History : Jun-Jul 2015
NEWS 4 JUNE/JULY 2015 2431 b.c . to 2420 b.c .). In fact, the archaeologists believe that Khentakawess was the wife of Neferefre. On the first level of her tomb is a mastaba—a flat- roofed funerary building typi- cal of the Old Kingdom era— with the queen’s burial cham- ber underneath. The mastaba features false doors to deter grave robbers, but despite these security measures the tomb was found to have been pillaged already. Even so, the archaeologists found a great many grave goods, including I t is a very rare event to find a new royal tomb; it is even more unusual to find one belonging to a previously unknown monarch. Yet this is exactly the double success en- joyed by a team of archaeolo- gists who have discovered the burial place of Khentakawess III, an Egyptian queen who lived around 4,500 years ago. The tomb was found in Abusir, an area southwest of Cairo and close to the mor- tuary complex of King Nef- erefre (who ruled Egypt from copper and limestone uten- sils, pots, and statuettes. The most important find, how- ever, was the inscriptions on the walls. These were prob- ably left by the builders and identify the tomb as that of Khentakawess III, who they refer to as wife and mother of the pharaoh. This confusing description is interpreted as meaning that Khentakawess was the wife of Neferefre and also the mother of his son, Menkauhor, who later also became pharaoh. Tomb Reveals Previously Unknown Queen of Egypt A team of Czech archaeologists has found the burial site of a queen named Khentakawess III, a previously unknown Egyptian monarch. ANCIENT EGYPT MARTINFROUZ.ARCHIVEOFTHECZECHINSTITUTEOFEGYPTOLOGY NEFEREFRE was a pharaoh of the 5th dynasty, the period in Egyptian history spanning from around 2465 b.c . to 2325 b.c. He probably only ruled a short time and may have been succeeded by his brother, Niuserre. Neferefre and Khentakawess’s son, Menkauhor, became pharaoh after his uncle’s death. DEA/ALBUM THESE POTS AND PLATES are made with a kind of limestone known as Egyptian alabaster and were discovered inside the tomb. This material was widely used in the Old Kingdom of Egypt (circa 2686 b.c . to 2181 b.c.) to produce a range of luxury objects that are often found among the grave goods at royal burial sites. MARTINFROUZ,ARCHIVEOFTHECZECHINSTITUTEOFEGYPTOLOGY THE TOMB OF QUEEN KHENTAKAWESS III WAS DISCOVERED IN ABUSIR, JUST TEN MILES SOUTH OF THE FAMOUS PYRAMIDS AT GIZA.