archaeologists also found roughly 30 utensils made from limestone and copper.
“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,” el-Damaty told the AFP.
The expedition was led by the Czech Institute of Egyptology, which is affiliated with Charles University in Prague. The team’s leader, Miroslav Barta, said in a statement that their newest find is just more proof of how ripe the Abusir site is for further research.
“This is another significant discovery in the last few years (that) have repeatedly confirmed that the Abusir necropolis provides a number of unique sources for the reconstruction of major epochs of ancient Egyptian history,” Barta said.