Sun. Apr 11th, 2021

Cairo — Egypt’s Ministry of Antiquities has revealed particulars of the most recent landmark discoveries to emerge from the Saqqara necropolis, south of Cairo. The huge burial grounds sit in what was as soon as Memphis, the capital of historical Egypt. The UNESCO World Heritage Website is dwelling to greater than a dozen pyramids, together with Egypt’s oldest, the Pyramid of Djoser.

The location has yielded 1000’s of artefacts over a long time of excavation, however among the many greatest rewards for Egyptologists on this newest spherical of discoveries was the id of a queen who died round 4,200 years in the past.

Her tomb was found at a website adjoining to the pyramid of King Teti, the primary pharaoh of the Sixth Dynasty of Egypt’s Previous Kingdom, the period between about 2680 and 2180 BC referred to as the Age of the Pyramids. 

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A sarcophagus is displayed in the course of the official announcement of the invention by an Egyptian archaeological mission of a brand new trove of treasures at Egypt’s Saqqara necropolis south of Cairo, January 17, 2021. The invention contains the funerary temple of Queen Neit, spouse of King Teti, in addition to burial shafts, coffins, and mummies courting again 3,000 years to the New Kingdom.

KHALED DESOUKI/AFP/Getty

“The excavation began in 2010, once we found a pyramid of a queen subsequent to the pyramid of King Teti, however we did not discover a identify contained in the pyramid to inform us who the pyramid belonged to,” main Egyptologist and former minister of antiquities Dr. Zahi Hawass instructed CBS Information.  

A few month in the past they found a funerary temple, and now researchers lastly have a reputation for the traditional feminine monarch: Queen Neit, the spouse of King Teti. Her identify was lastly discovered, carved on a wall within the temple and likewise written on a fallen obelisk within the entrance to her tomb.

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Egyptologist Dr.v Zahi Hawass poses throughout an occasion asserting the invention by the archaeological mission he leads of a brand new trove of treasures at Egypt’s Saqqara necropolis, south of Cairo, January 17, 2021.

KHALED DESOUKI/AFP/Getty

“I would by no means heard of this queen earlier than. Subsequently, we add an vital piece to Egyptian historical past, about this queen,” mentioned Hawass, who heads the archaeological mission. He mentioned the current discoveries would assist “rewrite” the historical past of historical Egypt.

His group additionally found 52 burial shafts, every round 30 to 40 toes deep, inside which they discovered have greater than 50 picket coffins courting again to the New Kingdom, round 3,000 years in the past.

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Unearthed adorned picket sarcophagi are displayed in the course of the official announcement of the invention by an Egyptian archaeological mission of a brand new trove of treasures at Egypt’s Saqqara necropolis south of Cairo, January 17, 2021. 

KHALED DESOUKI/AFP/Getty

“Really, this morning we discovered one other shaft,” Hawass instructed CBS Information on Monday. “Contained in the shaft we discovered a big limestone sarcophagus. That is the primary time we have found a limestone sarcophagus contained in the shafts. We discovered one other one which we’ll open every week from now.”

The group additionally discovered a papyrus about 13 toes lengthy and three toes vast, on which Chapter 17 of the Ebook of the Lifeless is written in hieroglyphics, with the identify of its proprietor recorded on it. The Ebook of the Lifeless is an historical manuscript that explains the way to navigate by way of the afterlife to achieve the sphere of the Aaru — paradise, to historical Egyptians.  

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The stays of a papyrus, bearing Chapter 17 of the Ebook of the Lifeless, present in a burial shaft on the Saqqara necropolis in Egypt are displayed on tables in a picture supplied by the Ministry of Antiquities.

Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities

Hawass mentioned it was the primary time such a big papyrus had been found inside a burial shaft.  

Different finds from the positioning embody quite a few picket funerary masks, a shrine devoted to the god Anubis (Guardian of the Cemetery), statues of Anubis, and video games that have been buried with the useless, to maintain them busy within the afterlife. One in every of them was a recreation referred to as “Twenty,” discovered with its proprietor’s identify nonetheless visibly written on it.

One other recreation, referred to as “Senet” (cross), was discovered within the shafts. It is just like chess, but when the deceased participant wins, they go safely into the afterlife.

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